SEXXY SATURDAY CUMBIA

sex-sat-cumbia-septiembre

Artwork by ATILA

 

Cumbia and tropical bass continue to advance all over the world this summer, with the genres being featured in many gigs and festivals this summer. As always, releases seem to pick up in September as artists come back from their interdimensional travels and return to work. This time is no different as enormous amounts of quality cumbia is to be found. Here are some choice cuts from this month!

 

 KAYGEE selected:

San Ignacio – Casiotone Rosa LP (Casa Caos / Fertil Discos)

Proper deep tropical business from Argentina with San Ignacio’s new LP released in conjunction with two labels which are bringing out some great stuff recently: Casa Caos & Fertil Discos. They also invited several other artists to bring out some special edits for the occasion.

San Ignacio has managed to “incorporate his passion for literature and music” in this beautiful journey. The sounds are profound, really well produced, liberating a powerful atmosphere along the EP. Some tracks like ‘Os Ventos’ or Yule & JGB’s rework of ‘Ou Não É’ stand out for me, but I strongly recommend you listen through the whole thing; it’s a beauty !

 

Palenque Records Afrocolombia Remix (preview clips) (Galletas Calientes Rec.)

What a great surprise that was; I didn’t see that one coming: a 5 track remix series “to pay a tribute to Palenque Records who are celebrating 20 years of musical activism in 2016”. Galletas Calientes Rec. chose 5 artists who are currently moving the tropical / global bass scene around the world and who have now delivered 5 great remixes: Solo Moderna, Motin, Ghetto Kumbé, Dj Sabo and Rafael Aragon. All 5 of them have really managed to keep the essence and magic of the original tunes, and bring these traditional champeta & currulao rhythms straight to the dancefloor. It’s out soon on vynil on Galletas Calientes Records, so pre-order it while you can at: http://www.toolboxrecords.com/fr/product/26627/oriental-jazz-cumbia-gypsy/galletas-calientes-10/

 

Jhon Montoya – Chuquy (Barrio Lindo Remix)

Barrio Lindo en la casa! I always love his productions; they are so tight and create such a great atmosphere. This one has a lovely repetitive and catchy groove to it, just in place for that amazing flute to come in and hit the spot.

We had the pleasure of meeting and seeing both John Montoya and Barrio Lindo play live this summer on a ‘paradise beach’ in Croatia: it was simply fantastic.

 

Kike Pintos – Zorro Negro (Barrio Lindo Remix)

And here’s another remix from Barrio Lindo; the man never stops! This time he takes us on a journey straight into the Andes with a tribute to the great Kike Pintos. You can once more feel a superb ambiance building up in the tune, full of delayed details and heavy subs to bring the whole trip together. Love it!

 

El Búho – Cumbia de las Cosas Extrañas

I haven’t seen this new series that every one is going on about at the moment, but I’ll happily enjoy El Búho’s edit of the themetune. This edit is so potent; its strong psychedelic cumbia beat evolves so well with these incredible atmos and crunchy noises all around. I don’t know what else to say, it’s simply beautiful!

 

[WeAreMadeOfLove] WAMOL II (Lump Records)

https://soundcloud.com/lump-rec/sets/lmp17b-wamol-ii

If you enjoyed the vibes of the last few tunes I mentioned, I really recommend you listen to this release, one of Lump Records’ latest ones. It has 2 awesome remixes of Jota Karloza’s ‘Om’. We’re moving one step away from the traditional cumbia beats but I’m sure alot of you will enjoy the deepness and heavyness of these remixes. They are both different and bring out distinctive parts of Jota Karloza’s original tune, which make them come together really well in this EP.

 

Lascivio Bohemia – In love with u

I think I just missed this one last month, but here it is incase you also missed it. Psychedelic cumbia business in the hands of the great Lascivio Bohemia. His productions are always so original, and so genuine. They are always evolving and moving around, bringing in darker elements when you expect it the least, grabbing you with them on the way. I can’t wait for this one to be released. Big ups!!!

 

Biomigrant ft Fredys Arrietaft & Toño García – La Muerte (Regional Label)

Last but not least for this month’s selection is this amazing tune by Biomigrant, which is part of his new album recently released on Regional Label. What a tune! The whole album reflects how Biomigrant has “inspired himself from the richness of rhythms found in Latin-America and amplified them with the power of electronic music”. Make sure you check the whole album out, and once more big ups to Biomigrant and Regional Label on this one!

And here’s a little extract of Biomigrant in full live flute business:

 

While we’re at it, here are some other sweet live sessions , documentaries, videoclips, etc… which have come out this month:

 

Picó: La Máquina musical del Caribe- La historia detrás de las máquinas

A wicked series of episodes, that takes us on short journeys into the Carribean Pico Culture. Make sure you check the newest episodes on: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCvD1zljWpKtioLCH5T3qZg/videos

 

La Nueva Vida Del Guakamayo (Spanish) El Velero Estudio – #1 (Partir De 0…)

It’s amazing to follow Srgt Garcia’s adventures in his ‘sailing studio’. The boat is slowly, but surely, shaping up and looks like we’re going to be hearing more from ‘El Guakamayo’.

 

Echoes ECR Cap. 9: Primera Parte

A nice insight into the origins and current musical movement happening in Ecuador which we are all following through artists like Lascivio Bohemia, Nicola Cruz, Quixosis, Huaira,…

Check part 2 on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzRTUjnHp-Y

 

Sauvage FM – Cumbia Del Rio feat. W (Studio Version)

Live studio Ghetto Folk business from the French northern badboys ! Big ups !

 

Quantic at Manana Festival – Santiago de Cuba [Havana Cultura]

Here’s a short insight into Quantic’s trip to Cuba.

 

The musical delights of the month continue in shapes of mixtapes, which saw the light over the past few weeks. Here are some of them, with some amazing selections from all around the globe, always with a hint of tropical shakers !!

El Buho – Voodoocast 008 (Voodoohop)

 

Carnival in Barranquilla: A Celebration of Colour and Afro-Colombian Identity (narrated by Joe Galbraith) (Sounds And Colours)

gen-bass-1

Stream: https://www.mixcloud.com/soundsandcolours/carnival-in-barranquilla-a-celebration-of-colour-and-afro-colombian-identity/

 

Sr Carmelo (Walter Drop) – Ambient

gen-bass-2

Stream: https://www.mixcloud.com/carmeloantunezantunez/ambient-3/?utm_campaign=notification_new_upload&utm_medium=email&utm_source=notification&utm_content=html

 

Barda – cbM mixtape 001 (CamaronbrujoMúsica)

 

VRUNO – Cumbia Libertad PROMO RELEASE (Hawaii Bonsaï records)

https://soundcloud.com/vruno-saldivar/vruno-cumbia-libertad-promo-release?fb_action_ids=10153736908401472&fb_action_types=soundcloud%3Apublish

 

Chancha Via Circuito – WooMooN

 

Cal Jader’s Soy Caribe Mixtape – Love Carnival Sessions

 

Mr. Toé – Mixtape 028 – Festival Nómade Colombia

 

Make sure you check out this amazing festival that is currently shaping up in Colombia and getting ready for the 8th-11th December ! With another Nómade meeting in Chile in February 2017. All the info you need can be found on: http://www.festivalnomade.cl/

 

 

Silly tang selected:

 

NEGRO DUB REMIX – CELSO PIÑA (REINA DE CUMBIAS)

Two very big names in the industry have come together on this remix. You can feel the very warm, dubby bassline from Negro Dub which brings this cumbia to its true colours. Then we have the king of the cumbia and his accordion with this very unique sound and way of giving us the latin American feeling.

 

Swindle – Connecta Ft. Ricardo China

For my 2nd choice this month I wanted to bring one of my favorite producers from the last 3 years to the table. SWINDLE is a true underground veteran and keeps on lighting us with his UK bass music hits and then takes the time to produce beautiful pieces such as this one. His production is always very based on those tight drums and a very deep bass sound. You can feel the London vibe coming straight at ya!

 

Eyeunle: guiro para change – America afroindigena label

Here we have a very authentic and rooted cumbia sound with proper traditional instruments. I absolutely love this song. Not my traditional selection but when it comes to music made with such respect and truthfulness to its roots I just cannot stop getting inspired by its sound and spirituality. Out on the label America Afroindigena please go and get yourself this masterpiece on soundcloud for free!

 

Loko Bono – Sistema beat Andino Steppa remix:

Now you might know or not know that I come from the Dub scene and I truly love this music. Cumbia came along a long time after I started this love of music J So when the master Loko Bono comes forward to present us this Steppa masterpiece I just couldn’t control myself. I had to mix it and remix it for almost a whole night! The production is very nice and has totally managed to get to that Hard Steppa style, but for me what breaks it down is the vocal. This voice is truly a blessing from the sky.

