Little more than a year ago, I wrote what is possibly my most personal and emotional piece ever written on Generation Bass: the in depth interview with Dead Stare’s Gergö (Hungary) and Edgar (Mexico/US) about health, injustice, passion and music. The post struck a chord with many people and was shared widely, reaching for example boombahchero pioneer DJ Orion, who invited them to revive the Subguey series in September this year.
Dead Stare continues to occupy a remarkably unique position, outsiders in both the Hungarian and the North American ‘global bass’ scene, where the sounds of the BABYLON label and La Clinica on the one hand and NAAFI on the other, are setting the tone. Dead Stare’s blend of sounds is squeezed in between the EDM branch of global bass and the darker experimental club sounds that don’t really fit in ‘avant-garde club’, dark trap or witch house either. And now their enthusiasm for the boombahchero genre has given a whole new spin to their direction.
I recapped with Gergö for a look back at the turbulent 2016 and the future of boombahchero.
GB: Have there been any hopeful developments in the treatment of the brain tumor?
G: Unfortunately, absolutely nothing. Only for the worse. If its getting bigger, it can fuck up my eyesight. In the last few days a lot of things were too obscure, way too obscure, so we need another tumor test ASAP.
On a side note, I love how you guys wants to send me money like you, Orion and First Gift and Edgar, but I hate money. And as I said, we can’t buy an operation. In this situation Money can’t help. I could buy some clothes and food which would be really cool, but today I realized I don’t need money. The only thing I need is HUGS!
GB: But at some point you will need an operation I suppose, right?
G: I don’t know, but pretty sure yeah. I need to do another test. Probably in January.
Also, doctors announced now rhat , in this situation, the epilepsy is more dangerous than the tumor. It would be better without the Tumor, but still dangerous. They can’t operate epilepsy. I have medication, but I don’t really know what to say. I need to take it for a lifetime, but I’m always positive you know.
GB: Is the epilepsy a reason not to operate on your brain?
G: Nope… Luckily they can still operate me, but then I’ll still have the epilepsy which is more intense.
GB: But that’s no reason for the doctors to say, lets keep a tumor in your head that threatens your eyesight, that’d be bizarre…
G: I know man.. I’m just saying. I always went with high hopes to all of the appointments. I want to get rid of it ASAP. But I had enough time to learn to live with it.
GB: You were supposed to fly to the US for the promotion of the Subguey release, but that didn’t hapen in the end right? How do you feel about being so far separated from Edgar, especially now Dead Stare is growing?
G: The US trip is still possible, I just need a bit more time, hopefully I can tell more news about it. Edgar understands that I can’t travel to the US yet. He always encourages me to do gigs alone in Europe. Hopefully it will change soon. We really get along.We can always fix all of the “problems”, this hasn’t a big one to be honest.
Even by playing separate gigs on two sides of the ocean we influences each other. The video from my gig at Cross Club inspired Edgar to play boombahchero at a popular deephouse night, and people told him it was the craziest set ever.
GB: Cross Club?
G: Cross Club is a club in Prague. Chong-X booked me because he liked our Subguey mix. It was literally unreal. It was supposed to be a boombahchero set but for some reasons I played 30-40 mins of Moombahton… then Chong came to me and said “WE WANT BOOMBAHCHERO!!!” I switched to it immediately, and like woah. Man, it was clearly one of the best moments of my life.
I mean, for me personally boombahchero is very special, a magic experience that takes me to a perfect world without pain, and where everybody just smiling and dancing with crazy moves. But that night this actually came true.
GB: Can you tell more about your experiences with boombahchero?
G: It’s the most underrated microgenre now. I always knew the potential, but when I saw people’s reaction in Prague, I realised its even stronger than I expected. I’m just obsessed. I never thought people can feel boombahchero this way.
Another time is when I sent this Miami bass demo to Astronomar’s label Main Course. He said the track is really cool, but… SEND ME SOME BOOMBAHCHERO PLEASE. Like, I can’t believe this. A month ago I told Edgar “Everybody wants Boombahchero” but I was just joking. It seems it’s not a joke anymore..
