If you’re looking for disco or house, you’ll have to look elsewhere, because this month’s Freshly Picked Beats is nothing but bass in your face. With so many speaker-worthy tracks that came out in the bass music scene during the month of September, it was hard to narrow it down to just 10 of our favorites.
Out of the EPs, albums, and massive singles that surfaced, here are the singles that really stood out.
NotLö – Closer
In mid-September, NotLö dropped “Closer” as the first single from her recently released EP Trailing Winds. Incorporating some delicious broken beat licks and even a drum & bass outro, “Closer” is a well-rounded track from start to finish. This Thursday, the Denver-based DJ will be headlining the Other Side at Cervantes Ballroom for SHIFT Thursday’s 1 year anniversary. Come celebrate the night with her new artillery of music.
Ternion Sound – Clutch
Adding to the Ternion Sound craze sweeping the states right now is their latest EP, Clutch, the title track of which takes #9 on River Beat’s Top 10 Beats of September feature. The track features spacey synthesizers that bounce between an arrangement of heavy 140 sequences and drum samples you can feel in your chest. A busy touring schedule means nothing to these guys when it comes to production output as this recent body of work is yet another testament to their enormous talents.
Chark – Athame
The Birmingham, Alabama artist known as Chark presents a raw, straightforward, and unfiltered sonic narrative in his recent single, “Athame.” With no fluff or extra sauce dashed in unnecessarily, what Chark does right in this piece is what he does with the spaces in between. An ominous build, that oscillating bassline, and those glitched-out distortions all combine for a track that elicits feelings of dissociation and enchantment.
Smoakland – You Don’t Know
Out of the 5 tracks that Smoakland included on their Smoak Sesh EP, “You Don’t Know” stands out for its flavored horns and climactic drops. Those familiar with Smoakland’s discography and trademark sound may notice their signature style in the bass growls, however, the track still sheds light on a duo who continue to grow and experiment with their sound design. While “You Don’t Know” spews nothing but fire, the entire Smoak Sesh EP is worth a listen.
Zeds Dead x Blanke – The Machines
It’s hard to ignore a release when it includes names like Blanke and Zeds Dead. However, this track lives up to the hype with a bustling concoction of heavyweight sound and hard-hitting beats. The track intros with a vocal sample that was used by Black Tiger Sex Machine in their track “Broken Machines” which then descends into an assemblage of fireworks that grows as the song progresses. What’s great about this collaboration is how you can hear equal parts of both Zeds Dead and Blanke in the sound signatures – no artist overpowers the other.
Caspa – Drifter
Very few artists have been doing it as long as Caspa has and his most recent release demonstrates that he has no plans of slowing down. Ever since he was producing under the Quiet Storms moniker in the early 2000s, Caspa has been experimenting and modifying his sound. His most recent release, “Drifter,” encapsulates styles of deep dub from his later days of work that are starting to be more reflected in the current UK scene. While we’ve loved hearing all his new music we’d love to see Caspa announce some shows in America soon!
Skysia x illoh – Fragments
To say that a track gives CharlestheFirst vibes is not to be taken lightly. However, one listen to Skysia and illoh’s “Fragments” and you’ll find it hard not to get nostalgic for our king. The heavy use of samples taken from nature, the ambient texture of the chords, and the hovering darkness presented in the bass line are all reminiscent of Charlesthefirst. In fact, the keys used at 1:48 and 3:08 are nearly identical to the same ones CTF incorporated throughout his early discography. Although these two artists have relatively small followings, you’d be keen to keep an eye on them with the music they’ve been putting out recently.
Humandala x EOS – Swivet
With some of the most intricate sound design on this entire list, “Swivet” by Humandala and EOS comes packed with layers of brilliance. Combining some of the more gritty basslines present in EOS’ discography with Humandala’s ability to stitch together swooping melodies, “Swivet” provides listeners with a peak into what the future of neuro bass looks like. If they continue to produce work like this we have no doubt that Humandala and EOS will become further cemented in the underground bass scene.
Hamdi – Discovery
If you’ve attended any bass-oriented show in the past few months there is a very good chance you’ve heard Hamdi’s “Skanka” rung out. However, Hamdi’s recent release, “Discovery,” is proving that he is no one-hit-wonder and his discography still has room to grow. Although the track doesn’t grow or change all that much throughout its duration, it doesn’t need to, because that main drop is intoxicating enough to carry us through the end. Receiving the nod from names like Of The Trees, Lab Group, Black Carl!, and other big acts, this Oxford, UK artist is starting to demand attention across the industry.
KEOTA – Deeds
Although he most recently released a full-length album, KEOTA’s tight two-piece EP Twonas which he dropped at the top of September is still receiving playtime on systems everywhere. While both tracks on the EP are fire, it’s “Deeds” which provides that satisfactory chomp and chew we’ve grown to know and love from KEOTA. This song takes our #1 spot for track of the month because of how well the chopped-up vocals couple the drippy, sludged-out wubs that grow and manifest like some sewer monster coming for your pudding.
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