Essential EP’s #12 [DOUBLE EDITION] – Side A

EEPs12

Artwork via: x̸e͟no͝pu͏nk̶

After such a long silence, I’ve got to cover more than two months of an ever forward moving music landscape. Therefore a double edition with the most essential and guiding releases, 22 in total. I tried to balance between saving text and doing justice to the music.

SIDE A

1. Elysia Crampton presents: DEMON CITY (Break World Records)

If there is anyone I could call my all-time favourite artist, it would be the experimental sound collage artist and inspirational Latinx trans revolutionary Elysia Crampton. She describes her newest album as an epic poem. I had the opportunity seeing it live a couple of months ago at Progress Bar Amsterdam, where Elysia opened the night with a powerful performance, combining music with live recited poetry and engaging visuals of videogame dungeons, technofuturist sci-fi impressions and historical and present recordings of indigenous Bolivian people and their struggle for justice. The poetry, part of the theatre production ‘Dissolution of the Sovereign: A Time Slide into the Future’ paints a post-colonial sci-fi setting in which the citizens of NON have destroyed the oppressive structures of today’s world and have built their own high-technological future, linked back and forth with the queer-indigenous history of Bartolina Sisa, leader of an indigenous uprise in 18th century Bolivia which was brutally knocked down by the colonisers, and her body cut into pieces.

The performance was one of the few times where I had a truly transformative emotional experience on the dance floor (the other times being Kamixlo and Total Freedom). I have no other words for it than crying tears of fire, bringing to the surface resevoirs of emotions and aspects of existence that’d otherwise remain buried under solid rock layers of colonial oppression. The Demon City is the metaphor for the excavation of the voice of dispossessed and queer trans indigenous people and, as Crampton explained in her talks session before the club night, breaking the imposed binaries of identity, to which queer trans people of colour are condemned worldwide. The collaborative project is a defining elaboration of the conceptual ‘severo’ style: “an ongoing process of becoming-with, made possible by the family-networks and communities that have inspired and sustained our survival and collective search for transformative justice.” Contributions are by Why Be, Rabit, Chino Amobi and Lexxi and released on the Break World Records label, which also signed James Ferraro, Goth Money, Sagan Youth, Hot Sugar and Teengirl Fantasy.

>> BUY HERE <<

The melancholic-epic leading track ‘The Demon City’ with Rabit, most striking in the Severo style’s approach of transforming theatrical kitch into something hyper-meaningfull

The energetic Dummy Track, featuring a diablada-like percussion beat, served as a pre-released teaser for the album

Lexxi’s wavy, crystalline, emotional club tune Red Eyez is a bridge between The Demon City and his own EP 5TARBO1

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2. Erelitha (STAYCORE 117)

The Stockholm based label and collective STAYCORE 117 is a unique initiative, supporting young, innovative minded producers with an intimate, family-like community that is gradually extending, online but especially IRL. ERELITHA is the follow-up of last year’s Summer Jams 2K15 compilation with which the label put itself on the map. As Dinamarca explained to The Fader, instead of the geographically excluding concept of ‘summer’, ERELITHA is thematically built around the concept of capturing lightest possible light. This reflects both in the music, which strongly draws from saccharine bright retro-rave sounds, and in the equally impressive artwork by Jonna Mayer, which transforms a sulfuric surface lake of Titan or Io into a mysterious cotton-candy wonderland.

The compilation involves contributions from Staycore’s core members like Dinamarca, Toxe, Mechatok and Mobilegirl, but also from close affiliates like Zutzut (NAAFI), MM (Her Records), Pininga, RESLA and Oklou (TGAF) – who’s crystalline futuristic dancehall/afrohouse track is my absolute favourite track of the whole compilation! – as well as the (relative) new names jackie and the promising talent Don Sinini.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

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3. WWWINGS CHIMERA (Purple Tape Pedigree)

Over the last year, much has been written already in the major music mags about the mysterious formation made up of LIT INTERNET (Kamchatka, Russia), LIT DAW (Ukraine) and LIT EYNE (Siberia, Russia). They combine net-art flavoured 90s angelic tribal tattoo, stock photo and black metal aesthetics with intense cybernetic-ambient-club music, communicate via the encrypted messenger service Telegram and have never met in person. Very cyberpunk and very post-internet avant-garde. Musically, they occupy the middle ground between the abstract, industrial side of avant-garde club and the more dark melodicness found in the heirs of ambient-trap and witch house. After their debut EP ‘Angelysium’ last year and their follow-ups ‘3000‘ and ‘META‘ (Infinite Machine), they are back now with aNEP on the New York based avant-garde label Purple Tape Pedigree.

WWINGS have found their unique place on the music spectrum. They keep moving forward, but always make sure the combinations are balanced. Between rhythmical and abstract, percussive and melodic, ethereal and dark, experimental and danceable. Chimera is no exception. Perhaps, the word Chimera, which means hybrid, is even symbolic for this persistent, unique duality they incorporate. We’ll never know. They notoriously deny that their music has any rational or even abstractly sensible concept or narrative behind it apart from their inspirations drawn from life in different parts of the post-Soviet part of the world and from life on the internet. Also check out their even fresher release ‘PHOENIXXX‘ (Planet Mu).

>> BUY <<

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4. OnlyNow Hollow EP

It is already a year ago since OnlyNow, an experimental side project of bass alrounder Kush Arora, debuted with one of last year’s most underrated works: a breathtakingly forward looking self-titled EP combining subtly dark, cinematic cyberpunk ambient with organic percussive rhythms derived from African and Afro-diasporic styles like kuduro, tarraxo and gqom. Now, a summer later, he pushes his sound even further with an again self-released EP including a special feature on the music magazine XL8R. On top of the elaborated ethereal and dramatic soundscapes, polyrhythmic percussion patterns and industrial noise, this EP adds a strong melodic element. This makes ‘Hollow’ not just a vivid conceptual submersion into an Octavia Butlerian technofuture that could resemble Elysia Crampton’s, but also incredibly engaging on the emotional level.

>> DOWNLOAD FLARE <<

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5. Siete Catorce & Stas Fata Morgana EP (BABYLON)

There are collaborations that are a very logical result of how scenes and movements develop. Like-minded producers that release on the same labels or have a similar approach to sound. And then there are collaborations that seem to come more or less out of the blue. This joint EP by Mexican experimental and ruidosón OG Siete Catorce and the Hungarian tropicalist Stas is one of the latter category. Even though Siete Catorce seems to be extending his focus towards Europe with an EP via te Porgtuguese global bass imperium Enchufada and Stas has toured Mexico earlier this year together with the Kumbale crew, this collab was not at all obvious. And the not-so-obvious is precisely where the good things happen, because Fata Morgana EP – what’s in a name – is as unexpected as it can possibly get. ‘Fantasma’ is best described as psychedelic DnB, whereas ‘Espejismo’ navigates the middle ground between future bass, avant-garde club and dark trap. And then there is Stas with a recognisably percussive flip of ‘Fantasma’ and Siete Catorce with an even more mystical rework of ‘Espejismo’ that draws in elements of afrohouse, techno, club, cumbia and ambient.

On a side note, it is also interesting to watch the aesthetic development of the Babylon label, which started off pioneering with minimalist lino print style monochrome designs and is exploring a more post-internet leaning style since a year now but in a refreshingly unique way.