I want to inspire people to create more edits as well as originals. I started a new project, organising a boombahchero compilation with all original tracks. First Gift from Sweden, who already made a lot of sick boombah tracks, is helping me, along with Orion. Maybe its a bit too early to announce it since we don’t really have anything so far yet, but I’m excited so I wanted to talk about it.
Dead Stare’s ‘slow boombahchero’ remix ofGingee‘s track Escape
GB: Coming back to the Main Course label, do you have mainstream ambitions?
G: I want to grow, and want to spread our message all around the world. I want shows and meet new people. I want to talk to all of my followers and help out others with food, clothes and inspiration. Big labels are the key. If I can take over some big labels that means more shows and more attention. It would be our biggest goal to have a release on a label where a global bass artist never really released anything.
Its hard because I want to keep the Dead Stare sounds but sometimes the success requests things like that. I think an oldschool miami bass track with some acid vibes would be enough deadstare. I’ll try to make a very unique track with rare sounds and of course acid vibes. Maybe its still EDM, but Im pretty sure we can make a good EDM track with a pure oldschool vibe and a unique beat.
GB: What’s up with the baby sounds that come back in several of your tracks?
G: We never talked about this so far, but nothing can make me more angry when I see somebody hurting a baby. I seen a fucking intense video of a mom kicking, hitting, hurting her daughter with things and I was literally in tears. Maybe that’s the deepest reason why I want to grow. I want to show people that kids deserve way more attention and love. Some parents prefer to give them easy distraction instead of talking to them. These things make me angry. We are using baby sounds to give a voice to them in this way.
Maybe some of our fans still think we are just a random project, making stupid ironic shit, but we have some serious messages. I’m not saying I can change the world but maybe I can inspire a few people that understand what we’re about.
GB: Any last thing you want to say to Generation Bass readers for 2017?
G: If you got an unreleased boombahchero track, we would like to hear: [email protected]
The Onda Group is a New York based collective which includes Track Meet’s Ynfynyt Scroll and Escape From Nature’s Orlando Volcano focused on embracing the holocene. Onda Trax Vol. 1 is the first mini-compilation, which might mark the beginning of Onda Trax as an album, containing tracks by Ynfynyt Scroll, Orlando Volcano and nar that all take a melancholic, melodic approach to dominican dembow, dancehall, baile funk and 3ball. Looking forward to more releases from them in the future.
I saw the Moroccan born, Brussels based producer Gan Gah recently in Rotterdam, at Pantropical’s event organised together with the Arabic film festival in Rotterdam, playing next to Rocky B the Tropikal Camel, Deena Abdelwahed and Rebel Up!‘s Dutch member Duckfood. Amidst the current wave of Middle Eastern & North African club music with semi-mainstream acts like Acid Arab on the one side, avant-garde political acts like 8ULENTINA and Dj Haram on the other side of the spectrum and the Arabic side of ‘global bass’ in the middle, Gan Gah is the perfect bridge. Following last year’s Souktronics EP, which had a lot of club, kuduro and trap influences, Chaâbitronics stays even closer to the characteristic chaâbi sound and bouncy triplet rhythm found in traditional and pop music all over North Africa and the Middle East.
Jason Hou is a Bejing based producer and member of the dohits label & collective which has been on our radar since last year summer. Their output is impressive and it’s hard to select which releases to include as essential. I chose for Jason Hou’s more experimental and dark-percussive EP, which connects in many ways to the recently introduced gorge genre.
Like gorge, 原 (Origin) is a return to nature and the most elemental aspects of existence – in this case, human existence. Homo sapiens’ propensity for ritual, creation, community, narrative, violence and reproduction is expressed with a blend of relentless club & techno drums, bright polyrhythmic percussion, traditional chants and deep subs.
The Berlin based producer Ziúr is one of my personal favourites this year. Both her ideas about the politics of citizenship and her intense, industrial club sound resonate intensely with how I’ve been reflecting on existence since a long time now. Developing her personal style since a while now, connecting to, yet subtly distinctive from the Berlin avant-garde sound represented by players such as JANUS or _WDIS, ‘Taiga EP’ is the first crystallisation of it in the form of an EP released on the Canadian-Mexican Infinite Machine label. The EP contains 4 original productions, one featuring RIN, and two remixes provided by the posthuman futurist Born in Flamez and the Australian visceral club deconstructionist Air Max ’97.
