Essential EP’s #13

More than 2 full months into 2k17 now and there are still tons of essential releases that cannot be left unblogged on Generation Bass. The stuff that has come out in the last months of 2k16 belong to the year’s best releases and give most insight in where stuff will move towards from now. See this much belated post as a springboard into the music landscape that is taking shape right now.

1. Abyss X Nüshu (Infinite Machine)

Abyss X is my favourite artist at the moment and opening the Pantropical night in Rotterdam with her on the lineup has been the best experience of the year so far. Her intense, confrontational and consciously disorienting approach to music has resulted in two equally groundbreaking releases in 2016. The first, ‘Mouthed‘ was released by last year’s tone setter, Rabit‘s Halcyon Veil, followed about a month later by ‘Nüshu’, on the forward looking Mexican-Canadian label Infinite Machine. In a way only parallelled by Elysia Crampton and very few others, Abyss X evokes a very unique spectrum of emotions and experiences. By fusing elements from ambient, techno, traditional folk, industrial, noise, metal and opera as well as pop references and afro-Latin bass rhythms, she shows a peek into a future after the wave of cybernetic and deconstructed club music as we know it. In this respect, she is definitely one of the most important artists to watch this year.

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2. Rui Ho Ru Meng Ling (Genome 6.66 Mbp)

Involved in the Dutch vogue scene as well as in Shanghai’s budding club underground around pioneer tastemaker Tavi Lee (who also made the design) and Berlin Community Radio’s Incubator programme, the Berlin based Chinese producer RUI HO is a known name in many cornerst of the music world. Ru Meng Ling is their first release on the Shanghai based Genome 6.66 Mbp label. ‘Ru Meng Ling’, based on a poem by the influential female Chinese poet Li Qingzhao, articulates non-binary identity in the context of the internet, virtual identity building and Chinese cultural heritage with an energetic blend of distorted polyrhythmic beats, bell percussion and a cyberpunk flavoured high octane drive. Tho complete the EP, Why Be delivers an even rougher remix that zooms in on all the individual elements of the original like a magnifying glass and twists them into a psychedelic, intensified experience.

>> FREE DL <<

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3. TRENDY PACK 1 (TRENDY DECAY)

When this compilation first appeared on my Soundcloud feed, I’d never heard of TRENDY DECAY, a collective created by LUNARIOS, RULES & BOY. Unfortunately, because they’ve been active for a while now, bringing a unique blend of dark, emotional RnB melodies and vocals, deconstructed afro-Latin club rhythms and powerful black metal & gothic aesthetics. Closely involved with the Bala Club crew, where LUNARIOS released the mighty ‘ENTRA EP‘ (another essential release we slept on), this compilation brings together some of the most on point producers of this moment, including Merca Bae, Kamixlo, WWWINGS, Swan Meat, Coucou Chloe and Santa Muerte. Even though they are involved in the new wave club movement and are making deconstructed hybrids of some sort, the sound explored here 1 is notably distinct from the cybernetic club formula. TRENDY PACK 1 sounds like the first in a row of compilations, which I’m convinced will guide the way into the sound of 2k17.

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4. Eaves Verloren (PTP)

One of the most intriguing developments that have occurred in the avant-garde of the new wave club movement is that not just the boundaries between individual genres have become fluid, or the boundaries between umbrella categories such as ‘electronic’, ‘club’ or ‘experimental’ music, but even the boundaries between the ultimate decried conservatory binary of ‘light music’ and ‘modern classical music’. This scene has been bringing together sounds from worldwide local club undergrounds or from bedroom rappers and producers, to be experienced in clubs or via cellphone speakers, with conceptual, experimental audio art, suitable for classical concert halls. This materialisation of Adam Harper’s vision outlined in his fundamental work ‘Infinite Music: Imagining the Next Milennium of Human Music Making‘ has confronted us as a blog with a number of fundamental questions. What are the criteria we use to select music? What is the meaning of terms such as ‘club’, ‘bass’, ‘dance’, ‘global’ etc.? Isn’t finding our way through our existence in the context of accelerating technology and the corresponding social, political and cultural circumstances not what binds music together across all the different areas where music is being pushed forward?