>> BUY HERE <<

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6. 2y (This is Kuduro)

Exactly a year ago, the enigmatic but impressively active kuduro channel and label celebrated its first year of existence with a compilation that we also included in our 8th essential roundup. There are many reasons why This Is Kuduro is an incredibly exciting label and an example for what is lacking so often in music in this age of post-bandwagon cyber-deconstructionist grinding mill culture. ‘This is Kuduro’ is extraordinary in its commitment to supporting both continuity in a genre as a consistent genre and at the same time diversifying the sound within the genre instead of recycling one template as well as building a persistent community around a genre from all over the world, smoothly integrating global bass producers with people from the original kurudo scene. On this compilation you hear Nazar’s dark-industrial sound alongside housy grooves from 2Pekes (Portugal) and Neki (Serbia), festival-EDM bangerism from Round2 (USA) and the unmistakably Lisbon batida flavoured beats from Dj KappaJota (Portugal), Dj Mika (Portugal) and EdiCerelac (Portugal).

>> FREE DOWNLOAD VIA SOUNDCLOUD <<

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7. KABLAM Furiosa (janus)

Where ‘This is Kuduro’ is a beacon of consistence continuity against the relentless grinding mills of internet, KABLAM’s music is cyber-deconstructionism in its most magnificent form. Categorisable, if possible at all, not as club music but rather as experimental electronica or even as avant-garde ‘classical’ music, her soundscapes draw in drums from genres like hardcore, club, baile funk and reggaeton blended with sampled pop and classical references and eery everyday sounds, which together create a throat-gripping cinematic ambient sound collage that is a powerful, confrontational mirror for our times. In this sense, the Swiss, Berlin based sound artist KABLAM can be called the Western counterpart of what WWWINGS do for the post-soviet world, yet employing an even broader range of elements combinations and vibes. And where Elysia Crampton’s collages are outspokenly explicit narratives about the struggle for justice and WWWINGS’ are outspokenly random, KABLAMs approach is somewhat in the middle. While feminist, anti-fascist and anti-capitalist anger about the world’s state of being is always a driving force, in her music it remains implicit and observing, making the listener feel along but on a deep, subconscious level. The title ‘Furiosa’ is illustrative for this: an allusion to the inspiring fearlessness and decisiveness of the protagonist and anti-patriarchy freedom fighter from the ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ film.

The album mix takes you on a Mad Max-like trip through our own world. Furiosa knows the direction and the mission, you as listener don’t, but you trust her and that takes the fear away.

>> BUY THE FULL ALBUM HERE <<

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8. Pirata 3 (NAAFI)

Pirata 3 is the third in a series that intend to bridge the bleeding edge avant-garde with the known and familiar, in home country Mexico, in Latin America and also worldwide. This translates into the most unreal mashups of reggaeton, pop and baile funk with hard hitting industrial drums, weird sounds and futuristic synths. Next to established NAAFI members like Lao, Paul Marmota and ZutZut, Imaabs and HiedraH Club de Baile’s Tayhana, but also the forward looking duo Santa Muerte, Mexico City cumbiaton OG Dj Bekman, enigmatic avant-club project Traxmatik and the Brazilian trainblazer Pininga, all of whom have worked with  NAAFI before and now firmly embedded in Latin America’s most exciting, ever extending club music family.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

9. Metaljackets Bulletproof EP (Selegna Records)

Metaljackets is the new duo project of urban-eclectic & bass producer INDISA, whom we’ve supported several times during the heydays of moombahton, together with EDM bangerista SVNCHZ. With this debut on Munchi’s Selegna Records label, a label which is selective with its releases, they have aqcuired a solid place in the spotlights. ‘Bulletproof’ marks an important turning point in the relationship between the Dutch urban-eclectic scene, American EDM and the passionate under-stream remnants of the early ’10s global bass scene. Where the loud festival sound pushed by Mad Decent used to be the almost irresistable magnet force for producers in the global bass family of genres, producers are now returning more towards to the sound of the undergrounds beneath the hypes of the bygone years. And the Dutch scene is doing this together with movements from other parts of the world, more integrated than ever before.

In a time where what Metaljackets describe as “pop-bow”, varying from Justin Bieber to Major Lazer to Drake, reigns supreme, and cyber-deconstructions reign the avant-garde, a growing number of producers is gradually moving back to the original genres that have fed into today’s sonic landscape. Don’t mistake this movement for nostalgia or a lack of innovation. On the contrary, by broadening the sound scope while doing justice to the coherence of genres and avoiding homogenisation, much of this sounds refreshingly new. Much of it is still sitting quite close to festival EDM, with the combined explosiveness of DnB and hardstyle accompanying the persistent punching Dutch-kick tresillos, but it is the notable realness breathing through every vibration on this album that makes all difference.

>> BUY HERE <<

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10. Loyalty XIX CELICA (Total Trax)

Loyalty XIX, whom I believe is also the owner of the Total Trax label, is a relatively new name and certainly one of the most recognisable pioneers of the avant-garde club movement in Spain. In my experience, one of the characteristic features of the avant-garde club movement, especially when compared to a movement like future-bass/futurebeats, was the tendency towards crude productions, using old vsts that create a subtle retro cyberfuture feeling and DIY/bedroompunk flavoured minimalistic mastering and demo-esque track structures. I must add that this does not at all apply to every artist affiliated to this broad and diverse movement, but on the whole it was characteristic enough to wonder what the industrialistic, cyborgian sound would sound like when combined with the crispy, widely reverbed epicness found in much of the more mainstream corners electronic music. Loyalty XIX’ debut on the Spanish avant-garde label Total Trax is a hint direction. It takes the essence of the cybernetic club formula that has been gradually developing over a long time, but in a way that seems to polish and crystallise it into a blockbusterised version of itself. ‘CELICA’, a reference to the 2006 Toyota sports car as a car to choose in a racing game, is an incredibly powerful experience that, no matter how danceable still, feels like a immersive, haptic gaming experience from beginning to end.

>> BUY THE EP HERE <<

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GRAB NOW >> DJ FASTA’s ULTIMATE TRACKPACK Vol. 2 !! [25 Free Tracks]

FASTA TRACKPACK

Half a year after the first edition, DJ FASTA’s long awaited second Ultimate Trackpack is up for download!

Fans of the Dutch urban-eclectic sound have already been able to enjoy some of the tracks, pre-released on the producer’s Soundcloud page over the past months. But the Ultimate Trackpack has something everyone: 25 tunes in total, ranging from pumping moombahton to dancehall-club to festival-flavoured afrohouse – remixes as well as original productions, riddims and club tracks as well as songs. DJ FASTA’s remarkable approach to the Dutch urban-eclectic umbrella creates a perfect bridge between vastly different worlds of music: equally mainstream as underground, equally ‘festival’ as ‘club’, equally nostalgic as forward-looking!

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

https://soundcloud.com/djfastaremixes/download-now-fasta-presents-25-tracks-in-one-pack-hit-buy-4-dl

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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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Follow César Ch

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Dj Doraemon – Apocalypse EP [FREE]

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This artist from Portugal first caught our attention way back in about 2013 when he was about 15 years of age. His productions range from Tarraxo, Afro Beat and Kuduro through to Kizomba.

For this EP we’ve chosen some of his most brutal of tracks in a dark dystopian apocalyptic vein.

When we first heard these tracks, they just blew our minds with their immense power and unique sound. The tracks exhibit a raw, unpolished demo-like quality which we would not change for the world. They also demonstrate a maturity way beyond the 15 years of age of the producer when he made some of these tracks.

The brutal beauty of these tracks is further mythologized by the fact that pre-masters or wavs just don’t exist anymore as Dj Doraemon’s computer crashed and he also did not back up any of his stuff.

