Kicking Off 2017 With The New Dark Generation

2017 will see a rise of Lovecraftian, cosmic horroresque aesthetics

2016 slipped away without a spotlight for a development in music that has come into full force over the course of this year, completely out of view of most blogs and music magazines, even independently of the internet avant-garde’s metal fetish. It is one of the most successful stories of how a music movement can be assembled from different genres and musical backgrounds. Meet the new dark generation.

I’m calling it a generation rather than a movement or a scene because not all of the artists are necessarily connected or would recognise each other as part of the same thing. Rather there are smaller groups and scenes, probably more than there are on my radar right now, that are making forward looking, multi-genre music with a dark twist. With the facebook group Dark Electronic Music, I’ve tried to tie all of these small movements together and to some extent this was successful, but still far from where I’d hope it will move. But all of these movements and scenes have grown and diversified this year and that is something which can never deserve enough support.

Some household names and some new names to support. Also I lost a bit sight on the techno, hardcore and industrial side of things, so that’ll be saved for next time.

1. Hexx 9 records (label)

Of all the labels and collectives out there, few embody what I call the ‘new dark generation’ as on point as the New York based trailblazers of Hexx 9. Born out of the post-witchouse movement, they have released next generation gothic music on the interface of witch house, industrial, ritual ambient, drone, noise rave, dub, trap and more. Even Abu Ama‘s Arabic ambient dub tarraxo has found a warm home at the label.

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2. 209 SINS

With separate projects known under different pseudonyms, 209 SINS is one of the most consistently active Soundclouders, combining repost selections with own productions and mixtapes: れモモ刀下∨ㄥ 匕卄丹れム乙 for vocal hiphop, ᴆ ᴀ ᵛ ᴵ ᴆ † ᴌᴬ ᴮ 0 ᵙ ℜ for hard-hitting industrial DnB rave crossovers, Philip K. Decker for cinematic ambient influenced instrumental tracks and yunΠg≠wellbutriΠ for mixtapes.

209 SINS recent selector’s choice of industrial bass rave mixtapes

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3. ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş

We’ve supported the Paris based prodigy ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş and his alter-project Shinji (now [lyn]) several times before on the blog, but 2016 was the year where he put himself on the map, both with his two artistic projects and with his avant-witchhouse Facebook channel U+06e9. An autodidact classical singer, electronic producer and improvisationalist, bedtime stories’ has developed an impressively unique style, individually, without following any trend. Although he calls it ‘classical witch’, the sound transcends the witch house genre in every possible aspect, while its relation to classical music is even more intriguing. ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş is a neoromantic, early-classical punk, reclaiming the sound and aesthetics of thoroughly elite, institutionalised entities as a tool for improvisational self-expression.

I’m looking forward to what 2017 will bring. Yet for now, ‘Gaia’ (Hexx 9, September 2016) is ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş’ defining release.

>> BUY IT HERE <<

Ģăīă was a project created by an unknown entity, a creature able to bend the nature of things and able to change reality by interacting with dreaming people. Ģăīă was able to save lives, but playing with human psyche is not without consequences, and most of the dreamers died. Only a few stayed alive, connecting with nature to transfer the energy of the entity into the lands. Now, Ģăīă is all around us and influence our reality, but maybe this reality is just a lng dream orchestrated by Ģăīă itself.

One of the exiting aspects of ßęđŧīmĕ Šŧōŗĩėş is that he knows how to deconstruct his own sound, combining elements of it such as the gothic opera singing, with vastly different vibes such as this industrial, rhythmic ambient track collab with Achromatic Residue.