Strikingly, Eaves’ background reflection to his album, or in fact, full blown classical concert piece –  “if reality mimics our ominous, fictional projections of the future, it’s clear that our current systems aren’t resisting as much as they should be” – comes strikingly close to the description of my own mixtape, published almost two years ago now. Apparently, the line from underground dance music expressions from different corners of the world, cybernetic club deconstruction and conceptual sound compositions destined to shake up the modern-classical world is a very obvious one. This is strikingly visible in Eaves’ own work. While conceptual and experimental from the start, it leaned towards clubbier vibes on the EP ‘HUE‘, moving a more into more abstract territory on ‘GORILLA‘ while reaching full abstract epiphany with ‘Verloren’. ‘Verloren’ (German/Dutch for ‘Lost’) is an overwhelming, emotionally exhausting journey that moves through desolate, ruined worlds, painted with layers of wide ambient scapes, fragile melodies, menacing bass sounds, explosive abstract beats, haunting vocal samples and transcendental choir chants. Together with the work of musicians like Chino Amobi or Elysia Crampton, I am convinced that ‘Verloren’ will be looked back at as the most essential music created in our times.

>> BUY HERE <<

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5. Swan Meat Bounty (PERMALINK)

Like Eaves, many more producers are on the same road of experimental club abstraction and cyber deconstruction towards conceptual sound art, each in their own way. Swan Meat is one of the most promising examples. It is remarkable how quickly, and seemingly out of the blue, new talents can appear into view. When I heard her set at c a r e #4 I was completely overwhelmed. Her relentless, complex blend of menacing atmospheres, warped pop references, poetic vocals straight out of the uncanny valley, abstract hardcore inspired beats, and the raging energy of metal, keeps intriguing, constantly switching between minimalism and maximalism, abstraction and rhythmical groove.

After a number of promising mixtapes and tracks on compilations for platforms including Classical Trax‘ side-label  JEROME, Shanghai’s Genome 6.66 Mbp and the activist initiative Co-Op, Bounty is her official debut, released via the Paris based avant-garde multimedia platform Permalink and premiered via Thump. She told Thump, about the background leading up to the EP. ‘Bounty’, which deals with issues of embodyment, is the condensation of the alternate forms of embodyment in poetry and sound that helped the producer climb out of her struggle with bulimia nervosa. Her characteristic sound, created with self-build plugins and game samples, is accompanied by a gripping design from the Hungarian forward looking art genius Gergö Kovacs.

>> BUY HERE <<

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6. Superfície Hélices (SALVIATEK)

The Uruguayan SALVIATEK label, started by Lechuga Zafiro & Pobvio, keeps occupying a peculiar space on the map of interconnected music scenes. They are operating mostly in the corner of the new wave club avant-garde, yet their sound is refreshingly different than most of what’s going around in that scene. The rhythmical structures are percussive, less abstract polyrhythms and seem much more focused on reinterpreting indigenous and Afro-Uruguayan heritage than on deconstruction and abstraction. Yet, where the South American part of the old global bass movement, think about labels as ZZK or Frente Bolivarista, is commonly characterised by a romantic representation of nature and ancestrality, reflected in organically flavoured (pseudo)acoustic sounds, SALVIATEK is the exact opposite. Somewhat resembling the philosophies of Eco Futurism Corp or Xenopunk, SALVIATEK’s vision is about breaking down the binary between nature and technology. In their own words:

“What happens when an AI learns from nature and decides to imitate it in order to survive? In a probable future, the limit between nature and technology is no longer definable. CPU’s control the jungle, birds are cameras and roots are circuits. The world has been taken by the technologic jungle and this system dominate all other species, including humans. By night, when the Salviatek flows in the techno-organisms and metallic chlorophyl does the audio-synthesis, the survivors dance to this biorhythms from their underground hiding.”

‘Hélices’ is the debut of SALVIATEK’s freshest addition, the Brazilian avant-garde producer Superfície, whose minimalistic, percussive ambient style is created from abstracted rhythmical structures of genres like baile funk, vogue and dembow. With these elements, ‘Hélices’ paints conceptual, sci-fi ambiances that bring to mind images of complex, artificial lifeforms, digitised indigenous knowledge and the diffusion of high-tech beyond the asphalted road network. The EP is completed by two more energetic, club-ready remixes by foozool and umurmurum.