 

Yo me Llamo Cumbia radio show – Tribilin Sound

So this is not the first time I share one of these podcasts and really they are all amazing J

I wanted to bring this one out because of two tracks which stood out for me. First of all the Loko Bono remix mentioned above and then the unreal track by Tribilin Sound called X E*vax – Hijas! It is a half breed of Cumbia and Juke together with a totally twisted melody pon top. Really dig the man´s work recently getting into more bassline vibes.

 

Shushupe – sarayacu taricaya ep:

Now listen to this kick and bassline starting this track. Fabulous track with those acid melodies coming in. I cannot stress enough how amazing the production for this EP is – very very potent indeed. I think this type of EP has a place within the tropical world but also on many other fronts such as Minimal techno – or even disco. Really clever and ear pleasing piece of music!

 

El Cifickzer X El Kombo Kolombia – El chavo banda se siente relajado (Hnry X Sonidero Sabotaje Edit):

Once again I mention the Rebajado Mix crew, Hnry and El Cifickzer I know J But honestly I think I´m developing an addiction to cumbia rebajada and well they just do real good works these days and it seems they are not here to stop. So we can hear the original vibes to this track by El Cifickzer and then those slight kicks coming in by Hnry! Really nice and smooth cumbia we have here for everyone to enjoy free of charge so go run tell your friends!

 

Rebel up ! Soundclash – Andres Landero – Rosa y Mayo (Rebel Up! Duckfood Remix):

Would you like some bassline cumbia for your ears ? Well if you have some huge bass sound system en casa please turn it up!!! This version by Rebel Up Soundclash of a classic cumbia is a real sound system artillery. Big ups and we hope they carry one bring in on some nice remixes or even original Cumbia tracks!

 

Secta Selectah – El acordeon:

https://soundcloud.com/sectaselectah/secta-selectah-el-acordeon

Now this all time player has come to us with a track that reminds me of a Totty style cumbiaton! Real nice groove on this one helped by this accordion and those breaks within the tune. You can also hear those samples coming in everywhere as the song plays which gives a real nice originality to the beats!

 

Cal Jader – Movimientos Nueva Colombia mix:

London Calling ? No its Colombia calling J

The mastermind behind the mighty events “Movimientos” has just landed in Colombia a few days ago from what I know and to promote his stay he delivered this sublime mixtape. I know this is the end of summer but for Mr Jader it seems winter doesn’t exist ! Special request on his travels!

 

Larry SKG : SmallFall – Jungler (Marimba Remix)

Getting to the end of my selection for this month but I couldn’t let you go before mentioning this amazing piece of music. I had never heard of SKG before, a producer from Greece. He has nailed it with this remix. I love the Marimba instruments and love this really ill sound he has blended with it. I´m sure a lot of music will come out from this very talented producer so keep your ears out.

 

Moonanga – Tropical mix

genn-bass-4

Stream: https://www.mixcloud.com/MOUNANGA/100tropical-mix-by-moonanga/

And to finish off this real good month of Cumbia I wanted to introduce you to this band. It’s a duo, a very loco guy and a lovely female accordionist. Let’s say the guy goes by the name of Chongo Reinhardt and the lady of “ I mas”. Together, they form the all mighty Moonanga! We have had the pleasure of spending lots of time with them this summer and trust me they are full of new sounds and treasures coming out. Here is a presentation mix they made filled of classic and twisted dancefloor killers.

 

Coconutah selected:

Morenita (Sonido Satanas Remix)

Part of a new remix LP on Tropic-all, this cumbia remix by Sonido Satanas delivers on all levels. Classic Mexican vocals combine with catchy synths and instruments and a groovy bassline in great style. Good tune for the dancefloor, arriba la bebida!

 

Lascivio Bohemia – La Visherita Flashera

Lascivio bohemia features again for a brand new electro cumbia release, la Visherita Flashera. A very organic buildup is followed by some more “villera style” electronic synths and leads to an eery, spooky drop. This is a great mix of potent sounds and has a very original side.

 

DJ Caution – Hot Steppa

This new offering from DJ Caution is red hot. A very sexy electro cumbia, dancehall inspired stomper, it brings great vibes whenever it plays. Badboy pitched down vocals ride a carribean, tropical drum beat while an amazing accordeons spices things up. Tune!

 

Pinduca — Mistura de Carimbó com Ciranda (iZem’s Tropical Discoteq Special Fix)

Izem presents a cool Little edit of a original brazilian gem. Heavy shakers, a sweet cumbia groove and a catchy melody bring this number into 2016. This is very fresh and very tropical.

 

The Rebel – Cumbia Dub

This little nugget carries its name perfectly, and manages to build an old school 70´s dub feeling into the drums with tasty guiros over the top. A classic dub bassline and some swirling synths round the track off. Big up!

 

Dunkelbunt – Duck Polk

I don´t think I had ever seen Dunkelbunt, Balkan and swing legend, make a entry into the cumbia scene. This is forthcoming on his album and is certainly an original beat. Just like the previous tune, this rides that fine line between cumbia and dub perfectly. The acid guitar sounds absolutely amazing – it will trip you out.

 

Thanks for listening and reading and see you next month!

LA SELVA

selva-alex

 

 

 

 

Generation Bass Presents: GBMIX#10! Neutrom X

NeutromX

Following the relaunch last month, we continue full force with a highly energetic mix from Generation Bass crew member Neutrom X, based in the western region of Spain. When he joined the team a year ago, he already built a massive following base with his tastemaking Soundcloud repost channel. Neutrom X is involved in the Spanish juke & footwork scene, hosts radio shows on the independent underground broadcasters LIE RADIO and BELOW and is also a member of the Classical Trax community. His signature style is contagious: raw, uptempo beats drawn from different undergrounds like club, global bass, future bass, post-internet and vogue, blended effortlessly with the more breakbeat and techno vibes.

Tracklist:

Brenmar feat. UNiiQU3Hula Hoop (JayTheBiggest Remix)
– False WitnessDip Don (Dubbel Dutch Remix)
ARMEPop It Like A Frog
Dj HookJay Desean Vogue Theme
Break FastDesigner
Draft DodgerStank
Disco DYou Need Another Drink (Elisa Bee Rework)
ARMEBa
BIOSPlenty
Barow XL & TrimmerDangeross
V. Geels feat. MapalmaThunder Track
Traxx RomayCandy Darling (Byrell The Great Remix)
Banginclude & ComradeTo The Floor
FollowbackBurnout
Bok BokFoxtrot (Neana Bootleg)
MorceePinball (Scottie B Unruly Mix)
AHBS1989 (JX Cannon Remix)
ImaabsWhite Noise (Dembow Rework) (Foba Edit)
Black VanillaThrow It Down (Mike Q & Dj Fade Remix)
MC Bin LadenBololo Haha (Banginclude remix)
Clap FrecklesDanza De La Lluvia (Paul Marmota Edit)
NobelTabaatusasula
Minds Alike CollectiveDo It To The Katz (Normaling VIP Edit)
Stroon & FallgrappX-Type
Bored LordBlow Your Mind
ScheeleVacuous
Street TerrorStreets Of Terror
StoltenhoffRajasthan (Original Mix)
OuanounouAgo Ago
Divoli S´VereChild´s Play (Boys Like Princesses)
T_A_MWatty (Tarquin´s Don´t Get Lemon Edit)
FarsightHymn Of Safe Passage (Luru Remix)
Aranha & ParticleSublo (Aranha VIP)
Capo LeeLiff (Cardinal Sound ReLiff)
IDID

***

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MUSIC, TECHNOLOGY & THE FUTURE PART 3 : Adam Harper, The Interview

AdamHarperEdited

In my own reflections of the direction of innovation in music in the last two years, no one has been a stronger inspiration guidance than the extraordinary Oxford musicologist and music critic Adam Harper. The insightful analyses of groundbreaking developments as well as his personal engagement with the artists that create them recalls the way in which musicologist Wayne Marshall, Harvard lecturer and a close friend of Munchi’s, used to be at the same time a social hub and the academic foundation under the early global bass scene. Wayne was among the first to discern and articulate the common spirit in local interpretations of Jamaican soundsystem cuture, hiphop or dance music and their corresponding youth cultures from marginalised urban neighbourhoods across the world (“global ghetto tech”). In a similar way, Harper early on recognised in the myriad of variations of “post-internet” music and corresponding aesthetics a profound common reaction to indie culture’s obsession with authenticity and organic romanticism – just while the latter was becoming the new mainstream.