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4. Volkanos

Another very active producer and scene pusher involved in blending witch house elements with industrial ritual ambient music is Volkanos from Denver, U.S. Involved with the Hexx 9 label as well as the dark experimental techno label Tenebrous Music. Grown up in a family involved with Wicca and Shamanism, Volkanos always had a vision of fusing music with symbolism, mythology and ritual choreography. Expect a more in-depth interview soon on the blog!

https://soundcloud.com/v0lkanos/dethrite-valley-of-misery-volkanos-x-andrvj

Volkanos’ style: suggestive horroresque soundscapes, blended with organic percussion and witch house flavoured rave synths

https://soundcloud.com/v0lkanos/all-souls-mixtape

The All Souls mixtape which came out around halloween is one of my favourite mixes of 2k16, particularly because Volkanos, next to myself, is one of the only artists in the world fusing witch house, dark techno and 209 sins style industrial bass music with the dark flavoured side of ‘avant garde club’

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5. Young Yogi

Supported several times before, Young Yogi, alter-project of GAMEFACE, is paving the way ahead of the dark trap microgenre which GAMEFACE has been building for about two years now, steering away from sounds of EDM trap as well as from post-internet cloud trap into a more unique and conceptual direction. Young Yogi’s sound combines the explosive tension and monstruous 808 bass of the new dark wave of cloud trap and with psychedelic uplifting melodies and cyber-utopian mystical thematics.

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7. SADWRIST

Mad genius of the witch house scene, playing with thematics and imagery sometimes too gruesome for even me to share. When he disappeared from all his social media platforms at some point last year I, and probably more with me, was honestly worried he’d put an end to his life. But he came back and has been uploading so much fire lately, venturing from his already rough and eclectic twist on witch house further  into noise, breakcore, hardcore, dark trap and black metal.

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8. RARE AKUMA

Especially Sadwrist’s more trap leaning work would probably fit the new #RAGECORE genre, created by the Antwerp based beatmaker Rare Akuma. Pushing a blend that is sitting somewhere in between drill, deathstep and metal, Rare Akuma bridges the worlds of hiphop, loud bass music and the rise of metal in the electronic avant-garde.

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9. ATILLA THE HVN & NOIRE ANTIDOTE †

The witch house scene in the Netherlands is small and fragmented. The people that make it are not really connected into one scene. In fact, there isn’t really a scene at all. The genre is just getting a bit more known over here only recently (then I’m not talking about Crystal Castles) among the new generation of dark-alternative leaning fans who can nowadays listen to anything from vaporwave or sad rap to anime music or whatever edgy genre the internet has spit out over the last years. Producers are a different story. With Atilla The Hvn and Noire Antidote there are two great forward looking examples, one coming (as far as I can tell) from industrial techno, the other (alter-project of Benjamin’s Plague) coming from the cybergoth-industrial scene.

From Tilburg, home base of Generation Bass, Atilla the Hvn seemed to come out of the blue when I first discovered him last year, but apparently he has not only been experimenting with witch house for more than two years, has a solid following and is well connected in different forward looking corners of music. If I may bet on any producer from the Netherlands to rise to greater heights in 2017, Atilla The Hvn is the one.

Dark melancholic trance & hardcore beautifully blended and distorted into a powerful emotional rave flavoured soundscape.

I’ve known the guy behind Noire Antidote for a while (never met him in person tho) because of my occasional adventures in the industrial scene and how much I like dark electro, I was even happier to find out that within the remnants of the gothic scene at large, there is interest in witch house as a direction to go into. Not that I have anything particular against industrial hardcore or psytrance, but with self-proclaimed scene destroyer DJ Krat (industrial hardcore/rhythmic noise), the psy/goa scene or wallowing in German festival nostalgia as the only three options, witch house was never embraced by the gothic scene in the Netherlands so far. In 2017, things have changed. Whether it makes sense or not to still talk about a gothic scene is irrelevant. Noire Antidote is making great music and actively reaches out to crowds with livesets on industrial minded festivals, without the need for a witch house scene.