So we are left with just the unmastered MP3’s in 160kbps! You must think we’re mad but this fact didn’t deter us from releasing this EP because this is essential music that needs to be heard and which we must have on our label regardless of quality and bit rate. It also ties in with the way in which a lot of underground artists of African heritage actually drop their tracks without giving a f**k as to bit rate. Now that might mean an epic fail on a great sound system but paradoxically this is the real deal in many ways!

Over the 5 tracks Dj Doraemon creates distorted polyrhythmic beats interspersed with gun shots, sirens, bells that toll for thee, animated voices, crash cymbals, screams, groans and static interference. There’s a naiveté and doom laden atmospherics to create bleak yet enthralling imagery.

3 of the tracks belong to the Tarraxo genre whilst the latter 3 to Kuduro. This is a name to watch out for in the future but we couldn’t wait and so here he is in all of his rawness!

BIO:
Dj Doraemon aka Ivan Lima is from Cova Da Moura, Lisboa, Portugal. He is now 18 years of age but started producing at the age of 10 after he saw a friend working in FL Studio 4. He feels he has developed his own style and vibe but also acknowledges that he so much more to learn.

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Important Stuff We’ve Slept On

Holographic

I am a slow blogger. I usually rake in as much as possible of everything that pops up in my soundcloud feed or on Facebook and if I dig it, repost, comment, or thumb it up.

But as usual, I´m behind with important posts so that all the important new stuff disappears to the end of the queue of everything I still need to (or sometimes even promised to) post. In the end, it always ends up in big roundups with deep background reflections – because novelty isn’t really the point any more when a track came out a month ago – which is what I am focusing on and nicely sets apart the value of blogs compared to faceboom groups. But inevitably, there are always too many things that escape the radar, some of which I keep being reminded about as they release new stuff or if I notice that other platforms do give them the recognition that I would like them to give as well.

Therefore, here a selection of stuff, mostly artists, who always sticked around in the back of my head and should have had a shoutout long ago. Some of them may be familiar to you, others less so, dependent on the kind of music you’re into, but all have something unique that makes it something Generation Bass should have blogged. We didn’t, but it’s never too late for a second chance.

Abu AMA

If there is one producer who should have been a Generation Bass household name since the very beginning, it is the enigmatic producer Abu AMA. His unique style is possibly the most Generation Bass thing ever: a fusion of Middle Eastern music, portuguese tarraxo and an experimental electronic twist, coined #ArabXo. More than simply experimenting with sound, his music carries a powerful message against todays rampant plague of islamophobia and Western belligerence the Middle East!

A warm shoutout from the blog that so closely matches every aspect of your passion and style. From now on you WILL be our household name!

Stomping uptempo portuguese batida with Middle Eastern samples and industrial ambient noise!

Downtempo organic tarraxo with a some baile funk/rasteirinha flavour

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KABLAM

In the club underground, KABLAM, from Berlin’s JANUS collective, is one of the most essential artists as well as a main favourite of tastemaking music platforms like THE FADER and FACT. And rightly so, because her abstract flavoured productions are among the most unique even in the scene of which she is part. What strikes me most about her style is the skillful minimalism, carefully cutting out the ‘soft middle filling’ of music, retaining only the skeletal essence of rhythm and the aerial cloud of melody. I know that, with these wordings, I am kind of parroting much better reviews of her music on other sites but I simply can’t but entirely confirm these analyses. Next to her home base at JANUS, she is also closely connected to the Staycore117 family.

Comforting devotional string loops interrupted by unpredictible echoeing claps create an incredibly powerful state of mind, best comparable to a moment of slowly calming breath and heartbeat after an intense experience of agony

Another unique, ostensible juxtaposition, as contrasting as could ever be possible: late medieval choir chants, created to reflect the rational perfection of the heavens against the oceanic, apettitive ID-unleashing baile funk sound of Mc Marcelly‘s ‘Vem Sarrando‘ (“come lick”) – yet it makes perfect sense, creating a powerful spiritual reunitement through female sexual energy, utterly destroying the fascistoid, patriarchical Platonic-Freudian tripartite hierarchy of the Western world-picture

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mobilegirl

Another important member from the Staycore 117 family, also living in Berlin, mentioned a couple of times in earlier posts already but so far never got a specific shoutout. Her combination of dembow beats, RnB and conceptual club music is the ideal balance between accessibility and cutting edge, forward looking attitude.

Dembow-club bootleg of Jennifer Lopez’ hit ‘Play’!

Her oldest track on Soundcloud which I somehow never noticed at all before writing this post: an incredibly beautiful crystalline melodic track with an unmistakable moombahdeep/luv vibe, yet with incomparably many times the creativity of most generic stuff that passes as moombahton

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mapalma

A third important Staycore 117 family member, based in Croatia who should have received our support since a long time ago. Mapalma also uses mid-tempo BPM range dembow as a backbone but has a much more energetic, even subtly dark melodic sound. One of the questions still puzzling me is why it could be that a sound so close to moombahton, or global bass in general, is kept so separate from that. There must be a reason. While she must certainly be aware of the global bass sound and movement, not even eshewing the term subtropical, she and the wider Staycore scene are clearly and probably consciously not associating themselves with it. I talked about this with Munchi and he was of the opinion that it is a very good thing, arguing that heading it under anything ‘global bass’ or moombahton would charge it with so much ballast expectations and not do justice to its uniqueness. Good point, ‘club music’ is a much better umbrella in so many ways, but it’s still fascinating me.

One of her newer tracks: dembow, baile funk and melodic synths

Amazing collab with mobilegirl, going for a much heavier, futuristic club sound

Impressive to realise that this is really two years old and still sounding so fresh, even among all the conceptual ambient trap/trillwave tunes I hear every day

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Normal Nada a.k.a. Theoscicloff

I discovered this producer about half a year ago when I tried to find out whether there were any serious blends of kuduro, afrobeats or with psytrance/goa or any kind of underground trance music. As expected, I found loads of ‘pseudo-African’ 4/4 trance with some djembe added to make it sound “tribal”/”exotic” (LOL!!). Also was there an occasional poppy, EDM flavoured afrohouse mixtape tagged as ‘trance’, without having much of an actual trance sound at all, until I noticed the Principe Discos logo on one of the tracks in the list, uniquely tagged as afro-trance and even psytrance!

Mystereously, the producer, who used to have an active soundcloud account and only one release with Principe, removed all of his online presence apart from his YouTube account. Even the Principe account removed the track and I have really no idea why. Let’s hope he’ll come back this year, continuing this exciting style. If not, I hope the YouTube will remain online at least.

His release with Principe: a magnificent banger blending Portuguese batida with oldschool psychedelic acid-trance

An even harder scorcher of kuduro with hardtrance!

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CYBEREALITYライフ

One of the things with vaporwave and trillwave producers is that usually they keep their information very enigmatic and delocalised, usually not disclosing where they are located. In such way I’d been knowing CYBEREALITYライフ for a while already when exploring vaporwave, trillwave and the wider post-internet scene. Until I came across him on Facebook and realised that he is from Mexico and right at that moment, really into experimenting with as many different genres and sounds as possible such as jersey club, juke and synthwave. I was stoked to hear that he was now drafting a 3ball tune, even allowed to check out the preliminary version. I promised and truly wanted to give this a major shoutout on the blog, which I eventually never managed to do and I still feel bad about that. It’s even one of the most lit 3ball tune that have come out in 2015 and I hope more of this will follow this year!

CYBER3BALLITY!!