Our intellectual focuses have occasionally intersected, such as in the System Focus writeups on the Lisbon based IRL-URL underground or the one on Durban’s gqom. Last month, I had a chat with Harper at the Rewire festival in The Hague, where he interviewed experimental footwork producer Jlin about machines, the human soul and the fascination with cybernetic sounds in today’s wave of club music. I was most curious how he, as an academic and as a person, got involved in this intriguing area where music, technology and society intersect.

AH: My background is in musicology, with some contemporary music mixed in. Like a lot of people my age (29) I came up through a mix of modernist classical music and 90s / 00s electronica. I became interested in music, technology and society because of the need to move musicology into the field of recordings rather than scores etc. I discovered that the aesthetics of recorded music can be very complex, all bound up with different kinds of ideas about the negative effect of technology on ‘art’ and music. This is parter of a larger and really important discussion about what it means to be human.

GB: Isn’t it isolated working such a tradition-minded environment as Oxford? I can imagine it creates a separation between you as an academic observer and the communities and scenes you write about?

AH: Much of the more specialist music-making and -listening here (the kind of underground electronic music I like) tends to get sucked into nearby London, leaving a lot of the more usual UK mixture of folk, indie etc, which has a strong basis in Oxford’s considerable bohemian demographic. The students aren’t really a permanent presence here – they spend half their year away from the University – so even though many of them are getting interested in stranger, more modern things like PC Music it doesn’t really take root in a live scene.

There is a degree of the separation you mention, but it is closing. The major difference between academia and criticism for me is the degree of drinking the discourse on music’s kool aid. I think a good academic has a sense of the bigger, more relative picture, maintains a good degree of critical and theoretical qualification on what they write about – they shouldn’t just be fans that can use jargon. The researcher should have a foot in both camps at least as a starting principle, and then see what forms of knowledge from which camp are most useful. But you can’t avoid becoming part of what you study.

GB: How does that work for you personally?

AH: I try and keep the worlds rather separate. As a critic, I can (and I should) be more wild about my opinions and my language; as an academic, I should be rigorous. I’ve occasionally gotten into odd situations where as an academic I’d feel the need to quote myself as a critic, with that distance given towards the latter. But it would be rather absurd, and it draws attention to the problems of dividing my brain like that…

And in many ways though it’s about professional pragmatics. There are many universities that would hire a slightly boffiny music critic like me as an academic, but they’re far from the majority. For all the enthusiasm there appears to be for blurring these boundaries and bringing in fresh ideas from non-academic discourse, the fact that an academic’s work increasingly needs to be peer-reviewed and subsequently submitted to (in the UK) the Research Excellence Framework in order to be taken seriously remains a major factor and hurdle. No matter how hip you are as an academic, no matter how many gigs you go to or microgenres you’re up on, a blogpost is not going to fly in the REF, and so, ultimately, it’s not going to fly on the job application.

GB: Talking about blogposts, they used to be a principal mediator between artist and listener. If you compare blogs today to other types of media such as the webmagazine, Youtube channels, a forum like Reddit and especially the increasing importance of social media, what do these changes mean for the mediating role of the music writer?

AH: The music writer has become (or should have become) much less of a reviewer and much more of a curator and critic. They needn’t simply evaluate or describe the music on offer, in fact that would be a bit of a waste of time in a world of streaming. Now they can hunt for interesting music that isn’t relatively known yet, and put it in some sort of context for listeners, reflect on aesthetics and provide a commentary.

A lot of people say that opinions don’t matter so much now that anyone can voice them online. That’s a simplistic view of the Internet I think. Eventually, in certain ways, certain voices rise above the online chatter, whatever type of platform they’re on, perhaps.

GB: What are your predictions for the future?

AH: Difficult to say. While their importance might have been reduced, I don’t think the various kinds of musical experts are going to die out any time soon. The future is likely to be busy, and even if they’re able and welcome to, I don’t think many music fans will be able or inclined to spend huge amounts of time finding and thinking about music themselves.

Eventually, in certain ways, certain voices rise above the online chatter

GB: One of your main topics is the contemporary URL punk-like movements. Yet at the same time we seem to be right in the transition phase of the rapid ‘canonisation’ of the post-internet underground in art and music, where Tumblr and Soundcloud artists are lifted into the museums for contemporary art & modern experimental music.

How do you see the relation between culture that is ‘high profile’ and culture that is marginalised? Do you think the ‘punk’ element is disappearing or undergoing a fundamental change lately?

The current generation of innovators, like the artists connected to NON WORLDWIDE, seem to consciously situate their music in the grey area between the electronic underground on the one hand and high art/‘avant-garde classical’ music on the other.

AH: Even in the supposedly ‘flattened’ world of the Internet, there is still something of height difference (even if it’s only an imaginary construction) between ‘mainstream’ culture and ‘alternative / indie / underground’ culture, a gap that is emphasised in aesthetics, practice, ideology and social role. Quite how coherent the non-mainstream communities are in this respect is an open question. But one of the paradoxes of the non-mainstream communities is that they’re often somehow both marginalised and an elite high art thing (which, though heavy on cultural and sometimes actual capital, is still pretty much at the margins, socially). Part of the value of this art / music is that it is (supposed to be) frowned upon by a majority, or an industry, or a technocracy. And in time, this marginalised, frowned upon art / music comes to be canonised. The people who mediate that shift are normally people from slightly bohemian majorities who it would not be wrong to call ‘gentrifiers.’ Look at 70s British punk – in its time a scandal, now a good old British institution. Is it any wonder that its contemporary equivalents sound nothing like it?

GB: Sampling and recontextualisation of sounds and aesthetics are key elements of the punk attitude you describe. Yet, this attitude is also fiercely criticised (frequently by artists themselves) when it is the privileged side that grabs elements from the marginalised side in terms of race, class or sexual identity. Think for example about vaporwave’s orientalism or PC Music’s use of ‘femininity’ as a gimmick.

What are your thoughts about the significance of identity and power in the cybernetic present and future, with its initial expectations of free information and fluid identity?

AH: Yeah – neither a non-mainstream political stance (implicit or explicit) nor an embrace of technological modernity (often in a vaguely anarchistic atmosphere) guarantees a clean bill of ethics. Sampling and recontextualisation are punk in one way, inasmuch as it’s accessible and easy to make and release music with them. But large numbers of people are still unaware of the problems with using someone else’s ethnicity or gender as part of the exoticism and Othering that underground music is so often entranced by. In the examples you describe, the implication is that East Asians are a weirdly hi-tech and/or corporatised people, a frightening mirror into which Westerners can look, or that women and their bodies are somehow more the victims of a superficial modern technoculture.

What matters is not where something is from, but the stories about where it’s from

GB: Simultaneously with the ‘post-internet underground’ and its fluid aesthetics, there was the ‘global bass blogosphere’ that brought sounds of locally based underground youth cultures from many different parts of the world into online circulation. Today, post-internet inspired club music ubiquitously incorporates sounds like baile funk, tresillo or gqom, whereas new youth movements anywhere in the world rarely develop the kind of distinct, geographically based profile any more such as you saw in the past.

How do you see the future role of geographical or physical environments for the development of music, especially now the breakthrough Virtual Reality has the potential to erase physicality even more thoroughly than the web did?

AH: The digitised world (crudely put, the internet, and maybe virtual reality too) can ‘erase’ geography and physicality to some extent, sure, making it easier for distant parts of the world to communicate and influence one another. This, of course, is not new to the internet. Records did the same a century ago. The internet is just faster and broader. But URL doesn’t erase relative novelty and ethnicity (aspects which geography used to contribute, which used to seem virtually synonymous with geography) as being of great aesthetic importance – far from it. Sounds are now more easily unmoored from their actual physical locations and cultural contexts, but authenticity was always ultimately a lie anyway (again, URL just makes it more obvious). What matters is not where something is from, but the stories about where it’s from and how that becomes aesthetics.

GB: If you were a DJ and wanted to make a mixtape to take your listeners on an journey through the essential developments that you have described in your articles, which are the tracks that would most definitely end up in there?

AH: I kind of already have one: though it was very early in relation to my turn to writing about hi-tech and/or online music, I made a mix called ‘The Blue Liquid Mix,’ weaving together lots of stuff that was both hi-tech and from the online underground. It starts with a track called ‘Dreamb0y’ by I AM WATER, which had a huge impact on me. It finally made me convinced that online underground music could not only be technically proficient AND really inventive, but that it could beat the more traditional underground too. Lots of the artists on that mix I would still recommend today. I’d also chuck in some stuff from NON, Her Records, Yen Tech, White Colours, Contact Lens, Activia Benz, Graham Kartna, and more.