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7. Bison & Squareffekt Distant Planets (Rimas e Batidas)

Last month, the ‘future tarraxo‘ microgenre tured 3 years of age. Evolving mainly out of Bison‘s mellow, melodic approach to the tarraxinha genre, it took off full force with ‘Odyssey of the Mind‘, in my view the best thing ever released on our own Generation Bass label, where Bison teamed up with Miguel Afonso a.k.a. Squareffekt. It would be the beginning of a successful formula, pushed by influential platforms like Enchufada, Thump and Boiler Room.

Coming out of a period of silence and reorientation, they are working on a substantial comeback this year, finding themselves in a thoroughly post-global bass world, where both sci-fi sounds and afrodiasporic rhythms reign supreme in both avant-garde and mainstream, but where most pre-2015-style microgenres have evaporated into the digital air. ‘Distant Planets’, casually referring to the frequent popular excitement about NASA’s discovery of new exoplanets, is their first release that is entirely uptempo. The 2-track mini-EP still carries the characteristic 80s space-age melancholy that made them unique, yet with a more energetic, even heavy undertone. ‘Cosmic Fellings’ is a destructive afrohouse track, keeping ambiguous whether ‘fellings’ refers to natural processes or to the ruination by humans or other intelligent civilisations. ‘Distant Planets’ is a Mexican-style 3ball tune that brings out the desolate dramatism and gripping coldness of outer space worlds. With astroid mining and a new space era gradually unfolding in the course of this century, I view the EP as a commentary on the issues of exploration and colonial destruction translated to the context of space travel. Political space music for the 21st century.

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8. Club Chai Vol. 1 (CLUB CHAI)

Club Chai is an Oakland based initiative by foozool and 8ULENTINA, with a recurring party and a show on London’s influential Radar Radio, focused on diasporic narratives, women and trans artists, DJs and producers. Their blend of mainly RnB, dancehall, club sounds in the broadest sense and non-Western pop and traditional music, pushed on the club nights and in the shows has now resulted into the first, exciting compilation that brings together artists from many different corners of the music scene, including Generation Bass’ cumbia favourite Turbo Sonidero, SALVIATEK’s Lechuga Zafiro, Manchester’s DJ Florentino and Bala Club affiliate Organ Tapes, alongside many other artists worth checking out, never before blogged on Generation Bass such as The Creatrix. Musically too, the spectrum covered on this compilation goes way beyond what’s usually seen in the club avant-garde, extending into salsa, techno and acoustic guitar songs. This refreshing diversity combined with cultural and political substance makes Club Chai a very important frontrunner for 2017.

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9. GIL Orchids & Wasps (Danse Noire)

I’ve been a fan of both GIL’s energetic dancehall, kizomba & dembow inflused club tracks and Aisha Devi‘s Danse Noire label, where I heard eye-opening dark flavoured experimental blends of abstract industrial, hardcore, grime & ambient for the first time. Coming from a sound that could come surprisingly close to global bass, GIL has notably moved towards darker experimental sound in his more recent productions. This exploration is now crowned with a release on Danse Noire. ‘Orchids and Wasps’ combines relentless distorted drums, noisy dystopian soundscapes and haunting vocal samples, with GIL’s passion for afro-latin club flavours and polyrhythms.

>> BUY HERE <<

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10. ZRD XX (Bio Future Laboratory)

I’ve been following Eco Futurism Corp for quite a while already, and even thoughI never came so far to blog any of it here on Generation Bass, I’m really stoked about ever more artists emerging from this movement such as Tropical Interface, SHYQA, HERBARIUM and now ZRDZM (ZRD) who debuted via Eco Futurism Corp subsidiary Bio Future Laboratory. Especially with the rise of cosmic horror aesthetics, this EP is fundamental. ‘XX’ touches upon many crucial aspects of today’s exponential age, from immortality and artificial life to high-energy experimental physics as well as the Lovecraftian horroresque awe that surround these matters. ZRDZM’s style is best placed in the conceptual sci-fi ambient corner, with long stretched soundscapes, thoroughly abstracted, suggestive rhythmical elements and lots of cinematic samples that construct a lively, almost interactive videogame-like experience. And the worlds painted are as dark, alienating and overwhelming as the future we may have ahead.

