Updated: Jan 23
It's been a while since we've had a review up on the blog, but we just had to get one up for this release.
For those who have been locked in to any of our channels over the last 2 to 3 years, there's a very good chance that you've already come across Soul Bass Project. I've just looked back on everything we've published, hosted and premiered and Soul Bass are actually our most featured non-affiliated artist. Their 'Falling upright' EP on Smallprint Recordings was one of the first reviews I did for Juan way back in the heady days of 2018.
Even though we've worked with Soul Bass quite a few times, we've never acually met in person - a bizarre quirk of the internet age. Towards the tail end of last year I received some news regarding Matt's health and that a new label and album were on their way in order to raise money for the Brain Tumour Charity. This is that new label and album. If you want to read some more information on Matt's story and the history behind the release, this BirminghamLive article does it way more justice than i ever could.
It's always an interesting time when an artist makes the transition over to label head, and not something I've ever written about I don't think. That's why this release is great - I know how Soul Bass Project approach things on the musical side, so it's interesting to look at how they've put the release together.
The key thing you need to know about the album is it flits in and out of genres and there are lots of artists on it. This makes a lot of sense if you contextualise the release alongside SBP musical output.
If I take two SBP tunes at random, you'll see what i'm referring to. I'm going to reach back to 'Falling Upright' for one second here - the track effortlessly blends 140, Hip-Hop and even a little bit of Jazz. From the album in question, 'Mindbender' is very fluid and merges breaks with bass at 140bpm. Essentially what i'm getting at is that SBP draw from a wide range of influences when they build a track, so it makes a lot of sense that they applied the same method when curating the release.
The release journeys through hip-hop, DNB, 140, breaks, experimental and jungle - leaving you with a veritable smorgasbord of sonic frequencies. Trekkah kicks it all off with some mellow iinstrumental hip-hop which is then immediately met by frenetic and technical DNB from Primate. Jumping down the BPMS you're then faced with two dubstep tracks from SBP and Legend4ry & Pressa. SBP draw for dubbed out minimalism while L&P go for that slightly more Vivek circa 2011 feel.
Pressa then steps up on solo duty with a big dutty reese and some breaks. ADM then builds on this energy bringing techy DNB back into the fold, followed by Sophia Syndicate and Technical Finger bring the drums to the big room. Braidee then carries on with the DNB tip. Books brings us our first glimpse of the experimental side of the release, with some intricately layered glitchy DNB. SBP and Duckem them bring us our next 140 break, with SBP drawing for the breaks and Duckem opting for his quintissential space cowboy style. LUUDUS then brings the pinacle of the album's experimentalism with some eponymous west coast producer inspired glitchyness. The release is then closed by the two Leicester stalwarts Rob Sparx and DJ APB. It's hard to talk about 14 tracks at length, so the best advice is to go and listen to it in full.