***

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Music, Technology & the Future PART 1 : The Carousel of Modern Culture

Levine

Artwork: close up from Chris Levine‘s ‘Geometry of Truth‘ – like in music, the focus shift towards technology is occuring in art too 

The entire history of music (and perhaps all of culture) boils down to just three things: 1.) cultural roots; 2.) socio-political circumstances and 3.) technology. It’s probably no surprise that cultural roots and the changing socio-political environment in which these roots germinate and mutate have been our blog’s main concern since the beginning. But since at least two years of shaping the direction of this blog, I’ve noticed the centre of gravity shifting ever more towards technology, and not just because of my personal obsession with the post-internet underground or the avant-garde club movement, which likes to wrap tracks into pictures of robots, computers or shiny sports tech. There’s something much more substantial to it that has even brought me to places where I’d never think I’d end up for this particular blog. Starting out in squatters’ clubs or large event halls dancing to live cumbia bands, ending up in museums and even churches for the most experimental avant-garde sound art and ambient performances. And yet it makes perfect sense. I will explain why.

Take the history of bass music, rooting in the soundsystem culture of Jamaican reggae and its inseparable Afro-diasporic cultural & political DNA. The heavy soundsystems not only enabled low frequencies to be played at these unprecedented volumes but also came with the cultural use of heavy bass as an artistic way of channeling fear, which eventually opened the way to the elaborate sound design at the low frequencies in dubstep: the most perfect example of cultural heritage, socio-political circumstances and technology influencing each other in every direction.

Another example is the most far-reaching transforming force that has occurred during the 90s and 00s, which is what I call the democratisation of electronic music production technology. In the earlier decades of electronic music, going back to the electroacoustic tapes and synthesizer pioneers from the mid 2th century, electronic music was a poorly acessible activity that required specialised knowledge and, above all, sufficient money to buy gear. Following the DIY attitude of punk and hiphop, increasing access to electronic music production has increased the pool of creativity to new music movements and subcultures that has made many turn-of-the-century genres into what they have become. Pirated cracks of the most popular programme, Fruity Loops (now known as FL studio), which pooled together sound design, midi sequencing and audio sampling into one user-friendly interface, have circulated online for free since the beginning. Being so accessible to young people anywhere in the world without the privilege to buy fancy stuff, Fruity Loops has turned out to be be the decisive tool in the development genres such as bubbling, grime, dubstep or 3ball.

The third example is another transforming force, of equal importance and inseparable from the above one and it occurred for a large part in the same period (the 00s and 10s of the new milennium): the democratisation of music sharing on the internet. In earlier times of the internet era, bloggers with pre-internet experience could still nostalgically long back to the romantic experience of record digging at obscure shops and pirate markets in countries around the world. The web changed all that into the solitary experience that I myself know so well: sitting behind a computer, scrolling through endless Soundcloud lists, wandering not from record box to record box or alley to alley but from link to link and comment to comment. Especially Soundcloud, the place where DIY producers from all over the world could now instantly share, access, sample and remix anything on the same platform, generated an unprecedented hive-like ecosystem in which obscure new sounds and hybrids could suddenly go viral overnight.

The fact that anybody anywhere could now access anything with just a mouseclick, also squeezed sounds out of their localised context and the shared social, cultural and political experiences that so often underlies music movements and subcultures. The influential music forum Hollerboard where the early Diplo and other like-minded DJs and producers pioneered with blending sounds from not only different genres and subcultures such as hiphop and rave, but also different (Western as well as non-Western) cultures, was a build up for the blogosphere that specialised in digging up unique new flavours from all around the globe to support them and present them to new, interested audiences.

The internet has not only squeezed 3ball out of its Mexican context, it squeezed EDM back in (which can, like ‘Elements’ from DJ Giovanni Ríos, certainly lead to very good music)

In the now no longer accessible post from MTV Iggy, the one that popularised the term ‘global bass’ as the ultimate umbrella genre, the question was raised whether the enthusiasm with which the blogosphere and its corresponding club nights blended genres like cumbia, balkan beats and baile funk, heralded the advent of a utopian, unified global dance future. It didn’t happen. Not at all. In stead, the attention of innovative tastemakers became dominated by an obsession with alienating, recontextualised 90s cyberculture, dystopian corporate accelerationism and eventually, plastified virtuality and present-futurist reflections. What happened? Especially, what has happened to the rhythms and flavours from the marginalised neighbourhoods from cities like Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro or Lisbon that were once praised as the forefront of innovation? With some exceptions, they are all in stormy weather and, especially in the case of Mexican 3ball, the web is to blame. The delusion of international fame and big success has driven many producers to incorporate successful formulas while at the same time allowing EDM to defeat its thousands. As a response, producers responded by either reveling in romantic memories from times before the hype, or by abandoning the genre altogether.

The democratisation of music production combined with limited communication created the unique diversity of the 90s

3Ball is no exception. Subcultures as a whole are dead. It is claimed that, at least in the West but probably anywhere, gabber (I might actually challenge this claim and say ‘cybergoth’) was the last ‘true’ subculture in the sense of a solid and all-encompassing identity that fundamentally separates the people sharing it from the ones that don’t. Everything that originated after that such as emo, scene or even something like reggaeton was much more fluid, ambiguous and interconnected with a myriad of other identities and styles. Paradoxically, the democratisation of music production combined with the relative isolation due to limited communication (think about physically circulating records, tapes or local pirate radio) created the unique diversity of the 90s, in which the Jamaican soundsystems became UK-bass in London and reggaeton in Puerto Rico, or Miami bass hiphop, transplanted to Brazil, evolved into baile funk. The democratisation of music sharing instead has resulted in the volatile whirlpool of cyber-deconstructionism we’ve been seeing since the 10s.

This whirlpool too has its own vital organs, Soundcloud being one of them but even more important are the image-sharing platform Tumblr, forum-for-everything Reddit and the controversial messageboard 4Chan. In previous posts, I’ve called them the ‘grinding mills’ of culture: devouring chunks of digital information (sounds, imagery, ideas) on the once side while churning out seemingly random amalgams on the other. In the context of post-internet culture we usually think about witch house, seapunk, vaporwave, ocean grunge or health goth, but ‘global bass’ hybrids such as balkan-cumbia, moombahton, trap-bubbling or zouk-bass are essentially the product of exactly the same process. The only essential difference being that the first movement searches for information vertically, in the obscure archives of Western pop-culture, whereas global bass’ orientation is horizontal, focused on stuff currently produced but all over the world. The ‘temporal’ and the ‘spatial’ are equally important pillars of cyber-deconstructionism, but we’ve only just started to realise it now the two are increasingly coming together: the flavours and rhythms of the global bass genres so ubiquitously feature in avant-garde club music today that the movement itself almost seems like a second round through the mill.

Elysia Crampton‘s unique take on the ‘epic collage‘ style is one of the artistically most advanced examples of cyber de- and re-constructionism involving non-Western cultural elements. The sounds of baile funk, 3ball and trap in ‘Petrichrist’ are so finely ground, so thoroughly detached from any fixed reference frame, that the full resevoir of emotive energy contained in them is released in purified form, acquiring a powerful, spiritual force.

https://soundcloud.com/gxstxvx/passinho-do-macintosh

Other attempts (usually those meant as a joke) are on the opposite end of the spectrum, barely ground, lumping together two obviously recognisable genres. Yet a ‘second round through the mill’ nonetheless: ‘Passinho do Macintosh’ by the Brazilian post-internet producer G X S T X V X.

As cyber-deconstructionism is coming of age, it becomes apparent that both the spatial and the temporal pillars have faced the same delusion: the triumphalist capitalist promise from the 90s that globalisation as well as the internet would quickly lead to a world of total unity and total equality. Hailing ‘global bass’ as the soundtrack into a utopian, unified world village reflects the same old neo-colonialist globalisation narrative that was already dead. And if globalisation is dead, naive cyber-utopianism, the narrative of the internet as a radically egalitarian place where it no longer matters who you are even if you’re a dog, is dying rapidly. Where globalisation and migration in a changing economic and political world already stirred a renewed attention for identity since the early 00s, the often uninhibited hostility of the internet, and the fluid way in which people can select their own information environment, did that even more. Bosah Ebo (1998) juxtaposes naive cyber-utopianism with the ‘cyberghetto perspective‘, in which real world structural oppression and segregation along the lines of racial, class and sexual identities are replicated online, if not amplified. Even though Generation Bass’ cyber ghetto collab has come to an abrupt end after the night in Antwerp, the concept continues to fascinate me. Ruth’s idea of recontextualising stigmatised “ratchet” imagery from 90s ‘ghetto’ culture into a positively charged, androgynous aesthetic trend, blended together with styles like grunge and Japanese kawaii, is the inseparable mirror image of Ebo’s prediction of the current online culture wars. Not surprisingly, the grinding mill websites have become infamous places where issues concerning race, class or gender are fought out: Tumblr being the motor for a whole new subculture of uncompromising social justice activism, countered by Reddit’s and 4Chan’s neo-reactionary trolling.