>> FREE DL <<

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11. OO-B ÁFRICA, ENCANTADA

Together with Abyss X, the Montpellier based producer OO-B is one of the most unique artists I’ve got to know lately. A producer and rapper with a background in grime, he stands out, both sound-wise and aesthetically, from most of what’s going on in the scenes working with forward-looking club and bass music. Where most of his older work is clearly grime, with ‘África, encantada’ (Spanish for: “Africa, nice to meet you” as well as “enchanted Africa”), he moves into experimental club & music, which seems to draw from genres including grime, vogue, afrohouse, kizomba, deep ambient, new wave club and hiphop, yet it doesn’t sound at all like the sounds going around in either the new wave club or the global bass related scenes. The sound is melodic, melancholic, percussive and somewhat mysterious, yet fascinatingly uncategorisable on any possible level. With this self-released EP, OO-B shows that it is still possible to make music independently of dominant movements, approaches and formulas.

>> FREE DL VIA SOUNDCLOUD <<

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12. Katasonix (0)

From the depths of the internet, where meme charming chaos magicians and occult cyber clairvoyants are initiated in the secret principles behind the forces that govern our information based reality, hails the enigmatic soundcloud channel Katasonix, named after Kode9‘s first label name. The Kode9 reference goes further, especially his involvement with the with Nick Land’s mysterious Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, as the title names are all drawn from ccru’s Pandemonium.

The tracks themselves are complex patterns, constructed from analog synth recordings, that sound like a language. They leave the gut feeling that they carry a hidden message to decipher. I leave the interpretation to the listener. Yet I am convinced that this whole new way of treating patterns in sound, free from intuitively human ways of processing music, while intriguing enough to listen and enjoy, will open many new oportunities for music making in the near future.

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Generation Bass Presents: GBMIX#11! Wu

golddwu-lordofdarkworldrender

At the end of a musically confused 2016, which saw the evaporation of online aesthetic and sound hypes, our attention is shifting from avant-garde pioneers, to people who are experimenting with new ways to build more solid, multi-genre scenes and concepts IRL, independently from the accelerating pressure of net-trends. Wu, from Rotterdam, is of that category. He pushes his eclectic blend of club and bass genres as a formula for darker dancefloors. In this sense, he fits the broader movement of developing multi-genre club scenes that has been a continuous engine for innovation for about a decade, from GHE20G0T1K to Swing Ting to Endless. The exciting thing is that the final outcome of such initiatives, can be quite different in each individual case, and the central starting points to build on can vary from genres as diverse as techno, grime, hiphop, dancehall or even experimental stuff like noise or algorave.

In this energetic mix, Wu shows the potential of the growing interest in grime, UK club and vogue/balroom sounds as a starting point for a vivid, multi-genre club underground.

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Liquorish Records – V.A. Riddim All Stars (Compilation)

riddim-all-stars

Liquorish Records is a forward looking label, curated by DJ and scene builder Oomboi Lauw, who is always a step ahead in signalling what is missing in the music scene, globally but especially in the home city of Amsterdam. Initially this started with creating an outlet for the unique, grime inspired twist on footwork by the Surinamese producer J(ay).A.D. This love for uniqueness and boundary pushing club and bass has grown into an impressive series of EPs and compilations where Amsterdam based talents like J(ay).A.D and Noam Kamal appear alongside international artists from a broad spectrum of scenes and genres.

Usually focused on the higher BPM range, Riddim All Stars dives into the dancehall roots of contemporary club music, with half-time downtempo and mid-tempo riddims that freely blend tresillo patterns with double-time percussive filling and a wide variety of synths and atmospheric effects. Also exciting about this compilation, on the brink of 2017, are the different music scenes and genres from which it brings contributors together. There is ‘avant-garde club’ producer Zgjim from the Angry Youth collective, as well as barefoot pioneer and global bass OG Stereotyp (vienna), Generation Bass afiliated footwork producer Sarantis, dancehall minded UK club innovator Cardinal Sound and dub junglist SeekersInternational and more, all on the same compilation.

I had the honour to spin some tunes together with Zgjim, Zoltan J(ay).A.D and C_DR_C on the release party in Amsterdam last week and especially the brooding, budding scene energy made me realise that if there is any release that gives me a positive insight in the new directions music can take in 2017, it is definitely this one!