If you want to know about the wave genre, which we didn’t introduce on the blog I halfheartedly gladly forward you to this pretty insightful High Snobiety article. Needless to say, if something is on High Snobiety before it is on generation bass, it is either not interesting enough, or we haven’t done our job right. Or both. In this case it’s somewhat in the middle. But in short, wave is an intense, melancholic blend of trap, sadboy rap, witch house, cybernetic grime and vaporwave, which has been around in online undergrounds since as far back as 2013 but was lifted into the spotlights last year by futurebeats heavyweight Plastician and his terrorythm label. In retrospect I think we slept on it mainly because of my own tunnel-obsession with avant-garde club and because of its quick affiliation with the futurebeats-scene, which we also skipped almost altogether. But despite all this, I’m really feeling the heavy, emotionally touching vibe of wave and am fascinated also by the strong IRL-URL community vibe going around in the scene.
wavemob is one of the central, if not the single most defining label & collective of the movement, that released their first official compilation. wave 002 is the follow up, with 13 new, original productions from the wavemob members.
Internet culture has always had its obsessions with bygone sounds and subcultures. This year it’s trance, gabber and metal which are being devoured by the grinding mill. CREAMCAKE is a Berlin based avant-garde label, specialised in precisely capturing these shifts and trends in digital culture through music. ‘Powerpoint EP’ is the debut of the Finnish post-internet producer Keiska, who tunes into the melancholic echoes of 90s and 00s rave culture, bending the escapist angelicism of trance and eurodance into eerily alienating melancholic ambient music, contrasted with intense, deconstructed beats and dystopian samples.
Next to the grinding mill spit-outs of trance, metal and hardcore, there is also an obsession with racing cars and motorbikes in the aesthetic underground of tumblr, in the wake of health goth fashion and broader cyber tech aesthetics. The new producer collective Drift Kings takes this aesthetic trend to a more serious level. Like their first kickoff compilation, this follow-up release is again entirely dedicated to the conceptual vibe of car racing and its videogame simulation, with tracks, named after cars, filled with racing samples and immersive trance synths.
We’ve also entirely slept on the wave of hyperpop/bubblegum-bass that gathered the attention of the music magazines for a couple of years now, especially the stuff from the PC Music label. The hype has almost entirely faded out now, but an underground scene of producers that are fabricating a distinct, cotton-candy-like sound from sources like contemporary pop, nightcore, rave, k pop, RnB and bass music, is continuing and evolving further. The Canadian producer crapface is one of the defining names from this movement and his most recent album ‘:) 🙂 :)’ is at the same time an insightful display of where the post-PCmusic underground is moving as well as lots of fun to listen to.
The Mexico City based producer Cepillo Cuevas has always been an eccentric frontrunner in the world of moombahton and global bass, not following popular templates but developing his own ever evolving and diversifying, yet consistent style. Now global bass as a movement of mutually supporting producers, DJs and bloggers, has largely diffused into different directions, Cepillo Cuevas is more relevant than ever now. ‘Que Se Sienta’ is the kind of moombahton EP I have always dreamt of, staying true to the tresillo groove, while drawing in sounds from new-age ambient, cinematic-epic music and dark rave-techno, giving a whole new twist to the entire genre with each track.
Does anyone remember boombahchero, the short-lived microgenre from 2010 that sounds like a Frankensteinian hybrid ‘inverted’ 3ball, moombahton, club and juke? If you haven’t been involved before 2012, don’t feel ashamed if you don’t. When I entered the music scene back in 2013 it had already lost its momentum, with the last release stemming from a year before, delivered by Generation Bass favourite Banginclude.
Now after five long years, in which so much has happened to the music scene, it is almost nostalgically refreshing to hear a sound that reminds so much of the old days, when genres and the surrounding subcultures from all over the world were still excitements in the blogosphere and experimental hybrids could hoover easily between blogosphere inside jokes and overnight virality. Boombahchero, even more than moombahton, is a product of this fun period in the history of the internet.
