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Juan Reviews: Soul Bass Project - Falling Upright EP (SmallPrint Recordings)

Falling Upright EP

Soul Bass Project are undoubtedly the production duo I’ve been waiting for. One of those really weird experiences, where you didn't know you needed something until it fell into your lap. It’s very easy to get stuck in the quagmire of dissecting the name of an artist, but in this context, it would be criminal not to. It’s very rare that an alias can convey the same message as those present in the productions – but Soul Bass Project buck that trend no doubt. The tracks in this EP are crammed full of soul and bass, harnessing similar energies to Jack Sparrow and Ruckspin’s Author project.

As a huge fan of the more soulful end of the dubstep continuum, this EP speaks to me on an otherworldly plane. Dig through their back catalogue a little and you’ll find that Soul Bass Project productions hit that sweet spot only accessible through otherworldly melodies and haunting vocals. ‘Metro’ and ‘Falling Upright’ are both prime examples of how to go about achieving this, even though they approach it from two completely different angles. ‘Metro’ utilises a very bouncy 2-step swing, complimented with beautifully programmed synths and pads. Think along the lines of a euphoric come-up on the beaches of Pula and you’re close to the vibes the track oozes.

Whilst ‘Metro’ is very much a joyful warmer for the soundtrack to a night out, ‘Falling Upright’ represents the fuzzy afterglows in the early hours of the morning. Hip hop beats combine with live bass and a haunting vocal sample extracted from a 1964 piece by electronic music pioneer Victoria Derbyshire (copyright expired time ago for all you sample snitches out there). For my own personal tastes, I would have to say that this track might be my favourite to be released in 2018 so far. I’ve recently reignited a long dormant flame for very melodic instrumental hip-hop: the likes of Fredo. (what ever happened to that guy?!), DrewsThatDude, Psalm// Trees and so forth. With ‘Falling Upright’ Soul Bass Project have managed to bridge the gap between chill-hop and dubstep in a way that fuses the two spectrums together in a remarkable fashion. These kinds of soundscapes aren’t being played with by too many producers in the dubstep scene at the moment, notable exceptions being Hong Kong’s Lyndon Jarr, Edinburgh’s Khromi and Manchester’s Maes, but boy am I glad that these guys are. Honestly, can’t sing this tune’s praises enough, go and buy it.

I kind of unintentionally started a ‘night out’ metaphor with both those tunes. But lucky for me it pans out quite nicely with the remaining track ‘Shinkansen’. Coming from a completely different angle compared to the other tracks, ‘Shinkansen’ very much represents the middle of the night. Crazy bass, tripletty hi-hats and broken dub sirens give it a darker twist – nicely contrasting the tracks either side of it.


Purchase (From 05/07/18):

Bandcamp: iTunes:

Soul Bass Project:

SmallPrint Recordings:

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