BabyBitch

Cyber ghetto: grinding mill aesthetics raise questions about the significance of race, class & gender on the internet

If globalisation is dead, naive cyber-utopianism is dying rapidly

From these questions of identity to matters of privacy, cyber-paranoia about New World Order conspiracies, blurring lines between real and fake or the coming of artificial intelligence, the way in which technological innovation shapes the world has become the principal socio-political circumstance for a generation. And this is giving significance to music in the same way as themes like the American civil rights movement, industrialisation, the War on Drugs or the economic uncertainty of the 80s have done before.

Just like the worldwide local interpretations of hiphop, reggae and electronic music, popularised by the global bass movement, turned out to be too tied to their geographical socio-political contexts to be transplanted easily into the West, the reverse applies to the post-internet movement. Vaporwave‘s reflection on the 90s’ corporate promises of history evaporating into an eternity of pleasure shopping and fears of Asian technological superiority, only resonates with the collective memory of the West, even most specifically the American white middle class. Meanwhile, large parts of the rest of the world were suffering from the exploitation and political destabilisation caused by the corporate pursuit of making these vapid dreams come true. Movements such as NON Worldwide, Afrofuturism or avant-garde club, at least as I interpret them, are essentially about exposing and reclaiming technology, the tools by which natural environments are redesigned for human purpose, as a socio-political phenomenon in itself asking: whose purposes? benefiting whom? at the expense of whom or what?

At the same time, they represent an attitude of embracing instead of than rejecting or demonising technology. It is a direct countermovement against ‘indie’ culture‘s romantic obsession with imperfection, organicism and the authenticity (whatever that may be) of the past. But it also goes beyond the recent revival of neo-cyberpunk and apocalypticism found in genres like witch house and vaporwave but also EDM trap’s dark underground. Where once the hippies tried to escape from modern technology as a threat to their romantic concept of nature and humanity, cyberpunk and the industrial music movement of the 1980s sought to expose the invisible megamachine as the evil totalitarian enemy that could only be resisted by ‘hacking’: smartly adopting its material to turn the system against itself. In the 90s, cyberpunk’s increasing fascination for computers morphed into Thimothy Leary’s “turn on, boot up, jack in” ‘cyberdelicism’ and ‘cyberfetishism‘: reveling in sexual-spiritual dreams of ‘becoming one’ with technology. In the last half decade, that cycle has repeated (interestingly, roughly five times as fast: 1968 – 2001 ; 2008 – 2016). This blurring boundary between our everyday lived reality and the imaginations of science fiction, ever accelerating and constantly balancing between utopia and dystopia, kitsch and spiritual transcendence, is what Adam Harper calls the ‘21th century experience‘. Artists and label curators consciously play with these themes, thence names such as Escape From Nature, Infinite Machine or What Do I See.

Celestial Trax‘ new EP is a perfect example of how, with a combination of sound and titles, avant-garde club music can meditate on the question who we are in an increasingly posthuman world.

uv ac‘s new mixtape: the latest wave of internet underground music, often no longer subsumable under the umbrella of ‘club music’, plays with themes of heaven, angels, and uplifting tenderness. The sound combines ethereal ambient with happy rave, autotune rap and RnB, romantic cinematic soundtracks and sometimes traces of ‘global bass’ rhythms, accompanied by oos emo-aesthetics, sad-cute clip-art and stock photo kitsch. Whether this should be seen as an expression of ‘cyber-piety’ or merely 00s teenage culture going into the grinding mills can’t be said yet.

Digital technology has itself become a culture of its own, offering a widely shared experience that is at the same time mind-expanding, liberating and addictive in essentially the same way as psychedelic drug culture was in the 60s and 70s. This has built a new kind of cultural heritage, now ready to be added into the grinding mill for yet a third round. After all, cultural heritage is nothing more than a sufficiently isolated ecosystem of social and material technologies, solidified into conventions over a long-enough period of time. And once these temporary new conventions, isolations and identities are in turn broken, recontextualised and fused with new elements, we’ve got a new round in the carousel of modern culture. What exactly will come out this time, we can’t tell yet, but we can be sure that whatever will go into the mill is a combination of different cultural heritages, old and new alike, that the process is driven by developments that shape the world, and that the new socio-political issues brought to light in this new world will certainly influence the outcome.

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Accessible music production and sharing technology has created a spiralling vortex of consecutive rounds through the grinding mill. As it happens, it is still too early to be too sure about the specific influence of specific technologies or circumstances. The influence of mobile phones has created the practice of ‘sodcasting’ and youth’s relative indifference to quality sound on the low frequencies. And there’s certainly a visible attention shift going on in productions towards crystalline treble.

Now the residue of the second round is solidifying, it is becoming clear that this turbulent carousel process seems to have unlocked the secret to the ‘spirit of modernism’ such as envisioned by Adam Harper in his already classic work Infinite Music – Imagining the Next Milennium of Human Music Making, in a way accessible for everyone. As a result, the most stubbornly unbridgeable of all boundaries, that has dominated music virtuall forever, is finally eroding: the one between popular and classical music, between the passionate bedroom-punk and the formally trained concert hall musician. No wonder why Harper has been the quintessential thinker recognising, documenting and intellectually interpreting all the essential innovative waves in music right as they happened. Turning to the undergrounds of young autodidacts on the internet as the place where the action is, the action and continuously innovating energy that the 20th century modernist composers so often lacked.

The most stubbornly unbridgeable of all boundaries is finally eroding: the one between popular and classical music

Add to this the prospect of new ways of music making still waiting ahead and their eventual democratisation. Or what if no longer humans, but artificial intelligences will join the arena of creativity? What if future transhuman extensions of the senses or information processing will extend the range of music that can be perceived and understood? That is why it is essential to zoom in on technology and spiral in one move from a warm-blooded electronic cumbia party to a hyperfuturistic, conceptual avant-garde performance. Otherwise, I’d have ended up at a big festival stage, like so many from the scene that global bass once was, unconsciously escaping into yet another grinding mill product, built up from a hyped up version of Dutch laser synths and hardstyle drums I’ve grown up with, and canned snippets of hip-hop from Atlanta or dancehall from Jamaica, strategically mashed together to squeeze endorphins out of my pituitary gland. Or I’d have chosen instead to turn my gaze backwards, to any possible era in the history of any genre capable of upholding the illusion of being pure and impassioned compared to today’s ever less comprehensible tangle. In both cases, I’d have abandoned the focus forward, to new movements, new sounds and flavours, bubbling up all over the world. IRL or URL, the very reason why this blog exists.

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I’m a cultural-historian of science and my theoretical knowledge of musicology doesn’t go into that much depth so I’d love to have feedback from readers who are more firmly grounded into these matters.

Casa Babilon is Back with Throes & The Shine and Chico Correa!

Casa Babilon

Casa Babilon is Utrecht’s most elaborate global bass night, where the vibe diversity of Kako Da Ne and the cosy party energy of Safari in het Bos are blended with a wider, more accessible bass sound and even live performance.

This Saturday they are back in RASA, Utrecht’s cross-cultural music & arts podium with in the line-up the Portuguese-Angolan kuduro-rock formation Throes + The Shine (live), the Paris based Brazilian organic-electronic tropicalist DJ Chico Correa and of course the local hosts: the Kako Da Ne crew together with Booze em (Safari) and Frenquency (Foot Juice).

We will be there !

Grab your ticket >> HERE <<

Essential EP’s #11

EssentialEPs11NEW

It’s been a while since my last Essential EP’s selection so here an edition with releases that are all from a month back or so. Influential releases like Chino Amobi’s or Kid Antoine’s, which received widely read attention from of the major online music magazines, have already cooled down to lukewarm in terms of attention, making place for even newer excitements. Other ones, like Los Innsurgentes’ La Maldad EP have flown a bit under the radar. Two artists whose previous EP’s were among the most impactful of 2015 are back now with follow-up releases that continue where they left off. Overally, as 2016 begins to take shape, the innovations of 2015 seem maturing into recognisable sounds, enriching, branching off and finding their way into different corners of music.

1. NAZAR Hubris EP (Track Meet)

Let’s start with Nazar, whose NIHIL EP was perhaps the single most original release of 2015. His confrontational, political approach to kuduro created a throat-gripping, industrial flavoured sound. ‘Hubris EP’, the Angolan avant-garde producer extends this powerful signature style with an even more rich set of influences, venturing into 808 drums, industrial techno and the ethereal synths of avant-garde club. In ‘Tyranny’ the producer also makes his first appearance as MC, using his own vocals to ironically praise Angola’s president.