Closer to his core-style: his amazing fresh album of SESH-flavoured suicidal shoegaze-hiphop beats (>> BUY <<)

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...torus

Talking about the post-internet music scene (which we never covered extensively enough on Generation Bass in the first place), I entirely overlooked the unique Dutch exponent of this movement, based in The Hague; torus! While his visual style is very similar to the broader trends in the post-internet/net-art community, moving from marble renaissance architecture and art to office plants and surreal virtual objects and now, in the wake of health goth and the club movement, sports clothing & gear aesthetics, his music is extraordinarily personal and unique, holding the middle between vaporesque, ethereal melodic soundscapes, recontextualised abstract influences from 00s RnB or eurodance and even some ambient trap and future beats. I met him at Progress Bar a couple of weeks ago and found that he is also a great enthusiast and endorser of the new club movement, which means that he may well turn into one of the most essential musicians in the Netherlands this year. Don’t sleep on this!

His most recent EP, ‘temples’, from a year ago, combining all the different colours of the spectrum of his style (>> GET IT NOW <<)

And a short 2 track bundle focusing more on one specific sound of aquatic ethereal ambient with crystal clear, crispy percussion

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PIVOTAL

When I stumbled upon PIVOTAL while making my wanderings through the Soundcloud networks of the new club scene, my mind was blown immediately. Here is somebody who, as it seems, combines the abstract rhythmic backbone and cybernetic grime synths of the new club formula with harder, more explosive drums than I ever heard before in that scene, as well as unscrupulous scorching distortion and noise, creating a unique sound that approaches the brutality of crossbreed or industrial hardcore. On the artist’s soundcloud page there are tracks in many different styles, few of them coming even close to this. This unique fusion seems to come out of the blue. I definitely hope to see more of this stuff this year!

https://soundcloud.com/fivestarhotel/hyyydraulicmelt

Recklesslesly stomping conceptual grime/club

Distorted industrial noise fused with avant-garde club/trax influences (>> BUY HERE <<)

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Siete Catorce‘s ‘Paisajes EP’

Siete Catorce is one of our all time favourite artists since the beginning of the blog. Been there since the early days, before the rise and fall of global bass, lived through the budding and now bloom of Mexico as a hotbed for innovation in music and youth culture. And he’s still there, pushing his uncompromisable hypnotising style of experimental polyrhytmic beats with sparkly melodic synths and deep ambient soundscapes.

It’s just that my own personal sour-hipster mood sometimes witholds me from posting and promoting stuff released by big labels that are surrounded by an air of commercial success and mainstream vibes. Jealousy…? Maybe. Childishness…? Certainly. Because Paisajes EP should have been a unquestionable #ESSENTIAL right when it came out. I hope it isn’t too late yet to make that sure!

(>> BUY IT HERE <<)

https://soundcloud.com/sietecatorce/sets/paisajes

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and this album!

I really do like techno but barely blog it on Generation Bass for the sheer sake of focus (any techno bloggers, be welcome to join our team!). I found out about this while exploring the soundcloud networks around Psychick Warriors ov Gaia’s amazing ‘1989 EP‘ which I blogged back in may last year. Like the Psychick Warriors EP, this EP too heavily involves polyrhythmic elements breaking away from the 4/4 + swing syncope formula that is still uncontestedly dominant in the genre. The first track, ‘Dissociate’ sounds like an industrialised version of Siete Catorce’s take on the prehispanic triplet, while ‘Weasels’ is the 100% perfect fusion banger of acid-techno with bubbling! Can these similarities be unintentional, coincidence? I have absolutely know idea who these artists are or whether there is something like a scene around this exciting approach to techno but I do know that, as soon as I heard it, this blew my mind hard. I’d like to educate myself more into this and pay more attention to it on the blog!

>> BUY IT HERE <<

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2PeKes : Ah Dub

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2Pekes from the famed Portuguese Bass Underground collective DZC Crew just dropped a Dub playlist which features remixes of the infamous MikeQ track “Ah Dub” rewerked in an Afrobeat style. Check it below.

Watch out too for his forthcoming release on Generation Bass Digital of a great track called “Zourney” with fellow Portuguese producer JayPross!

What to Expect in 2016? [MEGA POST]

2016Gate

Leaving 2015 behind it is time to do make some first predictions about what we can expect in the coming year. Last year we saw the massive breakhroughs of some people both under and outside the radar of Generation Bass, such as Nidia Minaj, Kamixlo, ANGEL-HO and Santa Muerte. All artists who demonstrate how the underground club scene has become the new centre of gravity for music and how the rebirth of culture from the perspectives and identities of people neglected by the dominant narratives in Western culture, has become the most essential themes. In 2016 these trends will certainly continue and will mutate into new directions. Which ones are not clear to tell yet, but there are some questions that may hint at the possible futures that may give some clues.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LIST OF ARTISTS WHOM I THINK WILL MOST PROBABLY BREAK THROUGH INTO THE SPOTLIGHTS THIS YEAR!)

What will happen to the club trax underground community once its own sucess definitively throws it into the (semi-)mainstream, with its dilemmas around commerce, ethics and ego’s?

We’ve seen this with many other movements once they become popular. Almost certainly will there be copycats at some point who try to benefit from the success formula, with as little dedication as possible. How will this stuff be marketed to larger audiences, and which audiences exactly? What will this do with the high ethical standards concerning race, class and gender which have been unquestionably respected in this scene so far. All these questions we’ve been confronted with before in our history, as the global bass underground was undergoing a similar phase, splitting off into Mad Decent and its following on the one side and.. well.. some small, non-commercial snippets of underground who survived on the other side, including ourselves.

What will happen to the ‘dark turn’ in genres like trap, dancehall or even more importantly, in the club avant-garde?

More importantly, will it really ‘merge’ with the innovations in dark music like crossbreed, rhythmic noise or abrasive ritual ambient techno? Until now there’s only a negligible fraction of the two sides scene really ‘coming together’, either in online groups or with IRL events (I’ll be playing a set of dark industrial flavoured trap & global bass and avant-garde club at a kinky dungeon night this month, magnet for the post-goth alternative scene, and I’m really curious how it will be received!)

https://soundcloud.com/v0lkanos/untitled-ii-volkanos-vs-crpt

A collab from three absolutely essential names from the new dark generation you need to check out: Volkanos (USA), |CRPT| (Poland) & TRNAH (Poland) !

Even genres as close sound-wise as witchhouse, trillwave, dark trap and dark/agressive subgenres of hiphop share little fanbase or producer-base. Now the boundaries between original genres and subcultures have effectively eroded, what WILL be the new lines dividing scenes and cultural expressions in the coming year? That immediately leads to the next question..

How will the culture-wars develop this year and what will that mean for music?

If one thing is clear from last year, the culture wars have just started yet. Online underground scenes, in almost any field like gaming, tech or fashion blogging, have now been acquainted with the critical call for more diversity and inclusiveness for people of colour, women and LGBTQ people and have witnessed the unfolding of a ever more heated debate between cultural critics, mocked as ‘Social Justice Warriors’, and their opponents, ‘Free Speech Bigots’, who want to maintain their privileged status-quo with an appeal to free expression. This debate has started to surface ever more into mainstream politics, and with the unstoppable impact of the internet and online underground cultures, I expect this to sore to full-blown heights this year. My expectations are bleak. What will happen if the mainstream political spectrum definitively diverges into Tumblr’s mercilessly militant cultural Marxism and 4Chan’s evil anarcho-nihilist glorification of everything we know to be evil, including racism, sexism and LGTBQ-phobia as the ultimate mark of true rebellion. How will this affect avant-garde music, an alternative cultural area in which sharing revolutionary political ideas is bread and butter? The dark-industrial sound and aesthetic is one that can readily be adopted by either camp and in fact already has been.

EDM is dead, but why does psychedelic rave culture still seem to be boiling in the underground in many places of the world, waiting to have its moment?