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10. The Enigma TNG

Back in the days I’ve suppored The Enigma TNG, still one of my all-time favourite producers, as an example of what an eclectic, multi-genre cyberpunk flavoured dark music future could look like. Almost two years later, he is still going strong, consistent pushing and developing his unique style. And where back then, he was a solitary pioneer with a solid following mainly in the world of cybergoth-electro and alternative electrostep, today his sound, involving elements of metal and cinematic epic orchestral music, is being mentioned as an inspiration for the direction in which the club avant-garde will be moving in 2017.

His newest album, ‘Midnight’, came out in October last year.

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

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11. Toxic Embryo

Upcoming live electronic formation and enfant terrible of the dark-alternative scene in the Netherlands. Drawing inspiration from sources like Babymetal, BOTDF, anime music and nightcore, Toxic Embryo’s twist on dark electropop possesses the same post-ironic DIY edge as PC Music’s bubblegum rave or Elysia Crampton’s conscious use of cartoonish horror elements and recontextualised pop sentimentality. The nostalgic, trancy neo-rave melodies and anime-esque adventure lyrics combined with campy cyberpunk aesthetics will leave the traditional electropop fan in utter confusion whether this is a joke or truly garbage. Yet at the same time, this androgynous blend of hyperpop and angelwave, fused with metal, hardcore, trance, rap and live performance is exactly where the avant-garde of internet culture will be moving in 2017.

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Generation Bass Presents: GBMIX#11! Wu

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

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

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Makina – Hondo [Introspective & Tantric Argentinian Electronica]

MakinaHondo

Since Hernan Ambrogi, a.k.a. Makina, left Amsterdam to move back to his home country Argentina, he hasn’t sit still. After four years of silence as a producer, spent to focus more on live projects, he is back with a breathtaking, sophisticated EP that fuses moving soundscapes and hypnotising drums with acoustic bandoneons, traditional percussion and mesmerising folkloric guitars.

The album is described as a journey into the inner world, a place where intimacy reaches its most intense form, a reflection on who we are from the perspective of an inhabitant of Buenos Aires. The music truly resonates with the cover design, showing the overwhelming vastness of the ocean. The inner world is much like the Atlantic on the shores of Buenos Aires, always just around the corner, yet truly realising it’s depths and howling magnificence can be frightening. And like the waves in port into the South American continent, our whirling inner world carries the testimonies of the histories that shaped us, including the suppressed ones, the restless waves that keep beating against at our convulsively fortified quays when we are alone. How else could I but immediately bring to mind Moro‘s San Benito EP, which uses the exact same metaphor, not for personal introspection but to confront Argentina as a whole with a gruesome chapter in its history: the systematic erasure of the African part of its national identity. Makina, in his own way, reconnects the indigenous with the African heritage, by means of cumbia and dembow influenced techno breaks, undeniably sharing in African origin.

Beyond that, the emotion breathing throughout the album is one of passionate connection. The inner world manifests itself as a resevoir of glowing sparks, wandering like lonely fireflies in a barren void, longing to be drawn into a tender tango with sparks from other inner worlds. This intimate sharing is the essence of poetry, expressed so touchingly by the Argentinian folk singer Atahualpa Yupangui in the track ‘La Universalidad del Ser’: the art of communicating existence itself, on all levels: intellectual, emotional and bodily. In that way, the introspective meditation evolves into a tantric dance of love-making.

The acoustic instruments were recorded by Makina himself, together with an international group of collaborating artists in Buenos Aires and in Amsterdam.

>> BUY THE ALBUM HERE <<

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Generation Bass Presents: GBMIX#10! Neutrom X

NeutromX

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

Tracklist:

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

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

WWC REMIXED FINAL

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

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

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

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

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

1. Streamer – Walking With Camels (Ballroom Version)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Streamer – Midnight Express (Neuro Version)

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

6. Streamer -The Last Sacrifice (Sarantis Remix)

Sarantis turns The Last Sacrifice into a Grime epic.

7. Streamer – The Last Sacrifice

Sanmon transformed the sacrificial ritual into a Techno behemoth.