The EP had been announced for a long time but could finally see the light via the upcoming avant-garde club label Track Meet.

>> BUY HERE <<

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2. ANGEL-HO Emancipation (NON)

One of the other most groundbreaking works last year was without any doubt ‘Ascension EP’ by Cape Town based NON co-founder ANGEL-HO, debuting on Halcyon Veil. Now, 6 months and many great single tracks later, he is back with a fresh EP released via his own NON WORLDWIDE label. And like Nazar’s, his sound too has become richer and more crystallised. Whereas ANGEL-HO’s arrival at the stage of the music scene seemed more concerned with disrupting the dominant cultural forces, now the post-disruption era has arrived with full force. This means that the black queer trans identities that ANGEL-HO represents have broken free from the colonial forces designed to suppress and erase them, triumphantly expressing themselves the way they want to, no longer needing juxtaposition to binary heteronormative whiteness as a reference frame at all. As I interpret it, this is also what the magnificent artwork (made by Chino Amobi) refers to: proud dragons, breaking out of the burning remnants of the past. “The old has gone, the new has come.” In sound this means that the characteristic tumultuous industrialism is no longer an end-point but a beginning. On ‘Emancipation EP’, ANGEL-HO’s signature sounds like accellerating cars and shattering glass are the crude ground from which all kinds of new sounds rise up in freedom.

ANGEL-HO teamed up with Desire Marea, one half of the performing art duo FAKA, whose vocals apear on the first and last track of the EP.

>> BUY HERE <<

https://soundcloud.com/non-records-1/sets/emancipation

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3. Chino Amobi Airport Music For Black Folk

Richmond based producer, designer and NON co-founder Chino Amobi has a unique style of producing that deviates most notably from conventional club music. Chino Amobi’s music isn’t there to make you dance and feel good about yourself. That is precisely part of the story that Amobi – as I understand him from interviews and from my personal interpretation – wants to convey with his music: resisting the exploitation of black music for the entertainment of the privileged, de-stereotyping black music and reclaiming it as a tool to express the reality of the black experience. Airport music is not much different. Brian Eno’s iconic experiment using hypnagogic soundscapes to transform the dull, hasty terminal into a serene and thoughtful environment has brought ubiquitous soothening background music to airports, most of which based on jazz and soul.

Amobi radically reverts the perspective. With trunkated, looped pieces of recognisable elements, unpredictibly interjected by menacing sounds and vocal messages, he exposes rather than dissolves the chaotic, tense atmosphere of the airport and its post 9/11 obsession with security and threat. The way Amobi manages to capture the intimidating unrest not of being in danger but of being looked at as the potential danger, an experience that can make air travelling an alienating activity for black folk, is an esquisite achievement of translating complex emotion into sound. And that makes him, in my opinion, one of the greatest composers of all time, on par with the eternal masters of blues, jazz and classical music.

‘Airport Music For Black Folk’ has been recorded in Berlin and was inspired by Amobi’s European tour, resulting in five tracks named after the cities and airports he visited. The elements used in the tracks overlap and the album is most fully appreciated when listened as a whole.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

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4. Los Innsurgentes La Maldad EP

The Apodaca based duo Los Innsurgentes announced their dark flavoured 3ball bass EP ‘La Maldad’ more than a year ago but ever since, they went virtually silent until the point that even I, first hour fan of Los Innsurgentes, no longer expected it ever to be released. When listening to the EP, it is good to keep in mind that these are actually old tracks, probably finished and released long after they were first created. I was personally amazed how archaic, even nostalgic it sounds, to hear such an experimental use of growl bass synths. ‘La Maldad’ truly feels like a time glitch directly out of the now almost forgotten golden age of global bass, with producers like Caballo, when this formula of percussion with growls ruled supreme. The tense, mysterious atmosphere, especially in tracks like  ‘Base Frapp Cafe’ and ‘Litros de Sangre’ goes back to an even older root of Mexican electronic music: ruidosón.

Apodaca is a suburb of Monterrey, where the US-Mexican border region begins. The outburst of creativity, from Nortec to NAAFI, that made Mexico one of the most innovative places in the world for music over the last decade, is inextricably connected to the socio-cultural and political reality of that border and the American War on Drugs with all its evil (‘Maldad’), death and destruction it has created. Whether this is a second beginning for the duo or rather a goodbye present before leaving entirely, this anachronous EP sends a message that the Mexican electronic underground, 3ball in particular, needs to wake up once again.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

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5. Kid Antoine Bodypaint (Her Records)

The track ‘Bodypaint’ by the Copenhagen based producer Kid Antoine is already an excitement in the club underground and got a shoutout from us recently as well in our summer festival bangers post. But beyond the track, the EP of which it is part, containing another original production, ‘Flood Control’ and a remix of ‘Bodypaint’ by Florentino, can’t possibly be absent in a selection of essential releases. Presenting the ethereal, futuristic vibes of the avante-garde club movement in an accessible way, perfectly combining with a wide variety of genres and sounds is becoming his immediately recognisable signature. He did that already on his debut EP ‘Proximity‘ a year ago and ‘Bodypaint EP’, which contains even more energetic drive, is the perfect follow up, again released on MM‘s label HER Records. On top of Kid Antoine’s already baile funk & dancehall inspired & jersey club inspired polyrhythmic beats, Florentino adds even more pumping, almost moombahtonesque dembow. If there must be any best example of ‘the sound of 2016’, where the flavours of avant-garde club will reign far beyond the avant-garde, trickling up into everything, ‘Bodypaint EP’ is all you need.

>> BUY HERE <<

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6. y y y Last Breath

I’d already been following this enigmatic avant-garde project from London for a while when I noticed how unique their work actually is and how solid their following. Scene-wise, they seem to come from the cloud/silk/vapor trap side, but in the grey zone between this section of the post-internet underground and the avant-garde club movement, which are often still worlds apart despite of the extensive overlap in aesthetics. Sound-wise they even smoothly blend in influences from genres like witch house or futurebeats. In the Soundcloud followers list too, I see all the imortant avant-garde club names popping up, which makes me wonder why we at Generation Bass have been sleeping on this all the time.

‘II’ is a unique, emotionally gripping EP with powerful sounds that, if anything, sound like a more less industrial version of the radical alchemy of WWWINGS. Officially it was set for release on the 25th of March, but so far the only thing I can find of it online is this folder without a buy or download link. If anyone knows their bandcamp, let us know via our facebook page. For the time being you can grab their equally impressive previous work, ‘[] EP’ HERE for free.

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7. Wolf & Witnessing Acapulco (_WDIS)

‘Acapulco’ is the intriguing product of a collaboration between the better known Infinite Machine curator, Wolf, and experimental futurist Witnessing, both based in Montreal, sharing Latin American heritage and personal friends of each other. They decided to explore their roots in the context of the critical reflections on the future which both of them usually focus on in their creative work. The track is a stunningly thoughtful, introspective as well as vibrantly expressive ambient-dembow-club tune. The catchy melodic work slightly resembles Kid Antoine, but with the viscous smoothness scorched away by a combination of the gothic heaviness of y y y and the raw chaoticism of Los Innsurgentes. Together with KABLAM‘s uptempo skeletal remix it makes a mini-EP which was released already two months ago on the Berlin based avant-garde label _WDIS.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

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8. MHYSA Hivemind EP (NON)

A third NON WORLDWIDE release that can’t possibly be missing from any essential releases list is MHYSA’s ‘HIVEMIND EP’. E. Jane a.k.a MHYSA, a.k.a. E. The Avatar and one half of the performance & sound duo SCRAAATCH, is a multi-talented musician, visual artist, poet, critical internet theorist, activist and futurist from Philadelphia whose work is an interrelated patchwork of visions for the future of Blackness and queerness in a high technological world. With a combination of music, designs, performance and more, she exposes and radically rejects the ongoing systemic colonialist, racist and patriarchical oppression structurally built into the technology shaping the world. Like Chino Amobi’s has shown for airports, control, exploitation and exploration are persisting, white-colonial dreams that have shaped the internet to such extent that its language, assumptions and default structures produce an othering and agressive universe. Her resistance is itself cybernetic, embracing, bending and using rather than rejecting technology in order to create new, radically independent futures for Blackness and queerness to flourish.

‘Hivemind EP’ addresses the existential nature of social media as a networked space and the way it visualises the workings of collective consciousness, power relations and the impact of art and social change. With six stunning, thoughtful experimental ambient tracks she paints panoramas of and lays the cornerstone for her Utopian visions, for and by Black women. Two tracks are co-produced with teammate plus_c under their joint project SCRAAATCH, and another one together with Generation Bass favourite DJ Haram.