>> BUY HERE <<

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Tracklist:

  1. ZgjimRiddim
  2. StereotypWoi Riddim
  3. ZoltanDhl Riddim
  4. SarantisBash Version
  5. TS Repman$$$ Printer Riddim
  6. SeekersInternationalCausation Version
  7. C_DR_CU Don’t Know My Whereabouts
  8. J(ay).A.DNyan Riddim
  9. Cardinal SoundMarch Riddim

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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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Streamer – Walking with Camels Remixed [Free for 24 Hours Only]

WWC REMIXED FINAL

We return with Streamer and a Remix EP focusing on his “Walking with Camels” EP which we released last Christmas. We loved that EP so much that we just needed a follow up and what better way than to get a bunch of our favourite producers to put a twist on the EP.

The original Walking with Camels sounds like a precious, classic and unmissable (they don’t make it like they used to) 70s recording featuring some tracks in the tricky measures of 6/8 and 5/8.

In parts, the EP sounded like the lost Middle Eastern Jazz recordings of Idris Mohammed, Byrd and M Jarre jamming together on a modern electronic Psychedelic Orchestral Dub tip… a sonic, cinematic Desert Wave soundtrack for an imaginary movie yet to be made – soundcloud.com/generation-bass-1/sets/streamer-walking-with-camels

For the Remixes EP, this world was turned upside down and inside out, deconstructed and reconstructed for the club environment. Most of the remixers opted for Last Sacrifice as the track to remix. It is a track that gets under your skin and refuses to leave and there never seems to be enough of it, always leaving you yearning for more

The 12 tracks on the Ep/Album feature an array of genre styles from current hot fave Gqom (Gome) through to 80’s Synthwave, Grime, Tribal, Vogue/Ballroom, Techno, Wobble, Neuro Funk, DnB, Acid, Jungle and Skweee.

1. Streamer – Walking With Camels (Ballroom Version)

Streamer turns the EP Title track into a Vogue/Ballroom Bass blitz in the desert. Arab Ha! never sounded quite like this before demonstrating that Streamer is a true Master At Work!

2. Streamer – Last Sacrifice (Bandish Projekt Feat. Aishwarya Joshi)

Bandish Projekt created a spine-tingling remix of The Last Sacrifice featuring Hindi vocals on a 5/8 Dubstep excursion.

3. Streamer – Searching For Ketama (Gqom Burn Riddim)

For his first remix of Searching for Ketama (there are 3 in all), Streamer looked to South African Gqom (Gome) for this remix. Commercial and accessible and already supported by BBC Radio 1 and Toddla T amongst others.

4. Streamer – The Last Sacrifice (Insane Fennel Apocalypse Remix)

Insane Fennel added to the ritual and gave The Last Sacrifice an Apocalyptic Wall of Bass Re-rub. first premiered on the Mad Decent Blog.

5. Streamer – Midnight Express (Neuro Version)

Streamer, who it seems can turn his hand to almost any genre style and pull it off with aplomb, gave Midnight Express a Neuro-Funk, DnB, Jungle make-over turning it into something completely MAD!

6. Streamer -The Last Sacrifice (Sarantis Remix)

Sarantis turns The Last Sacrifice into a Grime epic.

7. Streamer – The Last Sacrifice

Sanmon transformed the sacrificial ritual into a Techno behemoth.

8. Streamer – Searching For Ketama (Golden Version)

Streamer’s 2nd remix of Searching for Ketama finds him giving it a Ketama Gold sheen with a harder hitting vibe, taking it way down to 80 BPM.

9. Streamer – The Last Sacrifice (Zhe Pechorin Remix)

Zhe Pechorin gives The Last Sacrifice a new deep-tribal, slow-grind make-over.

10. Streamer- Bedouin (Center Of The Universe Remix)

Our friend Centre of the Universe was bold enough to tackle Bedouin producing an other-worldly remix that sounds like we could have landed on the moon, way before Neil Armstrong did!

11. Streamer – Searching For Ketama (DesertWave Version)

For streamer’s 3rd and final version of Ketama, he covered an idea I had in my mind for a Bladerunner version in the form of a DesertWave remix harking back to 80’s Synthwave sensibilities.

12. Streamer- Midnight Express (Drvg Cvltvre’s Acid Kool Aid Mix)

We close this Ep/Album with Drvg Cvltvre tapping into early Pink Floyd for inspiration combined with his affinity for Acid and he teases us with a slow bulding mellow monster.