8. Streamer – Searching For Ketama (Golden Version)

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

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

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

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

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

11. Streamer – Searching For Ketama (DesertWave Version)

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

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

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

ARTWORK:
Steve Green

STREAMER
@streamer

BANDISH PROJEKT
@bandishprojekt

INSANE FENNEL
@insane_fennel

SARANTIS
@sarantis1

SANMON
@sanmon-23

ZHE PECHORIN
@zhe-pechorin

CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE
@sissyfus

DRVG CVLTVRE
@drvgcvltvre

GBEP00071

THE LAST SACRIFICE – INSANE FENNEL APOCALYPSE REMIX

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

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

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

P-Balans Vol. 1 Technodelia

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Totally blown away by this forthcoming release on a new label from Bucharest named P-Balans which sets out to combine cosmic, progressive & psychedelic sounds with a Techno backdrop.

It’s from the amazing minds who are behind the Future Nuggets label and this is their new imprint. Here’s what they say about it:

“P-Balans is a new imprint in the Future Nuggets emerging constellation. A technodelia ramification within the Bucharest electronic scene that will host rising names like Khidja and Borusiade while introducing new characters like The Holy Fix and Utopus. Keeping the same strategies of fusion and diffusion as Future Nuggets, P-Balans will explore the space traversal to techno, entering and exiting the dark halls of the club through multiple doors.”

This whole EP opens up a brand new world of cosmic journeying and I’m vibing to this kind of sound big time!

You can hear some snippets from the impending release which is what I imagine Pink Floyd would sound like if they ever dare to foray into the dance world full-time:

Important Stuff We’ve Slept On

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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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Essential EP’s #9

EssentialEPs9

Well into the new year, the long awaited new edition of Essential EP’s, most of which are from 2015 still but too essential to skip. An exciting selection which finally has a fair share of cumbia included, some of which you may have seen supported already in Sexxy Saturday Cumbia, but deserves to be included among the essentials. At the same time, the selection is an attempt to be a perfect bridge into the coming year!

1. Mixpak Holiday Bundle 2015 (MIXPAK)

There are few things so essential and broadly influential as everything that future-dancehall label MIXPAK does. To my surprise, after our own show on Stranded FM last Friday where I played Florentino’s romantic future-zouk tune ‘Leave’, El Maria from the Bright label club-night & radio show in my hometown, played the exact same track as well as MM & Kid Antoine‘s anthemistic banger Final Response. The other contributors are Escape From Nature’s Orlando Volcano and the London based grime & dancehall producer famous eno. MIXPAK’s Holiday Bundle is by far the most essential compilation in all your sets and playlists for a while ahead this year!

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

2. NON WORLDWIDE COMPILATION, VOL. 1 (NON)

This enthusiastically received compilation has been out for quite a while already and it’s a shame we haven’t been able to support it yet. Where the label made a powerful start with only music from the founding members (ANGEL-HO, Chino Amobi and Nkisi) here the family extends into a wide variety of artists from all over the world, notably gqom collective Rudeboyz and upcoming star GAIKA but also so lesser known artists like Farai and FAKA. I’d love to see the NON family extend even further in the new year. They announced a first edition of a magazine with critical essays, art, photography, poetry and more so that will certainly happen. More about this soon on Generation Bass!

>> BUY HERE <<

3. Santa Muerte SANTA MUERTE BOOTLEGS (GHE20G0TH1K)

The future Latin club duo Santa Muerte was one of the greatest newcomers last year and will continue to grow in 2016. It was exciting to see how they would connect to many different scenes and sub-scenes, releasing with the futurists from The Astral Plane for example, but also with the tropicalistas from El Flying Monkey. Two weeks ago, they kicked off the new year with an exclusive bootleg pack for the influential GHE20G0TH1K platform.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

https://soundcloud.com/ghe20g0th1krecords/sets/santa-muerte-bootlegs

4. Tomás UrquietaManuscript EP (Infinite Machine)

I listed Tomás Urquieta from Viña del Mar, Chile, as one of the artists to watch in 2016 and I’m almost convinced that his mechanical, even techno-flavoured club EP, which pushes the sounds of the club avant-garde beyond the current club scene’s inner circle, will in retrospect prove to be among the most forward looking works of the year. Therefore here again, in case you haven’t checked it out yet, the entire EP, including exlusive tracks for influential platforms as XLR8R and Complex UK.