Something less bleak but still relevant. Since about 2014, I have witnessed the popularity of deephouse in the US and techno in Europe as a clear response to the loud ‘bass-drop-gasm’ formula of festival EDM. Especially in the case of techno, it was the air of exclusiveness and status-boosting elitism that fueled the magic. Once it reached a critical mass, it really took off in the course of several months, with copycat-techno raves mushrooming everywhere. And with the growing mainstream attention for a concept like Burning Man in 2014, I would have bet a fortune on my prediction of a sudden explosion of a Burning Man-inspired crossover mainstream movement in which techno-hipsters could readily take a ‘next step’ into psychedelics, neo-hippie culture, transhuman-futurist philosophy and a crossover of deep techno, psytrance and potentially supplemented with psychedelic bass music, electrofolklore or transhumanistically flavoured post-vaporwave. But, guess what, nothing of that did happen. On the contrary, Burning Man was loudly declared dead this year and an important initiative to denounce the festival and it’s culture as pseudo-open, culturally insensitive, privileged snobbery came precisely from the club underground. Burning Man may have lost its magic, but psychedelic rave culture still seems to be strong and growing in many new places like Brazil and Mexico. Could it still become a potential new centre of gravity for music to move towards?

Future bass producers like R23X blend elements together like ‘deep’, the ‘dub’, the ‘tech’, the ‘trill’, the ‘wave’, the ‘tresillo’, the ‘dream’, the ‘vapor’ and the ‘psychedelic’ into something from another dimension

What will happen to Middle Eastern electronic music?

Back in the days, every newly hyped genre was immediately incorporated into the broader movement of ‘tropical bass’ and that in turn into ‘festival EDM’. Now since there was no strong ‘centre of gravity’ any more in 2015, all the amazing Middle Eastern electronic music that we have pushed passionately this year with artists such as Deena Abdelwahed, 8ULENTINA, Dj Haram, Mutamassik, C Production and Streamer and genres like shamstep, arabtronix and desertwave, remained kind of on their own. Not that this heavy incorporation was always a good thing, not at all, it usually squeezed a genre into a prefabricated direction before the producers could even get the deserved recognition for what they had created. 8ULENTINA, Dj Haram and now also Deena are solidly part of the new club movement, but that doesn’t obviously go for all the Middle Eastern electronic music that we’re interested in at Generation Bass.

https://soundcloud.com/habibiboi/w-lil-ceaser

HABIBIBOI, an upcoming name in the club trax underground who is weaving Arabic elements into club music

Are there still any ignored underground scenes left, or have new ones emerged while we weren’t looking?

The question which new ‘centres of gravity’ will be of influence this coming year will not only influence Middle Eastern electronic genres but in fact any new genre or micro-movement that comes under the attention of the blogo- and Facebookgroup-sphere. But then the obvious question is, after half a decade of introducing new genres from all over the world: are there still any such underexposed  sounds left anywhere? Has the internet perhaps made the formation of new local undergrounds impossible?

I am cautious to use the word ‘discover’ for the obvious appropriator-colonialist attitude that comes with it and I definitely don’t approve of that. Yet I think that the way Generation Bass has been an integral factor in many scenes in the past locally and globally, especially in countries like Chile, Mexico and Brazil is very valuable. Could there still a future for Generation Bass in this role for new movements and genres? I think the answer is and should ‘yes’. I spoke to Munchi lately and he told me that the entire internet has been sleeping on very interesting things going on in Puerto Rico’s reggaeton underground that have already started to fade away due to the lack of interest. It’s a shame because this is what Generation Bass has been created for down to the essence. We’ll keep you updated!

What will the urban-eclectic scene do now EDM is dead?

We all know the histoy: music today would not be what it is without the urban eclectic scene in the Netherlands, which started with the Antillean bubbling movement, where DJs started remixing dance tracks, which grew into a vivid crossover scene of electronic music blended with Afro-Caribbean styles like dancehall and reggaeton as well as hiphop and R&B which is much broader than ‘Dutch house’, the main sound that it produced. The multi-culturally driven scene scene effortlessly incorporated new genres like kuduro, azonto, kizomba, went through a latinhouse period and is now all about the new wave of afrohouse, without any ‘help’ from the blogosphere at all. Lately though, sadly enough, the lure of the Major Lazer’s bro-ified formula, which has turned acts like Boaz van de Beatz and Shaun D into semi-superstars, has had a big influence. But that whole magic will quickly die out this year if it hasn’t already. But then, what will be the next centre of gravity for this unique scene?

Grime, once kind of an obscure hobby in the Netherlands for alternative hiphop and UK bass fans, is having its moment in Amsterdam right now. This may perhaps, in the long run, pull the broader Dutch scene towards the club trax movement… but that is still far away, even as the club underground is making its first entrance into the Netherlands right now (HERE & HERE!). A more likely guess is that the scene could first transform itself into a reinvented version of the ‘tropical’ movement. The paradox with todays internet culture is that something seemingly worn out online can still be fresh and new for other crowds. True, ‘música tropical’ is a traditional synonym for Afro-Caribbean music in many parts of Latin America and it will probably stay that way, but in Europe it used to be a gimmick umbrella concept to combine Afro-Latin styles and brand them to hipster crowds as an exotic curiosity. A couple of years ago, the concept had its moment of high expectations and then sank away into the abyss of things passing by also on Generation Bass. But right now it seems to be making a comeback and this time free from the EDM hype machine, being more the truly harmonious fusion of electronic sounds with Afro-Latin genres in the way the Dutch scene has already been since the beginning. Much of the sounds from the tropical movement like moombahton and zouk bass have firmly found their way into the Netherlands by now, turning it into something much more authentic and permanent. My guess is you’ll definitely hear more about this ‘tropical 2.0’ this year, especially if you’re in Europe and are following KUDDEDIEREN (if you weren’t yet, you should be now). More info will follow soon!

https://soundcloud.com/lesrowness/les-rowness-azucar-part-1

Les Rowness brings the contemporary sound of the urban-eclectic scene and shows how small the distance has become with what blog readers know as ‘global/tropical bass’

Where is the all the live electronic music actually?

Last spring, I was absolutely convinced that 2015 would be the year to say goodbye to not just the EDM industry but DJing as a whole. After all, producers making the tracks and DJ’s playing them on the dance floor is something that seemed to have reached its absolute dead-end with EDM’s superstar-DJs. I expected to see all kinds of different ways of electronic music, especially live bands. The underground club trax movement’s allergy against big entertainment the appreciation of producer-DJs as conceptual artists and storytellers rather than celebrities is certainly a counter-reaction. But the ‘back to the basics of club culture’ attitude still isn’t a true break away from the DJ-formula. Of course there are many new electronic bands pioneering right now but then I don’t have the feeling that they’re getting the amount of attention and recognition as I hoped they would. It may also be that it’s just ME not having my eyes open enough but I hope to see electronic bands get back to the centre of attention again in 2016. This is what I came across in the area of live electronica towards the end of last year and it’s making me very excited for the future!

Batobe and Pocket Knife Army, two upcoming bands from my own city, don’t sleep on them

Appeared earlier on the blog but I can’t repeat it enough, Bedtime Stories (alter ego of Shinji) is an extraordinary, completely independent musician with a style unlike anything else, blending the neo-dark classical touch of legends like Venetian snares with introspective gothic ambient wave into an intense, despairing yet angelic well of emotion.. all recorded and performed live

Featured earlier in the Afrofuturism Festival series where I witnessed her performances live, Camae Defstar a.k.a. Moor Mother Goddess is an artist whom I should have included in the list below because she is not only a magnificent live electronic artist and but also somebody who I think is on the brink of being lifted into the spotlights of the big forward looking music magazines, her recent interview in THE FADER is only the beginning

And.. finally, of course, which specific artists do we need to keep an eye on this year?