Enter Dead Stare, the trailblazing Mexican-Hungarian URL duo whose experimentalism was inspired by this period. But they have left the irony behind. Dead Stare’s predilection to blend afro-Latin rhythms with breakcore, techno and energetic bass is far from a joke, it is an expression of the daily struggle against injustice in two different places in the world: DJ Broken Record as a Mexican in the US where the genie of racism and anti-immigrant hatred is summoned out of the bottle by the very man who might be elected into office and Gergö as a cancer and epilepsia patient in a reactionary Hungary where you cannot get proper healthcare if you’re not rich. Even though the technique is the same – editing mid-tempo dembow tunes into a 140 BPM syncopated 3/3 via a secret algorhythm in Ableton – the track selection and the way the mix is built up truly sounds as if, after pupating in a cocoon for five years, boombahchero is no longer a joke. The genre is still recognisable, but has woken up an adult.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Over here, the weather is slowly starting to get better and when sun feels warm on your skin for the first time of the year, you know festival season will be there sooner than you think. Time for a teaser roundup with the first hot summer tunes that I’m really feeling. I tried to draw stuff from some different corners of music, varying between dancehall, EDM and the avant-garde club – already-famous as well as lesser known stuff.
The spotlight is on the dissappearing gap between bass & club flavours and vocal songs, not just in the realm of watered-down pop music but now everywhere between the mainstream and the deepest underground. True, the divide is artificial to begin with. As Gaika said in the not-yet-published Sonic Acts interview: dub, dancehall and hiphop are very digital genres where a separation between electronic productions and vocal songs has never existed. But the growing number of collabs where producers team up with vocalists to create songs opens up exciting new possibilities that we will definitely hear back in this year’s sound.
The track has been out for about a month already but last week they released the long promised music video. KD Soundsystem (f.k.a. Kuddedieren) from Haarlem and the Ghent based crew Soul Shakers are both pioneers in the terrain between global urban & bass rhythms, dancehall and reggae and accessible mainstream party vibes. Easily compared to Major Lazer or Buraka Som Sistema but, I would say, much more interesting and diverse in style. For their freshest hit, they teamed up with the formation ZwartWerk from Mechelen, who fuse the sounds of afrobeats & kuduro with Dutch rap. ‘Met Mij Mee’ is the best example of how sounds & approaches (tropical bass, EDM, urban mainstream dancehall, rap) that were still totally different worlds a few years ago, are coming together and shaping the popular sound of today.
DJ FASTA has been pushing this fusion since the beginning. His music is the quintessence of the sound that is heating up dance floors all over the clubs in the Netherlands. Especially now the influence of bigroom and American pop-deephouse is fading away, moombahton and afrohouse are now dominating in the urban-eclectic scene. His new banger ‘Soundboy’ together with DJ Superior, released this week, is one we will definitely hear all over the clubs and festivals this summer.
In the avant-garde club underground, this track has already achieved absolute anthem status in the two months it has been out. But this is one, like many of the NAAFI edits and tracks from the likes of Murlo, that have the potential reach much wider audiences this year. The incredibly catchy melody is the most perfect mainstream entrance into experiencing the unique conceptual texture designs – this one feels like the sonic representation of a lubricant gel substance – that make this kind of music so fantastic.
The Egyptian-Canadian rapper, RnB & dancehall artist Ramriddlz is an important newcomer who has been drawn into the spotlights last year by none other than Drake. I stumbled upon this banger through a repost and was immediately hooked on the vibrant blend of future-dancehall and OVO-esque cloudiness. Judged by the number of plays, likes and reposts, this track is already massive but it could and probably will become even bigger. I could totally see it reach absolute hit status, with a VEVO video. Hopefully we’ll hear this all over the place very soon.
Dotorado is back with a brand new banger, that came online just today. Since his eclectic Maluku EP, he has continued his multi-genre explorations with tracks ranging from dubstep-drill-kuduro fusions to kizomba ballads. But now he is back with the signature-sound that made him famous. #Afro-melodico is ready to evolve into a promising subgenre that combines the rhythmical subtlety of afrohouse, the explosive energy of kuduro and the epicness of popular hiphop and EDM. ‘My Song’ is the ultimate successor track to ‘African Scream’: a natural anthem with the potential to grow even bigger.