>> BUY HERE <<

5. Erick Jaimez Dallas Cumbiaholic 3 (Americano)

In a time where what we once called ‘bandwagons’ look rather like a swarm of spaceships in a Star Wars battle, it is both refreshing and impressive to see somebody undesturbedly pushing a personal style. Few have done this so persistently over the years as the Dallas based future Latin producer Erick Jaimez. His catchy blend of sampled cumbia with crunk beats and house grooves had lots of potential from the very beginning but fell just in between the different centres of gravity existing at the time. Too ‘urban’ to be ‘hipster-tropical’, too much roots to be ‘EDM’ and too experimental to fit into the Mexican tribal, cumbia & norteñas underground. But as time has passed and his followers base has grown steadily, there is finally space arising in the shifting music landscape. Since the beginning, Erick Jaimez has been closely affiliated to the next generation Latin culture movement around El Dusty and his Americano label, which will be gaining even more gravity and attention this year. One of the great signs is the new club night Sonidero Dallas, launched recently, where Erick Jaimez will perform next to Track Meet curator Shook Nite, which smoothly links him to the club avant-garde (circle closed!). More about this soon. For now, feel the vibrant anthem potential of this fresh EP, where Erick’s recognisable style is notably crystallise even further from an innovative experiment into perfected quality production.

>> BUY HERE <<

https://soundcloud.com/erickjaimez/sets/dallas-cumbiaholic-3

6. Kazuki Koga The Salathé Wall (Apothecary Compositions)

Almost a year ago, I selected a previous EP from this upcoming Montreal based Japanese producer as essential. I must also immediately confess that I promised a major post on the mysterious rock-climbing cult genre GORGE, which I never managed to write. But I can tell you that the draft is already sitting on the dashboard to be completed and published soon as one of our major new things this spring. Also an exciting observation is that with releasing on this avant-garde label with close connections with Classical Trax for example, Kazuki as an artist but also gorge as a genre is finding it’s way into the club avant-garde! Compared to the percussive, uptempo dreamy ambient flavoured tone of his previous, equally breathtaking EP, this release is a lot heavier. The rather maximalistic melodic synth, sample and ambient patches and take over the leading position from percussion drums, in a way that often strongly reminds me of 2814‘s post-vaporwave ambient. Also shout out to experimental producer and vocalist Così e Così, whose vocals appear on the second track!

>> BUY HERE <<

7. GAMEFACE Alpha Centauri 2

Without any doubt the most independent and enlightened mind in trap, even in his own niche of dark trap which has developed into a vivid underground over the last one and a half year. With Alpha Centauri 1, already two years ago, he was very much pioneering the ‘dark trap’ sound. Not only did that genre not exist yet at that time, its closest cousins, dark trillwave and Chicago drill on the hiphop side were still very underground and very separate from the EDM-trap movement. His unique combination of distorted leads, drums and vocals, indian chants and mystical imagery would completely open new ways for trap music in the years that followed. Now with the second volume, he aims to take the initiative for another next step. Now not against the background of a genre at its peak, but rather after its downfall, free from the dominance of EDM trap and its expectations. Out of the crucible of darkness and its post-apocalyptic ashes he now rises, reborn, transformed into a divine cosmic being, like a transdimensional butterfly, drying its wings in the endless sea of galaxies. Collabs contributions are from fellow dark trap OG Hounds (Canada) and new talent Donny Coke (Amsterdam).