This was perhaps the hardest part of the post because I have my own focus and am not aware of everybody in the reach of Generation Bass who may nevertheless do big things this year. Even within my focus scenes combined, there are many more promising upcoming artists than could be included here. Also, there is a big difference between people whom I might personally HOPE to break through and whom I EXPECT that will do so. I tried my best to balance it out but couldn’t escape my disproportional focus on the club avant-garde. But don’t worry, the focus will broaden this year. The dark underground series will finally be launched, with extra attention for the comeback of witchhouse, and I’ll hopefully be able to keep you updated about the Dutch urban-eclectic and new tropical scene, pay massive attention to electronic bands and solo live acts in as many genres and scenes as possible and will also try to actively promote a future generation of psychedelic/transdimensional music.

Sounds like a lot huh? You’ll hear from us!

1. GAIKA (LONDON)

If there is one artist that I’m 100% sure will make it big from virtually out of nowhere in the same way as KAMIXLO, ANGEL-HO or Chino Amobi did last year is GAIKA, a multi-talented producer, vocalist, songwriter and visual artist from London. Not surprisingly he is also afiliated with the NON label, which will certainly stay one of the most influential labels in 2015. DAZED recently described his unique style as a blend of grime, dancehall, garage, hiphop and R&B with a gothic touch. What makes him particularly unique is that he is with one leg in the club avant-garde scene but at the same time delivers a live stage act that breaks with the DJ-producer formula and can appeal to a much broader audience in scenes like dancehall, grime and hiphop.

2. Florentino (MANCHESTER)

I don’t know what it is about the UK. It’s not just London but also other cities where the new club scene is flourishing and three steps ahead of almost everybody else. In Manchester the forward looking Swing Ting night, already one of Manchester’s best club nights back in 2014, is the big motor. The Colombian producer Florentino went from being a practically unknown bass producer to one of the most promising newcomers with the release of his Tu y Yo EP in October last year. His unique, subtle blend of reggaeton, Latin drums (surprisingly similar to what has been going on in the Dutch underground to my own ears), UK bass and club music became an instant hit in the club underground. Funnily, the EP came out just shortly after I wrote this pasionate post about all the great things that moombahton could potentially be but unfortunately isn’t, and would have been the most perfect illustration of what I meant with that post. As Florentino himself also said in a recent interview with FACT MAG, his lightfooted, romantically flavoured style is complementary to the cold industrialism of Kamixlo, both interpreting and expressing their own connection to Latin America’s most influential subculture (reggaeton) in the context of multi-cultural youth life in the UK today.

3. Lange Sjaak (ROTTERDAM)

Probably the most underrated producer of 2015. As the producer for many hit bangers from Dutch acts like Bollebof and Broederliefde (who are also massively underrated outside the Netherlands), most of the credits still go to the vocalists, the faces you see in the music vids and on stage. His productions draw heavily on tarraxo, kuduro and afrobeats and he is in frequent contact with producers from the Portuguese underground, which will hopefully bring more recognition for Portuguese producers in the Dutch scene and the other way around in 2016. Expect big things this year.

His newest production ‘Kwasten’ featuring Bollebof & Joyba, THE hit in the Netherlands right now

Promising future tarraxo demo 2016!

4. TOXE (STOCKHOLM)

The Swedish talent Toxe was with pain in my heart not included on my ‘Best of 2015‘ list, even though she, as well as other very promising Staycore 117 affiliated producers Mapalm, Mobilegirl and Mechatok are among the most impressive new talents right now. Right when I heard the ‘Muscle Memory EP‘ and the way in which she is able to transmit something intensely deep and meaningful with very mechanical ambient sounds. Everything, from the subtle polyrhythmic elements, crispy sounds, sample work and cryptic multi-layered titles, is in the right place and creates a unique and magical experience, at the same time incredibly conceptual and incredibly powerful on the dancefloor.

Her new release for Rabit’s Halcyon Veil label

Her banger ‘Half Life’ with Mechatok was one of the biggest avant-garde club anthems last year

5. DJ LyCox (PARIS)

Sometimes I have no explanations for why something does not happen the way I am almost convinced it must happen. The Paris based, Principe Discos signed genius DJ LyCox has been one of the most unique upcoming talents (and one of my permanently favourite producers) for more than a year. Exactly a year ago I would have sworn as confidently as now that he would be heading towards a massivbe worldwide breakthrough, joining the ranks of names like Dj Nigga Fox and Dj Marfox. But compared to other names from the Portuguese underground like Nidia Minaj, he remained completely underrated last year. So now I am saying, yes shouting out loud again that 2016 should and will be the year of Dj LyCox. If you’re still doubting, check out this recent, otherworldly forward looking track. The question is, why isn’t there a monumental, recognisable debut EP yet? If it were up to the productivity of the producer, uploading new music almost every week, he could have had an impressive discography on his name already.

https://soundcloud.com/dlycox/lycox-bercy

He was at the forefront of a whole new experiment in the Portuguese underground sound: Portuguese batucada/kuduro enriched with hammering distorted 808 bass ..and almost nobody noticed..

6. Gil (ZÜRICH)

Promising new talent GIL from Switzerland was lifted into the spotlights with an incredible release on THUMP half a year ago and has further released via Staycore 117 that same summer. In the meantime he has only released two tracks, nevertheless magnificent, and the last one is three months back already. Like for Dj LyCox, Gil’s unique, energetic blend of dembow, dancehall, baile funk, mechanical sounds and sample work just cries for an EP in the same way as we have seen for most of the other newcomers. If it isn’t in the making already to be announced by surprise, Gil, if you’re reading, we at Generation Bass are excited to release an EP from your hand at any time! (More soon about the Swiss underground scene too…)

7. Missdewimusic (EINDHOVEN)

Formerly known as Dj Miss Devana, is probably the most underrated producer of everybody in this list. She hasn’t yet been lifted into the big spotlights by any of the major platforms, nor in the Netherlands, even though she is making incredibly unique stuff for more than a year now. People from the moombahton scene and the wider global bass folks like the KUMBALE label have definitely shown love for a while now and that is a great start but (and that surprises me actually) she is still virtually unknown in the underground club scene. I’m really looking forward to see her get the recognition she’d deserve by platforms like the Staycore 117 fam or the Classical Trax community, as well as by the Dutch urban-eclectic scene. Preferably at the same time. The passionate dedication, unique style and talent is definitely there!

8. JKZ/$KA (SÃO PAULO)

We may know newcomer JKZ, formerly know as Rain Jx or JAKZ, from our massive DoomBahTon compilation and from the Favela Trap House EP but he isn’t even a fraction as known as he should be. Expect a post soon about him and the underground scene around him: a collective of friends who are into experimental music, dark sinister stuff and just doing things differently in a way that creates something unique. JKZ is his producer project, focused on energetic dark trap with a touch of vapor/trillwave and baile funk. Shortly ago, he launched a second project as a rapper rapping over self produced beats: $KA. Where JKZ is about dark energetic bangers, $KA pushes a mystical, smokey ambient chill sound where again, traces of baile funk come back in a way never done before. Much like GAIKA, he creates a format where the producer and the MC blend into a live act formula with the potential to appeal to push the music into whole new directions.

https://soundcloud.com/skacush/puff-puff-pass-prod-ska

Cloud-rap meets funk in $KA’s freshest tune ‘Puff Puff Pass’

9. Godwonder (AMSTERDAM)

When I got into contact with Munchi a couple of months ago he told me, prepare for the secret EP of Godwonder, carefully prepared and crafted under his direction, dedicated entirely to making music that bridges the gap between the contemporary street sounds of the Dominican Republic and of Amsterdam. 2016, without any doubt, will be the year of Godwonder and not just because Munchi has attached his name to it. With this new EP, out within a couple of days, Godwonder shows that he has found his direction and sound and is ready to leave his lasting mark on the development of music for the coming years.