>> BUY HERE <<

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9. Compilation Japan Edition (Club Late Music)

Club Late Music is an exciting, relatively new, globe-spanning collective & label curated by 100% HALAL (Frankfurt), AZN Girl (Brussels), Bubbles (London), Dragon UMA (Yachiyo), Ideal Corpus (Marseille), Michel Ours (Paris), Prince Lucien (London) and T/B/O (Los Angeles). Their musical focus ingeniously connects the world of avant-garde club to the euphoric and kawaii flavoured sounds of retro-rave and nightcore – a combination that we will definitely see more in 2016. Earlier releases like the ‘Summer Hits Compilation‘ and their mixtape series have our radar unfortunately. But ‘Compilation Japan Edition’ is a perfect, much more diverse follow up that shows even more pronouncedly the forward looking direction in which this blend of music is paving the way for new developments this year and beyond. It probably got its name after the download-for-free-entrance promo for the club night at Lounge Neo in Tokyo, already three months ago. In the run-up to this party, it used to be downloadable via this interview on the Japanese music & culture webmagazine Public Rhythm, but the link is now broken. We’ll keep you updated about future releases!

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10. Abu AMA Riad Noir (hexx 9 Records)

Finally the debut album of Abu AMA, the producer whose absence of support from our blog for so long still puts me to shame. I recently called his unique ‘ArabXo’ sound, blending Middle Eastern music with tarraxo and mesmerising experimental dub, the most Generation Bass sound ever. But even more importantly, his engagement with Middle Eastern culture is far from a gimmick, either exoticising or demonising Arabic culture. Quite the opposite, his strong political message, weaven continuously into the titles as well as the compositions, is an incisive denouncement of the demonisation and fearmongering depiction of the Middle East, refugees and muslims in Western media and culture and a passionate cry for end to the vicious geopolitical destruction of the region. This is significant, especially considering the producer’s embedding in the dark ambient music scene, a world where harmful, othering exploitation of the fears from our collective prejudices can still be bread and butter.

‘Riad Noir’ (‘Black Garden’) contains 10 delicately produced tracks that show the full breadth and depth of Abu AMA’s style, released back in January broad multi-genre dark underground label hexx 9 Records, also home to a number of essential producers from the ‘new dark underground’ like Volkanos or Bedtime Stories.

>> BUY HERE <<

CHUCK UPBEAT: ORIENTAL BASS [ALBUM]

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Chuck Upbeat`s Far Eastern fascination continues! Now he unleashed a full album – a must if you like Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese or Korean traditional music, all wrapped in global bass vybez. A must even if you don`t. Check out why:

 

 

That`s what he said about the release:

“Welcome to the gorgeous world of Oriental sounds!

Oriental music is a true fire! If you have never tried this before, go and listen to it! It started from Howie Lee and his Chinese Beats and followed by many producers from all over Far East. And right now my own production.

8 tracks consisting of sounds from China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea. Incredible, gorgeous, fresh and absolutely sick sound, you’ve got to have balls to play this shit in clubs!

This is my style of Oriental Bass music, no compromises, no fake, just real sound coming from the culture – Gagaku, Pansori, Xam, Xian music and what not!”

Bored Lord… The Global Artist.

Bored Lord is part of Rare Nnudes, a digital collective that includes fellow cyber artists BastienGOAT, minivan_markus, and p l a i n t e x t. Their Bampcamp contains some truly ace releases by a variety of Internet musicians, and true to the vaporwave/seapunk form, it’s strewn with as many Japanese characters as English ones. The collective’s two slogans are “birthed from the Internet’s mainframe” and “transcendent digital shamanism,” which I think says a lot while meaning nothing at all.

http://rarennudes.bandcamp.com/

Orange boy after firing it, will Crash It!

 

crash it capa 6

While 80% of producers still follow the ‘way of success’ from other producers, I found Orange Boy, a brazilian guy from Goias – Middle West from Brazil. He is enjoying metallics-synths with dancing beats, walking from twerk to moombahton and remixing tracks from his childhood, as music by Michael Jackson.
He Has a good hand to synths and remixes. I spoke with him to understand why he is releasing his second EP, Crash It, only with remixes, since the first EP – Fire It, there was only originals.

The EP will be available to download on Friday – 18/march – but Orange boy mixed all 8 remixes in this mini-mix. He also said me, that who download the EP will receive a bônus remix and a unreleased remix from Sigma! So take attention to don’t lose it on Bandcamp (free download in exchange to your email).

– Who is the Orange Boy?

Pure fire, anger and restlessness.
– How did the idea of the EP of remixes ‘Crash It‘?

Man, I love remix. I love reworks, mashups and edits. This is the soul of electronic music. I made many remixes and saw that some I had already ready made. So I wanted to bring something new to the scene with my music remixes and I’d like to hear this kind of music in the club and, damn, how I like to hear. So I took the opportunity to explore many styles that I enjoy in the Bass music with this EP.

– What can we expect from the Orange Boy in the future?

Man….A lot of thing! I have a side project ‘underground’ to come out soon, and my 3rd EP is already in half. My mother said it would be loud as well as being only original. And other things too early to tell. For now, I’m just enjoying this crazy politic tense atmosphere in my the country.

 

Presskit 1

 

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Essential EP’s #10

EssentialEPs10

So far 2016 has continued the powerful, lively music spirit of the second half of 2015, delivering just as much if not more fantastic releases in a short time. The avant-garde club movement is still leading the transformation of the music landscape, which now seems to be slowly moving out of its chaotic singularity and slowly solidifying into a new configuration. Some shift can be witnessed already:

1.) the increasing rise to high fame of the avant-garde club movements and its most orominent artists, not in a ‘commercial dance’ way but rather as a form of high art and culture, joining, like the jazz movement, the canon of classical music (Sonic Acts Academy more or less takes this approach)

2.) an ever closer approach of the old global bass approach towards the avant-garde club sound (ATODAMADRE‘s remix pack testifies of this and there are many more examples)

3.) the club underground is not only fusing with global bass, but also increasingly with the (excuse my problematic term use) “post-internet” underground, particularly its recent wave of nightcore, kawaii retro-rave and fascination with non-ironic kitchy angelic aesthetics, thereby moving away from the more dark neo-cyberpunk flavoured flavours (these three directions are then yet joined all together most prominently by visionary duo Ideal Corpus who have pioneered this unique combination of styles ever since they started back in the days)

Does this essential selection reflect all of these shifts adequately? No. Yet they are so fundamental that I had to spread out a clearer picture of the developments of the beginning of this year over two episodes. Wait for the next one, it’s coming up soon!

1. Moro SAN BENITO (NON)

The Argentinian conservatory musician Moro’s masterpiece San Benito is by far the most essential release to have come out in the first months of the year for many reasons, but foremostly because he is the first (as far as I know) Latin American artist to have released on the NON label. This is a milestone not that many people might realise. NON’s mission is to unearth the treasures of pan-African identity and heritage from centuries of colonial oppression and erasure. Nowhere is this erasure and mental colonalism more refinedly vicious and hidden than in Latin America. Argentina in particular. Some Latin American countries, Brazil in particular, have a clear longstanding and long celebrated African heritage, which even there is still ridden with anti-blackness shame and internalised white supremacy. Yet in Argentina however, the once considerable afro-descendant population it once had, along with its cultural heritage, has been systematically dilluted and obscured upon the 20th century waves of European immigration, a largely forgotten history even inside Argentina.

SAN BENITO is exemplary of the awakening of the African heritage and black identity in Latin America, which has never gotten the deserved recognition as an essential pillar of Latin culture as indigenous heritage has. The productions forcefully rub away the thick layers of Europeanisation that have rendered the African origins of Argentinian folk music, tango in particular, unrecognisable. The skeletal, industrial rhythms, powerful water sounds, screams and ambient pads create an atmosphere of cosmic tension. The legacy of generations of oppression and injustice, gathered into an oceanic reservoir of resistance, beating against the fortified coast of the dominant, colonial privileges in cultural consciousness, not only in Argentina but everywhere.

>> PURCHASE <<

2. Endgame Savage EP (Purple Tape Pedigree)

London underground OG Endgame is one of my most personally underrated favourites in terms of blog support. His style, holding the perfectly balanced middle between dembow or tarraxo rhythms and melodic grime as well as between dancable club or rave music with music and music to be consumed as a conceptual artistic experience. Savage EP is his newest EP, released last month by the influential avant-garde club label & platform Purple Tape Pedigree, which has also released work by other important club producers such as Joey la Beija, Eaves or MM.