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

8. Morten HD Darkside Kygo

If anyone deserves the honour of being Classical Trax’ most active member, it is certainly the experimental ambient grime producer Morten_HD from Oslo. Next to his contributions to compilations, appearing on every compilation project released by the CT collective and other platforms, he occasionally releases EPs by himself. As a matter of fact he also just released his newest EP via Apothecary Compositions some days ago, while I was already writing this post. Darkside Kygo is such a personal outburst of creativity, re-interpreting EDM-pop hits from the Norwegian superstar DJ Kygo into a wild conceptual blend of ambient noise and classic hardcore with bubbling and soca beats!

>> DOWNLOAD VIA SOUNDCLOUD <<

9. BIGOTE Cumbia Maluca (KUMBALE)

As we speak, KUMBALE’s nestor René Gamez a.k.a. SSDSS is on tour in Mexico together with his friend and Esperanza nights co-host Bogdan Krawalski and the Hungarian tropicalist Stas. Meanwhile, they continue releasing fantastic stuff. Bigote, curator of his own cumbia based label and collective Caballito in his country Spain, continued his friendship with KUMBALE, celebrated last month with a special Esperanza edition, with an EP released on KUMBALE: ‘Cumbia Maluca’. Maluca, a Brazilian slang word for a wild, crazy girl, used a lot in baile funk, is the ultimate fusion of the raunchy pleasure vibe of funk with the hypnotic slow grooves of cumbia.

>> DOWNLOAD VIA SOUNDCLOUD <<

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7X1bZn3gjQ

Check out the aftermovie of ‘Esperanza vs Caballito’ here!

10. GRAVETON IV (Caballito)

Around the same time, Caballito Netlabel itself returned with the 4th ‘Graveton’ compilation, started back in 2010 to showcase the most creative underground bedroom productions with cumbia and reggaeton elements. Unfortunately, not all editions are available online any more, but in its successive releases you would notice the successive development in sound, from the digital cumbia scene’s origins in psychedelic dub towards the banger sound of ‘tropical bass’. This time, the mega compilation with 39 tracks seems dedicated to the sound shift towards the club avant-garde, including not only established names from the digital cumbia scene such as Tribilín Sound and Real Cumbia Activa and but also London club underground OG Endgame, future dembow pioneer Kid Cala and the enigmatic Mexican underground formation Grupo Jejeje. Even more excitingly, even relatively mainstream names from the Andean electrofolk scene are involved like Animal Chuki and Dengue Dengue Dengue, who are normally operating at a fair distance from the new club scene. Yet broad compilations and flexible labels like Caballito are able to bring these worlds together, and that is where the most interesting things will happen.

>> FREE DOWNLOAD <<

Essential EP’s #7

EssentialEPs7Squared

 

Magnificent releases keep coming at a faster pace than we can blog. Last time I tried to post everything immediately and summarise in the Essentials compilation but now I already have to give up, even though I’m still trying. Every single one of this list would have deserved a separate place on the blog. Pay attention to them as if these were all indivual posts!

1. Rizzla Iron Cages EP

We know Rizzla from Brooklyn as a member of the collective around the KUNQ microgenre. Nowadays he is one of the leading figures in the avant-garde club scene in the US and has now released his new EP with the influential tastemaking label Fade to Mind, the first single of which, ‘Twitch Queen’, appeared in August this year. In an interview with The Fader, the director of the Twitch Queen video, described the EP as a contemporary cyberpunk story about “an unidentified protagonist who seeks to escape from earth due to the ongoing collapse of society.”

“Playing off of the undulating rhythms of the titular track, the video ebbs and flows with a feeling of relaxed calamity and the perhaps foolish hope for utopia elsewhere. While drifting, the protagonist encounters a vaguely ominous orb of light just in the distance as the second track bellows ‘I want to corrupt you tonight.’ The audience is then immediately transported into scenes of violence, police brutality and abandonment. The charged momentum of the beat fuels the disaster and abjection that’s taking place on screen, showing the need for this ‘Iron Cage.’ The footage serves as one of the artifacts that has survived.”