10. Thomás Urquieta (VIÑA DEL MAR)

Closing with yet another producer from the club underground whom I’m both very enthusiastic about and also convinced he will definitely break through this year. Interestingly although well appreciated in the club trax scene, he is not affiliated to any of its major labels but recently released a magnificent debut EP (‘Manuscript EP‘) on the forward looking label Infinite Machine, which is certainly ‘avant-garde’ in attitude but definitely not limited to club music, also releasing a lot of great experimental techno and house flavoured music. It is precisely this open connection, beyond the immediate borders of the new club scene, that make Thomás Urquieta’s music a powerful example to imagine music in a near future when the current fresh club trax sound has transformed and durably influenced everything.

***

DJ Dotorado – Maluku EP Vol.2 [Eclectic Afrohouse]

Dotorado

Sometimes it happens that an artist fame becomes limited by just one decisive track. In the beginning I was afraid that that might happen to DJ Dotorado, whose banger African Scream rose to absolute anthem proportions virtually out of nowhere, quickly overshadowing the artist behind it. That he is a boundary pushing, creative artist with the potential to become an established name already became clear in March with his first EP I can no longer find on Soundcloud… And now at the threshold of 2016, at the bright end of a fundamental year for music, DJ Dotorado definitively proves himself ready to stay in the spotlights.

When ‘African Scream’ came out, DJ Dotorado was only 16 years old. Today, nearly two years later, he has developed a broad, eclectic style as well as a solid fanbase. Like in the previous EP he draws again from a wide range of genres including trap, chicago drill, baile funk, kizomba and fodençia, alongside his caracteristic melodic-euphoric afrohouse.

If there should be any startingpoint to push underground sounds we’ve supported over the last last years into mainstream audiences this winter, it is undoubtedly MALUKU EP VOL.2!

Follow DJ Dotorado:

SOUNDCLOUD

TWITTER

YOUTUBE

Essential EP’s #8

EssentialEPs8

While I was working on the URL FUTUREFEST, a whole new series of releases has shaken the music world, continuing the transformation that has taken place this year. And they keep coming. By the end of the year, I’ll make a selection of the most essential releases of the entire year, that will show how music itself has become redefined this year as well as the ways of speaking about music. I’m starting to believe the whole habit of dividing things into decades makes no sense any more. Over the last five years, things have been accelerating towards a singularity point and we’re now beyond it. There are no bandwagons anymore, no genres, no next-big-things. Even labels and blogs are transforming into something different. And this all mainly due to the avant-garde club scene and neighbouring movements that we’ve only seen the beginning of just yet.

1. Oracles Divination II

Oracles is the new label based in Houston, curated by SINES, one half of the duo Santa Muerte who are one of our favourite acts right now. With Oracles, the approach of avant-garde club with a dark twist is extended by bringing different artists together who all contribute to this concept in their own unique way. Divination II is their second big compilation (the first one came out via THUMP a year ago) that contains both original mixes and remixes by a diverse number of artists.

Next to Santa Muerte, who open the compilation with a breathtakingly dark witch-trap prayer to La Niña Blanca, there is the experimental ambient grime-techno from WWWINGS, Morten HD‘s melodic deconstructed dembow, and the surreal-dark edits from the Portuguese producer BLASTAH. Oracles bridges the avant garde club scene with the innovative energy in the new generation of dark music and is by doing this one of the most forward looking initiatives out there!

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

https://soundcloud.com/oracles-official-1/sets/divination-ii

2. Kamixlo Demonico EP

Now we also blogged Kamixlo‘s mix for DAZED Digital, there’s little chance you missed Demonico EP. But in case you did, here again big love for one the defining releases from one of the most promising artists today.

Like Santa Muerte, Kamixlo too fuses latin, dembow based tropes with dark flavoured club music but even in a more outspoken way. Here it gets full blown industrial, with distorted kicks and hard hitting snares in a way that remind of the hardcore inspired Doombahton compilation that came out earlier this year. But this is on such a higher level that no comparison to any other thing can do justice to it.

The 5 track EP starts with ‘Otra Noche’, a haunted ambient tune with a deformed vocal from the reggaeton classic with the same name, now sounding like bubbling up out of the swamps of the underworld and dissolving into a mechanical dystopia. ‘Paleta‘, has been somewhat of an anthem in the underground club scene this summer. It has been up on the artist’s soundcloud since the beginning of this year and was taken off at some point as the EP based upon it was being materialised. A motive hidden in the titles is the inspiration in wrestling, a sports which the producer also practices and aspires to combine with music. In a recent interview with Thump, Kamixlo explains that ‘Splxcity’, my favourite track of the EP, is made to give the listener the experience of undergoing suplexes while ‘Lariat’ subjects you to a lariat attack from a wrestler à la Stan Hansen. Kamixlo does not only bring entirely unique sound into underground club music but also challenges established ways of experiencing and enjoying music.

The EP was released on the Berlin based label PAN and it’s new sublabel CODES, curated by the British grime producer Visionist, who also features with a remix of ‘Lariat’.

>> BUY HERE <<

3. BUGA PLUG-IN HYBRID EP

BUGA (not to be confused with Sello Regional’s El Buga) is a relatively new name in the underground club scene (at least, to my own limited knowledge), whose earliest but immediately mindblowing soundcloud tracks are from the beginning of this year. Most tracks breath the air of the new wave of contemporary-futuristic tech aesthetics such as sports cars, motorbikes, metallic gear and sportswear, expressed into dystopian, mechanistic ambient-club and grime. PLUG-IN HYBRID EP bundles this exciting creative potential into a recognisable signature project, with three original productions and remixes from Classical Trax family members Morten HD, EVAA, LHTL and Vaphoree.

https://soundcloud.com/bugab/sets/plug-in-hybrid-ep

4. Toxe Muscle Memory EP

The Swedish club producer Toxe is one of the 6 most close affiliates of the Stockholm avant-garde label Staycore117 and this is her first solo release on the label. The EP is cryptic in terms of how it should be interpreted and I haven’t been able to get behind it. Muscle memory is a phenomenon in physiology and sports that repeated muscle movements become automatic over time. The cover design contains some allusions to fleshiness of muscles in an alienating, surreal way. Also, the line between the avant-garde club scene and the health goth movement aesthetics and wider culture, which particularly reflects on sports and our bodily existence, is thin. In the words of Adam Harper in The Fader, quoting Wyat Schaffer:

“…relies on an anti-nostalgic dystopian present,” providing “an ethos of mythologizing our technological present” and that “it may be hyper-masculine on the surface, betraying a distinctively sus interior of body-mechanized cyborgian humanity within… reimagining the present future by mocking self-awareness as a Humanist project of little efficacy.”

Yet I have no idea whether this philosophical environment is in any way related to this EP as a source or inspiration or otherwise but nevertheless it creates an ambient of dystopian, cyborgian existence in five original tracks that once again show the boundary pushing energy of the Stockholm scene.

>> BUY ON iTUNES <<

5. Classical Trax Jamz!

Classical Trax, which we introduced last month, is the community where the future of music is being determined this year, in the midst of the total overhaul in all of culture that is taking place this year. They are multifunctional. Not a label, not a blog but a community of people who together shape music and culture for the future. Nevertheless, they’ve become ever more focused on releasing music from their community, especially with their frequent compilations which we will be keeping track of as much as possible, picking the best and most representative things that come out. Jamz! is such an essential compilation with as many as 21 tunes that display the diverse energy that’s coming from their community.