Most tracks on the EP are ‘riddims’, whether that is a symbolic reference the shared Jamaican heritage of both reggaeton and grime or an invitation to bridge the culture of track-centred club culture with the MC-based culture of dancehall is left to guess. But music wise it certainly does both at the same time. Endgame captures the energy of both afro-Latin urban styles and London’s basement futurism with a delicate sound that is equally capable of standing on its own as it could would be perfect beats for dancehall, reggaeton or rap artists to complete with vocals.

>> BUY HERE <<

3. uv ac unverified ep

I’ve known uv ac, short for unverified account, only since Ideal Corpus‘ online streaming event ‘c a r e‘ which I visited recently. It was a fascinating experience, especially because it was held not in a youtube-sharing platform like the URL FUTUREFEST, but in a Tinychat video chatroom, where the artists performed live on webcam, varying between DJ’ing, livesets, live MC’ing and live dance performances. uv ac is a perfect example of a whole new upcoming movement of artists – of which Kamixlo’s brother Uli-K is one of the most prominent – who not only combine and reinterpret a wide number of genres, but use these sounds to create whole new vocal songs. This pushing the disappearance of the divide between track based electronic/club music and vocal music beyond the realm of hiphop and grime, which is a very exciting development. Next to that, this movement differs from the main trend in the avant-garde club scene of using dystopian, ethereal cyber-futuristic imagery, going instead for a sound and aesthetics reflecting non-ironic ‘kitschy’ angelic cuteness and emo-romanticism, fused with the nostalgic smoothness of mid 00’s RnB and zouk. This style will definitely grow bigger this year and we at Generation Bass are already feeling it.

I must confess that I wasn’t able to watch the entire event all the time and I missed uv ac’s performance so to my shame I have no idea yet who is behind this account. I will get more information soon!

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

4. #INTERNETISFAMILY (GoldenHall Records)

This compilation has been out for a while already but unfortunately, I haven’t had the occasion yet to blog it so far. GoldenHall Records is a relatively new label & collective focusing on juke, future bass and avant-garde club music in Europe. After releasing a number of individual singles over the last year, #INTERNETISFAMILY is their first compilation pack, with 11 diverse tracks in different flavours including juke, grime, baltimore club, jersey club, post-trap and anything in between. As Generation Bass we’ve always been enthousiastic about bringing different underground flavours and genres together and collectives like this are a good example of how scenes joining forces together like a family will likely reach ever wider audiences in the near future, URL as well as IRL.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

5. #weirdkids 003 (#weirdkids)

#weirdkids is another cross-scene underground initiative but rather focusing on accessibility, they go for the most boundary crossing extravangance and creativity. Last week, they released their third compilation with 19 wildly experimental, futuristic club tracks that range between hardcore-juke, ambient trap, post-vaporwave, kawaii club, witch-grime, deconstructed dream-trance and more. It wouldn’t do justice to specifically spotligth specific artists or tracks because they’re all equally groundbreaking. Keep expecting more from #weirdkids.. we at Generation Bass are a fan!

>> BUY HERE <<

6. Mermaid Comp Vol.2 (HTS)

HTS, acronym for Handle The Sound, is a Lille based label curated by Classical Trax family member Juliette Boos. The label has been active for over three years now, but after a short series of sporadic single releases, came to full force with the first volume of Mermaid Compilation. In continuation of the first edition, Vol.2 brings 10 diverse, expressive club tracks again, with influences from juke, ambient grime, baltimore club, dembow, future tarraxo and more. Less future-beats flavoured melodic maximalism this time and more stomping drums and conceptual ambient filling. What makes this compilation especially essential, next to the music in itself, is that it shows the extent to which all kinds of flavours and sounds have firmly become part of the repertoire of club music as a new umbrella.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

7. D-DOTs FAYA EP

Then now a major shoutout to two producers who are pioneering the middle ground between the sound of the avant-garde club movement and old ‘global bass’. D-DOTs from London, whom we featured frequently before, is the first I want to spotlight. His soundcloud and previous releases record shows his musical background in genres like moombahton, kuduro, zouk bass and jungle terror. With Faya EP, he takes a new direction, focusing less on EDM-esque buildups, drops and ‘crazy laser synths’, and more on the rhythms themselves. These are not as skeletal and mechanical as with most club producers yet but they definitely have a much more grungy club vibe about them than most of global bass’ persistent tendency to wrap the beats into fruity, pseudo-Caribbean always-summer-fantasy flavours. This is definitely an exciting development if any movement of bridging the two worlds might emerge, we’d be stoked to assist. As for ‘Faya’, I don’t know if there’s a relation with the Surinamese word ‘faya’, which can mean ‘fire’ as well as ‘fucked up’, in any possible interpretation for each, or if it means something else. I’d be curious to know…

>> DOWNLOAD <<

8. Kid Cala TECHBOW

The other, even clearer example is Kid Cala from Madrid. We first found out about his music via a Caballito project already three years ago, featuring a very early zouk-bass/lento track, which was even before my time as a blogger. Ever since, he has pushed a diverse, never conforming spectrum of sounds, some more or less following trends in global bass, while others staying closer to the roots in dominican dembow, reggaeton or the hiphop side of trap. Even more interestingly, he also never persistently conformed to popular formulaic aesthetics going around in the wider global bass world as, ‘cartoonesque exotisation & objectification of ass’, ‘colourful fruits & jungle animals’, ‘hipster babes’, ‘aztec astronauts’ and so on. Instead, by varying different things and developing a unique style he comes very close to the Dutch ‘urban-eclectic’ approach to sounds like moombahton. I realise only now that he never got the recognition for that here on the blog.

Already with his previous EP, ‘Damnbow‘ (which we slept on..), he decided to push his passion for doing something unique into new territory by drawing in flavours from grime, dark trap, chicago drill, King Doudou-esque future reggaeton and avant-garde club music. This line is continued in his freshest release, a bootleg pack of classic tunes from the early heydays of techno and trance, recontextualised with energetic rhythmical flavours of dominican dembow, bubbling, jersey club and trap.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD << (>> DAMNBOW <<)

9. Halp Polar (Golden Mist Records)

I recently found out that I happen to have plenty of IRL common friends with Halp, an upcoming experimental ambient producer from Amsterdam whom I still haven’t had the occasion yet to meet in person. I found out about him both via the Classical Trax community and especially via his exciting ‘Untitled Piano Tune‘ contribution to Oracles’ Divination II compilation, supported in our 8th Essential EP’s edition. While his previous album ‘~~~‘ – released by the American label NOREMIXES under his other artist project Dow Jones Brotherhood – already incorporated lots of grime and club influences blended into a largely a-rhythmical ambient-noise environment, with Polar, he fully dedicated himself to the characteristic fusion of dystopian-futuristic grime melodies and stomping mechanical, decontructed club beats. Especially from a producer point of view, Halp is certainly one of the few lead representatives of the current wave of avant-garde club music and now this world is opening up in this country right now as we speak, we will certainly hear more from him this year.

>> BUY HERE << (also >> GRAB HIS FREE EP << produced together with Brooklyn producer Copout)

https://soundcloud.com/goldenmist/sets/halp-polar-gmr002

10. SATURATED VOL. 5 (Saturaterecords)

For a long time, the common expectations were that futurebeats, the maximalistic, melodic & crispy next generation of bass music, would be the uncontested successor umbrella of EDM. But, as with many predictions, it didn’t happen that way. Yet, futurebeats nevertheless managed to become and stay a stong, interconnected semi-underground scene of artists with diverse approaches and sounds. It is therefore even the more interesting how futurebeats is developing now, as the avant-garde club scene is gaining influence and the notion of ‘club music’ is now taking on the designated role of the new umbrella for electronic music. One of the most prominent similarities is the influence of grime on both movements. Grime occupies a peculiar place in the family tree of ‘UK-bass’ music, not entirely hiphop, not ‘dance music’ such as the way in which dubstep evolved when becoming ‘incorporated’ into the umbrella of EDM. It might be grime’s background as an MC-centred genre which has created a certain minimalism, which is one of the main refreshing style-breaks in sound of today, compared to ‘bass music’s American interpretation focused on loud and crazy low-frequency textures. Maximalism vs. minimalism is still an important difference between the sound of future beats and avant-garde club, but the difference is becoming smaller.

The experimental futurebeats label Saturaterecords is always the best indicator of how things will develop in the near future. Grime is one of the main flavours on the enormous compilation and among its 31 tracks, there are already several who would fit equally well on more club-oriented fusion labels such as GoldenHall, #weirdkids or HTS. Also interesting is the compilation’s step towards the psychedelic side of bass music, especially in the visual design, paving the way for two new directions at the same time, while staying accessible for a broad audience.

BANGANAGANGBANGERS‘ mixtape dedicated to the release

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<