Iron Cages EP is another very powerful example of the avant-garde club sound, where diverse familiar club sounds including reggaeton, kuduro and RnB are transformed into a surreal, virtual and dystopian experience.

>> BUY ON iTUNES <<

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2. Track Meet Track Meet Compilation 03

The Dallas-based avant-garde label Track Meet is quickly joining the ranking of the major tastemakers. This is already the third compilation they released since their starst in 2011. Even though, in line of labels such as NAAFI and Staycore, they have been working with urban-latin elements for a long time, scene-wise global/tropical bass and ‘club trax’ have remained (and often still are) worlds apart. The exciting thing is that this compilation now does includes a two of artists coming from the scene known as global/tropical bass: the Generation Bass affiliated alrounder Banginclude and tribal evolution innovator DJ Giovanni Rios, next to names from the ‘club trax’ scene such as Classical Trax member Vaphoree from Spain and ‘post-arabic’ producer HABIBIBOI!

>> DOWNLOAD <<

https://soundcloud.com/trackmeetdjcrew/sets/tm03-track-meet-compilation-03

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3. Pobvio Syndombe Club EP

This 6 track EP, with remixes from the NAAFI afiliated Chilean producers Imaabs and Lechuga Zafiro, has been out for a while on the Lechuga Zafiro‘s fresh own SALVIATEK label and is a shame it hasn’t featured on Generation Bass so far. Especially because it is the exact and perfect fusion between the kind of initiatives (reworking traditional folkloric music in an electronic settting) that our blog has been enthusiastic about since the very start, and the world of avant garde club music that, as we can say with confidence now, has fully replaced ‘bass’ as the new centre of gravity.

‘Syndombe Club’, brainchild of the Uruguayan producer Pobvio takes the Afro-Uruguayan candombe drumming as its inspiration. But no dub, heavy bass growls or Dutch lasters here, but melodic, tubular synths and ethereal scapes that breath the mechanical ambiance of avant garde club. ‘Ta Maluca’ even breathes an Andean folkloric atmosphere melody-wise, that reminds of yet stays very different from the electrofolklore that has been from the Andean countries for a long time now. With Syndombe Club EP, several worlds of music are bridged once and for all. If there had to be any basis from where top build a global-club sound for the future, this would be a perfect place to start.

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

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4. MM MM EP [correction: ‘5 Rivers’ is a track from the EP but not, as my main image suggests, the title of the EP]

MM is the new moniker of the London based artist formally known as Miss Modular and this 5-track self titled EP is the first release of the artist’s rebirth under this new name & identity, on the artist’s self-run label Her Records. Style wise, it follows in the same unique fusion of styles as Syndombe club EP, with much heavier focus polyrhytmic percussion than usually found in avant garde club. The comparison goes further than just a similarity in sound, as Lechuga Zafiro makes an appearance on this EP as well. The skeletal rhythms on the EP can be traced back to UK funky, Portuguese batucada, soca and 3ball are blended in with delicate mechanical sounds that here, even more than in Syndombe Club, create a dark, cyberpunk flavoured ambiance. In the track titles, cryptic allusions are made to a deeper layer meaning which I cannot get behind well enough to start interpreting.

>> BUY ON iTUNES <<

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5. #weirdkids #weirdkids 002

#weirdkids is a new netlabel run by endlosKosmos, tru luv and DJ FLP, who have managed to draw many exciting producers  towards their label from different forward-looking backgrounds, including the remnants of the post-internet underground, the avant garde club / ‘trax’ scene and the netlabel world such as represented by URL Future. This is the second official #weirdkids compilation with 16 diverse tracks from upcoming names such as future beats producer Pixelord (Hyperboloid Records), club prodigy Monotronique (Classical Trax) and indie-bass alrounder Squirrely Bass (Lush Selects).