Especially notable are the experimental arabic club tune from the Tunisian producer Deena Abdelwahed, Ida Dillan‘s dark-melancholic techno-flavoured track and the electrifying industrialism from one of our current favourite producers: Monotronique!

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

6. Pineal Sounds Blue Satin Vol.1

One of the imminent dangers in the avant-garde club/trax scene as it is blowing up right now is that its sound will start degenerating into a formula that people follow simply to be part of the expected success of the movement. I can’t say this is happening right now already but it’s nevertheless refreshing to see how labels and collectives actively resist the formation of fixed formulas and keep releasing compilations where no track really sounds alike.

Pineal Sounds’ first volume of the Blue Satin Compilation series is a perfect example of this resistance. The diversity in rhythms ranges between kuduro, dembow, trap/trillwave (in such a refreshing way as if it had never existed..), techno, oldschool rave, 00s hiphop and Jersey club, alternately flavoured with dark ambient, grime, dreamy or mechanical.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

https://soundcloud.com/pineal-sounds/sets/blue-satin-vol-2

7. ESCAPE FROM NATURE EFN Sound Library Volume 1

Escape from Nature is a new avant-garde label established by the New York based forward looking producer Orlando Volcano, also focused on this same resistance to fixed formula’s. In their own words:

EFN observes, disregards and redefines the boundaries of what club music is and what it can be. The label acts as a space where club music’s functionality and intention can be debated and reconsidered. Why let a space that formed a genre dictate its future?

Escape From Nature showcases the most contemporary music possible, exploring the possibilities of the technology on offer to us.

EFN Sound Library Volume 1 is the first in an upcoming series of compilations from a wide range of artists in the club music underground. Unlike the Blue Satin one, this compilation is not just cross-genre diverse but much more experimental, trippy and less directly accessible for dancefloor audiences. With tracks such as 2lanes‘ dystopian-ambient jazzy flavoured opening track or KOH-IZT‘s (= Wet x Orlando Volcano) uncagtegorisable melodic experimentalism, club music becomes an artistic experience just as much as a nightlife thing as music is commonly experienced.

>> BUY HERE <<

8. This is Kuduro A Compilaçao Vol.2

Generation Bass has a long history of promoting the energetic Angolan dance genre kuduro and it’s always great to see new underground initiatives taking continuing to push genres after hypes fade away in the blogosphere. This Is Kuduro is such exciting new initiative which brings together artists from different scenes all over the world who are interested in kuduro. A major part of the producers affiliated to the platform are from the Portuguese underground scene, but the reach extends to Mexico (ChuCko), Chile (MiloMilo), home-base Angola (Nova Margem) and France (Zee Reech), equally spotlighting unknown talent and established names.

This Is Kuduro brings together the different flavours and approaches the genre has involved into since its origins and shows it’s there to stay for the future!

>> DOWNLOAD VIA SOUNDCLOUD <<

9. Ian Solow Machine Gun Zouk EP

Zouk bass has undergone a similar wave of attention rise and fall, and especially with the arrival of the Portuguese tarraxo underground that went more into the direction of techno and underground club music than the established ‘bass’ formula, or Generation Bass’ own melodic ‘future tarraxo’, it was hard to discern at some point whether zouk bass was an actual genre and where its boundaries are. Still producers have been trying to re-invent the genre almost from the scratch, carving out a new space, free from the worn-out formulas of EDMified global bass but also subtly different and refreshing from the new waves of underground sounds. The La Brousse crew with Photo Romance and Ian Solow taking the lead, have been particularly important for this.

Machine Gun Zouk EP is the outcome of this re-creation of a zouk bass from the future. Aesthetically and thematically inspired by post-internet underground genres such as vapor-trap and tumblr and musically building on dancehall and DnB, this is zouk bass as if it had never existed as a hype. Nidia Minaj adds the flavour of the Portuguese ghetto tarraxo, while Jurassic Fight Club draws in hypnotising arabic influences and trap. Fautre‘s kuduro, Chris Dogzout x CZuR‘s hyped up tuki-trap and Photo Romance’s mellow zouk grooves definitievely put zouk bass back into the multi-genre palette of music for the future.

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

10. Brunswick Sound Brunswick Sound Vol.1

This is a third underground-club compilation that would have fitted more with the Blue Satin and Escape from Nature ones but for the sake of variation in the post I prefered to spread it out a bit. This is definitely the most energetic and the darkest of the three underground club compilations. Here less explicit references to genres like reggaeton, baile funk or kuduro as most tracks lean most heavily on grime. Still the sound diversity and creative potential is enormous.

To my very own shame, I don’t know and can’t seem to find out a lot of background information about this label but it comes across as an essential voice in the critical area in music today, where the current, futuristic approach to grime merges with ‘club music’. Don’t sleep on this!

https://soundcloud.com/brunswick-sound-1/sets/brunswick-sound-vol-i

11. RECKLESS Rotterdam Promo EP1

For some reason the playlist with all tracks has been taken off the producer’s soundcloud. So I can’t show it in it’s entirety. RECKLESS is the new project of the 17 year old Rotterdam based producer formerly known as Sambo. As Sambo, he was mainly involved in the Dutch EDM scene, jungle terror in particular. With RECKLESS he teamed up with a befriended producer to form a duo who are now exploring the wave of afrobeats & afrohouse that is currently a big hit in the major cities. This EP is the first step into that direction and from my own personal taste I’d say compared to jungle terror and bigroom, this is most definitely a promising improvement.

Check out this promo track of the EP, dedicated to the popular sound of contemporary Rotterdam. The entire EP can be downloaded for free via the link, with inside an exciting collab with Generation Bass favourite DJ LyCox!

https://soundcloud.com/officialreckless/sambo-mini-game

>> DOWNLOAD <<

12. Lush SelectsLUSH 002

It’s almost permanently stormy weather in the netlabel underground, with new labels, collectives and initiatives popping up like mushrooms while others swiftly disappear or slowly bleed to death. Lush Selects is an impressive example of  the exact opposite. Since their establishment they have invested so much in community building and personal contact that they are now a slowly but continuously growing, solid community. We blogged their first compilation in March this year and said that it showed perfectly how the concept of ‘future beats’ or ‘future bass’ could be pushed free of fixed formulas, hypes or EDM-like pretentions. Similarly as I am considering now with the avant-garde club movement. In fact I think that these two movements can learn a lot from each other and in some ways this is already happening.

Here the second volume of their compilation series with the most creative post-hiphop, ambient juke and dreamy eclectic bass music. Especially notable are fortyforty‘s Latin flavoured, morning phone-alarm-esque experimentalism, Blak Trash‘ intense, wavy dream-hop and Roche Limit‘s apocalyptic deep ambient dub.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

Streamer : Full Stream Ahead

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We’ve featured Streamer here before with his take on Fodencia and some Arabic stuff, more of which is coming soon but here’s a bunch of new stuff that he’s been doing.

Streamer aka Gary is an Englishman living in exile in the Netherlands and he’s been on my radar since the mid 2000’s as he’s been an active participant in the Trans Club/Bass world since then and this dude has got some serious musical chops on him.

Here’s some seriously funky 90’s Big Beat alongside some Dub, Kuduro Glitch Disko, German Disco and bleedin’ T-Rex.

Here’s some Gen Bass trivia for you, one of our label artists was actually once taught to play guitar by the one and only Marc Bolan (RIP) of T-Rex – FACT 🙂