This Week in Bass Music: Buku, Gravitrax & Skream
Bass music may be the most expansive of dance music's many genres, covering a range of tempos, moods, and sounds. It succeeds in taking cues from hip hop, reggae, rock, R&B, and world music and adding heart-stopping low-end weight. At times it's dark and menacing, but it can also be buoyant and beautiful or sexy and funky. Bass music contains multitudes. Festival Insider is taking a weekly deep-dive into bass music to break down our top new tracks, mixes, and favorite classic tunes.
Best New Track: Buku - Mr. Clean (WAKAAN, April 26)
Pittsburgh-native and graduate of Music Technology, Buku, is an OG of bass music, yet just as relevant among his contemporaries and fans today. His heralded, menacing sound design kept him on the national tour radar last year when he played alongside PEEKABOO. His penchant for B2B’s, including his recent performance with Minnesota at Ubbi Dubbi, conveys his appreciation for the genre’s culture.
For his most recent release, the producer teamed up with Liquid Stranger’s WAKAAN to unveil his long-sought-after ID, “Mr. Clean,” which packs his patented, resounding low end with far-out sound design and drum patterns.
Best New Mix: Gravitrax at session_12 (April 26)
Last week, Bass Music sensation Gravitrax teamed up with Street Ritual for his latest release, “Supersonic,” which packs ethereal plucks and a haunting atmosphere. To celebrate, VEIL’s label also dropped a new mix from the Denver-based producer, titled session_12. The mix is fully charged with 42 tracks, totaling one hour of Gravitrax’s ‘space-bending’ approach to mixing, remixing, and mashups.
Best Classic Track: La Roux - In For the Kill (Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey Remix) [2009, Polydor UK]
With official revisits from Kanye West, Jack Beats, and Skrillex, La Roux’s “In For The Kill” has become a generational hit and coming of age track for dubstep and bass music fans. Skream’s sprawling “Let’s Get Ravey Remix” submits an epic atmosphere that unravels into a D&B breakdown that’s found a home in the hearts of many. It’s also been a staple in a plethora of high-profile sets over the years (See: Diplo’s Camp Questionmark Burning Man Set closer).
The track conveys bass music’s ability to nimbly navigate genres and emotions – steering a narrative journey captures the imagination. La Roux frontwoman Elly Jackson’s vocals pierce through on this more climatic version and still hit just as hard over ten years since its original release.