Style wise too, all these backgrounds flow together in a spectrum varying from future beats and bubblegum bass to ethereal vapor trap and club, sometimes even combined in one single track. #weirdkids is a label to watch, a step ahead of the rest by bringing the several movements together that are all still making their way into the mainstream sound of today.

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

6. Gingee Tambol EP

The one release that we have in fact supported separately on the blog could of course not be left out from this compilation of essentials. About this gem from LA-based Filipino-American producer, vocalist and percussionist Gingee, I wrote last month:

‘Tambol’ means ‘drum’ in Tagalog, the Filipino language. The 5 track EP is built around dembow as the central vibe, diversifying into different tempos and grooves and involving synth as well drum elements from genres as diverse as house, dancehall, hiphop, meditative ambient and even feature some oldskool turntable-scratching. Gingee shows once again her independent creativity which will definitely set an example for everyone in the global bass movement!

>> BUY ON BEATPORT <<

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7. Julito Balacera meets Andrés Digital Rakataka

With every release from Regional label from Chile I realise how much music owes to them, including me personally. For this project, the German cumbia producer and Tropicalbass blogger Andrés Digital did a project in Panama where he teamed up with the Panamanian MC Julito Balacera for a project fusing the flavours of global/tropical bass from the last 5 years with oldschool reggaeton, starting with two cumbiaton riddims from Andrés himself, later extended with remixes from El $abor, Erick Jaimez, Fake Moustache and Tribilín Sound. The EP appeared last month as an official collab between Regional and Tropicalbass.com.

>> DOWNLOAD <<

8. OKKVLT KɅTT DeepSleep x Masha Petrova

Now something different but nevertheless important. Witchhouse is making a comeback, resurrected as a mature genre instead of a gimmick (more gothic, less hipster, which is a very good thing) and since we’ve been planning a regular dark feature on the blog, here already a taste of what you can expect.

OKKVLT KɅTT is a witchhouse band who are very much part of this comeback movement. Just a week ago, they started performing live shows again with their newest band member, singer Emily Acid. I didn’t want this EP, a collab with the Russian vocalist Masha Petrova, to escape the radar unnoticedly, especially not because of the involvement of one of our all-time favourite experimentalists, Shinji a.k.a. bedtime stories!

Check out an impression from their live performance here, hosted by the Cardiff based formation †RIɅLS!

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9. EndlosKosmos 444,100 hRz

Yet another #weirdkids release here, from label co-owner endlosKosmos who describes her radically experimental sound as ‘dreamwave’ and ‘cosmic’ but usually avoids genre descriptions altogether. Unique is the way in which she builds patterns out of the edited snippets of samples put together in a way that remains indeterminate but creates a rhythm-like groove at the same time. The result is a hypnotising sound-caleidoscope which brings to mind many, more and less familiar atmospheres, without ever literally resembling anything. EndlosKosmos is a promising producer whose music may not be the most immediately accessible but whose creativity to imagine and create something unique has only just started to manifest.

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

https://soundcloud.com/wwweirdkids/sets/endloskosmos-44-100-hrz

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10. ALUPHOBIA AFRIKA

The Hungarian alrounder Aluphobia is a new name on Generation Bass. Out of the Hungarian electronic underground he has been lifted into the Global Bass scene by Stas‘ label BABYLON Records, where he appeared earlier with a contribution to a remix EP.

Unlike Monotronique’s similar titled EP from a while back, ‘Afrika’ takes a rather maximalist approach to its theme. Each track is polished with many different elements and influences, varying from ambient soundscapes and energetic lead synths to distorted central African mbira melodies and vocals. Overally, accessible techno grooves are a constant connecting factor, which makes this EP actually one of the few prominent introductions of techno into the global bass scene.

>> BUY ON BANDCAMP <<

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