Let's Talk About Experimental Bass
Every day the widely spanning world of dance music seems to fracture even further as new genres emerge from the depths of bedrooms around the world. One of which has gone relatively unnoticed until recently, making some massive waves.
Let’s talk about experimental bass.
Experimental bass is already a touchy subject and has many a raver scratching their head wondering what exactly the genre is? Is it future bass? Glitch-hop? Post-trap dubstep?
The simple answer is “Yes” to all the above. It builds layers of oddball noises that twist, distort, and manipulate sound design past the breaking point, creating wild auditory journeys that almost feel like accidentally discovering a new continent.
Most sound design sessions in experimental bass likely involve producers sitting in a darkened room asking themselves, “what happens when I sample the sound of blending a walnut and add distortion?” It’s a genre that balances one foot in the absurd and the other in the brilliance of pulling off the impossible. It’s a sound that teeters on the edge of conventions, leaving you wondering, “how the hell does this even work?” But it doesn’t matter because it does. It’s a cacophony of noise and bass greater than the sum of its parts. Individually, the sounds are just auditory turbulence with little musicality or reason. Yet, smashing them together, wrapping them in some OTT and a grain filter, and adding a slow-burning breakbeat somehow creates music out of chaos.
Experimental bass stretches far and wide with many different branches and sounds that can all fall under its vast umbrella. However, they share common core elements: downtempo speeds (typically between 80-110 BPM) and wildly manipulated bass that sounds like it's emerging from the depths of the cosmos. This can come in chill vibey flavors from the likes of Tipper, Desert Dwellers, or Shpongle or savagely unhinged over-the-top sounds like you would hear from the legendary Aphex Twin.
SHADES is a standout example of the genre comprised of two brilliant and successful producers in their own right, EPROM and Alix Perez. EPROM has already made his name in the glitchy bass scene and cemented a position for himself as one of the best producers in the genre. And, of course, Alix Perez is a legend of D&B with almost two decades under his belt.
The one-two punch from these two giants of their genres creates a unique and driving sound, making SHADES one of the heaviest hitters in bass music, even if they have remained somewhat enigmatic as a duo.
Gut rocking heavy bass from Alix Perez’s time in the UK grime, OG dubstep, and D&B scenes gels with EPROM’s other-worldly sound design. Not a single track from this duo leaves you unshaken.
Of course, merely listening to this wild, weird, and alien bass is only half the fun. You need to see it in action to feel and understand experimental bass truly. Standing in a room with subs puncturing your soul is almost a religious experience.
Combined with the mind-bending visuals accompanying SHADES, you have yourself one beast of a show. It is truly an experience that, given a chance, you don’t want to miss.