Gualtiero and Ray Mautar are names I’ve mentioned since the very beginning of my blogging time at Generation Bass and later again in my monumental moombahton zombie series. I’ve been enthusiastic about them ever since because they are, among several other important names, keep showing that the Dutch urban club sound that evolved out of bubbling, is still very much alive. The influence of Munchi is obvious, but it’s fascinating to see how subtly but deeply different Munchi is interpreted here, compared to most of moombahton out there. Loud and blunt, but nothing like bigroom house or festival trap, staying true to the roots in oldschool dancehall with a rawness that reminds of the original Portuguese underground. With ‘Panya’, the Dutch underground has fully embraced moombahton as its own and from that point, it can only get better.
Back in 2010, MC Nino collaborated with the influential crew K-Liber4life on the kizomba ballad ‘Geen Stress‘ that became a big hit on Curaçao. His dembow banger ‘Mi Kier Bo’, with Prince Maiki, was again an excitement on the Antilles in 2013. That’s why it’s extra exciting to see him join forces with Gabriel Rowano, still of of the most underrated producers in the area of mainstream oriented global bass. Rowano himself too has made a style switch over the recent years, from oldschool trance inspired, emotional moombahton to a more catchy, accessible party sound, ready for the big clubs and festivals. Big chance you will hear this around in the coming months, especally in the Netherlands. The long announced music video will be also released soon.
Yet another banger from the Dutch scene. Stiekz-o-matic is a new but already surprisingly established name I’ve somehow never blogged before. He became more active on soundcloud since a year ago, right at the time when I was getting fully consumed by the avant-garde club scene, at the expense of other things. I realise that’s a pity because in the mean time I’ve been missing out on the shift in the Dutch underground towards a blend of afrobeats, dancehall and moombahton. What strikes me most in this fresh collab with the eclectic EDM duo Dutch Flavourz are the synths: refreshingly different from the long worn-out lazer squeeks, yet electrifying and catchy. Combined with the vocals in papiamento by MC Roke makes ‘No Caba’ one of the most innovative moombahton tracks I’ve heard year. Add this to your sets and spread the new sound of the Dutch underground everywhere this summer!
Maxx Gallo, a vocalist and producer from Los Angeles who early on developed his catchy, vocal interpretation of tribal guarachero back during the heydays of the genre in a way that is much more underground than the 3BALLMTY’s pop hits, and at the same time much more subtle and accessible than the heavy peppered Texan sound. His newest release is part of the multi-genre ‘Electronica Global EP‘ by the Monterrey based label Worldwide, with tracks from Erick Jaimez, Yelram Selectah, Wost, Noizekid and El Catorce. ‘Equipo’ is a lush and sultry track that blends the summer-night atmosphere of deephouse with sensual vibe cumbia and dembow and the characteristic urban-latin underground flavour that makes Maxx Gallo a very promising artist, not just for 3ball or cumbia but in the current reinvention of Latin music as a whole.
Another deep, even more soulful tune here from none other than Ricky Vaughn, freshly uploaded on his new soundcloud channel after his old one apparently got taken down by Soundcloud. ‘The One Tonight’ is a unique track, combining the breezy beach flavours not only with an esquisite dembow beat but also with some of the ethereal, even angelic atmosphere found in sad and vapor trap. Whereas last year, there was a great divide between on the one hand great, exciting innovations remaining exclusively avant-garde and on the other hand the big bulk of accessible mainstream music stuck in its own commercial staleness. Tracks like ‘The One Tonight’ give me the feeling that this year, innovation and the potential to reach wider audiences will go ever more hand in hand.
The fantastic things that the Mexico City based bass formation Ghetto Kids has done for the popularity of global bass in Mexico, integrated with the homegrown sounds of 3ball and cumbiaton is something we’ve praised many times before. This year teamed up for the first time with a member of the famous 3BALLMTY, Dj Otto, for a perreo stomper that fuses the best of oldschool dembow, moombahton and Mexico City’s cumbiaton.
I preserved this one for the end… Nothing works better for a track to become an anthem than an incredibly catchy melodic hook that people on the dancefloor wil recognise immediately. This easy-listening banger from the Aalen (Germany) based global bass producer DjK-ev has everything to give it this effect on the dancefloor: the dancey chords, the flute and of course the delicious Indian sitar. With enough exposure and momentum, ‘India Takata’ can be THE summer hit of 2016!