ARTWORK:
Steve Green

STREAMER
@streamer

BANDISH PROJEKT
@bandishprojekt

INSANE FENNEL
@insane_fennel

SARANTIS
@sarantis1

SANMON
@sanmon-23

ZHE PECHORIN
@zhe-pechorin

CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE
@sissyfus

DRVG CVLTVRE
@drvgcvltvre

GBEP00071

Generation Bass Presents: GBMIX#9! César Ch

CesarCH

After a period of silence, GBMIX is full up and running again! Approaching the end of the first half of 2016, we’re back with a fresh mix by the Mexico City based futurist César Ch. A DJ and a reviewer for the Classical Trax platform, he embodies the ultimate fusion of the global bass scene and the avant-garde club movement, constantly seeking to weave together the original genres from all over the world such as batida, tarraxo, baile funk and Mexico’s own tribal prehispánico, with the glacial, mechanical & sounds of ambient grime, ballroom and mutant club music.

Tracklist:

Aïsha DeviMazda (Mind:Body:Fitness Remix)
SikuriDesorientado
ArcherRashomon (Salaam‘s Garage Flutes Remix)
SIM LVaporized
DJ BlackfoxMatumbo
DJ KodoNo Love Ha
Kush JonesDrum Track (Ha)
Clap FrecklesNuestra Raíz
TimukaNature With Attitude
Genes m8Oink
MM x La MaterialistaEl Rope Que Vibra (Astrosuka x Anakta Edit)
Dj BeBeDeRaBaile de Favela
MC DaviGrave Com Som (Imaabs Edit)
FollowbackThelema (Mark Luva Remix)
Flagalova9 PM (Wrack Remix)
Jeso ThamorietaR 6b
Total FreedomDown Actions, Low Key Childish Though
MC Bin LadenVirou (Mara Mura Club Edit)
Rushmore x Fatima Al QadiriMoment X (Victoria Kim‘s Kowloon Edit) [Snowy Beatz‘ Hainan Blend]
Hi Tom – Work VIP
Merca BaeJoJo&Me
MichellPierdo El Control
La FaviDime Si Es Verdad
Lil CrackAggressive Riddim
Erika KanyeLotic x CupcakkeHeterovagina
Retina SetAmeno Ha

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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 <<

THE LAST SACRIFICE – INSANE FENNEL APOCALYPSE REMIX

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A track from the forthcoming Epic Streamer “Walking with Camels” Ep/Album has just premiered on the Mad Decent website, go over there to check it out.

Insane Fennel gave The Last Sacrifice an Apocalyptic Wall of Bass Re-rub. There are a further 11 remixes to drop from producers from all over the world and this has been an exciting project and the results are pretty magnificent! The forthcoming EP/Album features an array of genre styles from current hot fave Gqom (Gome) through to 80’s Synthwave, Grime, Tribal, Vogue/Ballroom, Techno, Wobble, Neuro Funk, DnB, Acid, Jungle and Skweee.

You can check the original EP below and watch out for more news about the other remixes.

J(ay).A.D. gives a first glimpse of his new EP with this gripping emotional bass scorcher !

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The Amsterdam based Surinamese experimentalist Jay Raymann, a.k.a. J(ay).A.D. is a sophisticated producer who has been around for fifteen years now and was already pushing vibes like UK bass and baile funk even before we did – in both the Netherlands and Suriname. Since 2011, his musical wanderings have crystallised into the direction taken under the moniker J(ay).A.D., focusing on energetic, uptempo beats & bass with a very personal flavour.

His previous EP ‘Asema‘, leaned heavily on the ethereal grime & avant garde club sound but built on a solid list of previous EPs as well as single releases and edits that encompass the entire spectrum of influences including juke, footwork, grime, jungle DnB, ambient and more.

With ‘Send Off’, teaser for his impending Keti Koti EP, released via music magazine Complex UK, Jay pushes his personalised sound even further into unique territory. The rhytmical groove reminds of jungle or oldschool dubstep, but combined with the futuristic synths, industrial reverb and minimalistic beat-filling it breathes the similar dystopian atmosphere as Rizzla’s ‘Iron Cages EP‘ except in a more desolate way. Listening to ‘Send Off’ feels like being lost in the maze of an abandoned cyberpunk city, just after an apocalyptic event.

>> Keti Koti EP will be out and for sale on the 29th of April <<

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