It’s been 2 years since Munchi’s last release, the brilliant “Perreo 101” which we were privileged and honoured to unveil to the world. Prior to that release was the exceptional Rasterinha EP which ranks as one of my all time faves in the Munchi cannon alongside the legendary “Rotterdam Juke”.
The musical landscape has changed a lot over the past 2 years. A hell of a lot. As Victor has been correctly identifying via his amazing blog posts, standard Global Bass fare now sounds pretty old-fashioned and a product of a bygone era. Things are evolving and progressing. The Global Bass of new is trying to shed its tags and associations as being looked upon as a World Music/Global/Exotic genre and is placing itself alongside standard club music and wishing to be identified as just that, Club Music.
The innovators of this new evolution are mostly kids with their origins in the country from where they take their inspiration. Munchi is one of the First Generation of that ilk which is now being inhabited by the likes of Nazar, Happy Colors, DJ Haram, Bison, Nigga Fox, El Mahdy Jr, Non label, Naafi label and many others.
So where does Munchi fit into all of this. Well he is one of the innovators, one of the Godfathers I guess you could say. Were it nor for him, would we have come this far? Don’t forget he was doing stuff like SkullTrap and other weird, dark and aggressive mutations well before many. This filtered down to this new generation and his influence is undeniable. Even right now he occupies the classic position of an “innovator”, over-looked & barely talked about except by the ever faithful, almost forgotten. That’s what usually happens to innovators, true originators.
This is not the massive come-back, some of us might have been anticipating or wished for. The material could quite easily have come out in circa 2010-2011. The sound and technique hasn’t evolved that much beyond that circa. However, I think it’s totally unfair to have expected Munchi to meet those high expectations at this stage. Let’s not forget, Munchi has not been busy honing his skills, technique or musical growth, he’s been busy looking after himself and trying to manage his ill-health. So with that history in mind, all of this has to be put into some context.
This is just the start, we hope, Munchi is just warming himself up and that revolutionary come back, that new sound some of us are expecting from Munchi will arrive, be rest assured. For now, anything by Munchi is better than nothing by Munchi and I’m just so happy that he is taking little tentative steps to make music again. This must be encouraged and I pray it continues.
It’s not a MASSIVE COMEBACK but a SLIGHT RETURN and a most welcome return too. It would be unfair to expect Munchi to come back and blow our brains with something totally new and revolutionary like he has had a habit of doing in the past. This EP is what he says it is, it’s an EP going back to the roots.
Don’t get this twisted or wrong, this EP is fyah, total fyah and a cut above what everybody else is doing with this kind of stuff. Those damn drums, that tightness of production!!! It’s an education for many, a history lesson, you will learn something from this that will inform your own music making and that will add to your knowledge.
Munchi is just easing himself back into music making again, warming up to it in that inimitable Munchi way by causing total mayhem first before soon silencing us all with his wonder!
Let me hand you over to the boy genius:
It’s back to the roots on this EP – Bubbling and Reggeton. Shoutout to the originators!
After hearing “Tupac Back” a couple of years ago I knew exactly what to do; “Naffie Back”. This concept lingered in my mind for too long, so in March this year I finally made it happen. Instantly dropped a preview on Soundcloud too, because wtf happened to that Naffie drop?
There was a time that upon hearing the Naffie drop you knew – the club is about to be destroyed. Previously I made two VIP’s of my favorite classics in the form of “shoutouts”. These were literally to just be able to hear the Naffie drop in the clubs again. I recall hearing the “Blow Your Speakers” remix for the first time. This changed my life. I recall hearing the “Satisfaction” remix for the first time. I almost cried due to the amount of that my mind was being blown. So in making the 3rd shoutout of the series, the intent was to make a track that was going to be something like a ultimate shoutout that covered each aspect since this dude did so many genres. The mother of all shoutouts lol! Just the thought alone had me smiling.
So instead of rebranding it or watering it down into the 1.000.000th new genre, imma call it exactly what it is – Bubbling. More like Bubbling O.D. while you’re at it lol with references to the Bubbling dons Shaun D, Master D and De Schuurman. Hopefully they’ll all bless the world with new Bubbling tracks, cause nobody does it quite like them – SHOW THEM HOW ITS DONE.
“Pa Lo Under”
I used to listen to Reggeton’s Dembow rhythm on my walkman all day. Obsessively learning all I could about Reggeton. Fuck it’s crazy, back then all the producers were on the same old forum talking shit to eachother. I even hear the sounds I posted back then scattered in packs or even in productions over the years. This is for all the trademark sounds, all the homegrown labels, shitty VST’s that were only used for Reggeton, the limited sound palette you had to use over and over again, the creative ways to sing the most retarded lyrics and most of all the Reggeton singers that couldn’t sing for shit! YES, I LOVE IT.
Nothing is as fun as making a Reggeton track. So I present to you another one of those ultimate shoutouts lol. Covering all my favorite Reggeton producers in a Moombahton setting, stuffing it with an impossible amount of references to shout them out haha. You know who you are!
So salute to the Reggeton kings, while throwing on my FUBU clothes for one last time to keep on grinding in this sandungueo. HA!
“Yavor Yanakiev (Bulgarian: Явор Янакиев, born 16 May 1985) better known by his stage name 100 Kila (Bulgarian: 100 Кила), is a Bulgarian rapper from Varna, Bulgaria. His stage name means 100 kilos in English.
Yanakiev was born and raised in Asparuhovo, Varna. His parents separated when he was 6. His mother moved to Greece and currently works there. From there she sent him money. He lived with his father and brother, until his father left them. Yavor studied in school until 8th grade.
The label Braza, is introducing all kind of electronic music from Brazil. Since you know a little from that big country, you will – at least – know about baile funk, Rio de Janeiro ghetto music. But, since Brazil is the 5th huge country in the world, and his size is almost all south america, you can guess there are another electronic cultures around there. And there is.
The duo BRAAP is from capital Brasília. Brasília is a ‘young’ city, it was born at 1950 more less and from a call of president to brazilian people from all country to help to build the capital. So there is a big mix of culture there and BRAAP grab all of it the EP BSBass.
They open the EP with Greengo, a trap music with brazilian influences. Then follow with VAI, moombahton song grabbing funk carioca influence. Going through, they met MC Jimmy Luv – from SP – and the group MOVNI.
MOVNI is a rap group from Brasília. They don’t have a characteristic accent – remember, BSB is a younger city, they are coming to the 3rd generation now in 2016. What is most interesting here are the lyrics talking about orbit, space, world, planets and another dimension things. They are 3 guys very intelligent and creatives, I never listened to any other kind of rap like that. And again, they are original.
I like the EP by the quality and technique, the BRAAP – Leandro Morgado and Marcus Diniz, are taking Brasília electronic music to another level, and including the city on global bass map.
You can download all material for free at Bandcamp – in exchange of your email. Or can support the artist with a regular download at oficial stores.
Amrit Bansie, a.k.a. ARK, is a beatmaker from Amsterdam about whom I know almost nothing else than that he has a Soundcloud and a Youtube account and made many beats until a year ago.
Most of his tracks are instrumental hiphop, experimental crossovers between hiphop, jazz and electronica. But next to that he has experimented with dembow and zouk beats, fused with ravey, angelic trance melodies and produced tracks which are totally fresh and relevant today. As far as I can tell from followers and comments overlap he has just experimented with these sounds by himself, without influence at all from either the global bass or the current avant-garde club movement.
Yet, his most recent tune totally sounds like it could be from Dinamarca!!
His bubbling-ragga-trance experiment has a very similar afreobeats vibe as Theoscicloff’s banger ‘Ritmo Dogg‘ which we blogged last week.
And another angelic oldschool trance flavoured bubbling/afrobeats tune I’m really feeling!
It’s a pity that the instrumental hiphop community is still quite separate from electronic music production, even now with the trillwave/post-trap stuff it’s coming closer together. Here a great track with the Indian influences we love so much, which at the same time totally fits in this exciting blurry area between instrumental hiphop and trap/twerk/drill influenced electronic and club music.
A dreamy melodic track, tagged as zouk, but holding the middle between dembow/moombahton on mid-tempo BPM range and the angelic sound of #Future Tarraxo…