Apart from the untimely death of Keith Flint a man beloved by all electronic music fans, it has been another prosperous month for the scene. I'm happy to present a typically diverse selection of the finest in contemporary bass music, with many artists pushing their boundaries and coming up with some of the most exciting work of their career, as well as some safe but simply delightful numbers to find solace in. Lets start the season with a spring in your step shall we.
1. FOUR TET - "ONLY HUMAN" [MINISTRY OF SOUND]
How could I put anything else in the first spot? After finally clearing the sample taken from Nelly Furtados 2009 "Afraid," Kieren Hebden has released the popular track played at festivals last summer on Ministry of Sound. In a world were humanity are slowly merging with technology and monstrous egos are ruining politics, it feels like a better time then ever to remind ourselves that at the end of the day, we are all, only human.
2. BLANCMANGE - "LIVING ON THE CEILING (RICHARD NORRIS MIX)" [LONDON RECORDS]
Already a certified classic before the remix, Richard Norris has injected a modern supply of bass and a subsequent new lease of life into this 1982 classic, resurrecting that middle-eastern style hook for a new generations ears.
3. PRINCIPLEASURE – "HEXAGONAL DUB" [PRINCIPLE PLEASURE]
Infatuated with the dark, sexy sounds of the eighties Principleasure has consistently reinterpreted those scenes through his extensive collection of modern and old equipment out of the Principle Pleasure studio in L.A's art district. Hexagonal Dub off his recent album I is a slick, seductive and sultry number that will most assuredly get the old shoulders bopping.
4. SHLOHMO - "THE BEST OF ME" [FRIENDS OF FRIENDS]
There is a deep sense of regret and fatigue in "The Best of Me", one of the more emotional tracks off Shlohmo's new album. It is a refreshing contrast to the grandiose and epic guitar riffs that compromise the majority of the record, not to mention the perfect song to listen to while you feel sorry for yourself.
5. ZAMILSKA- "HOLLOW" [UNTUNED]
Known in her native country of Poland for her monstrous bass and stage presence, this deep dank cut is taken from her upcoming LP due for release this summer. According to her the song is about "the anxiety of what we want vs what we get"
6. HOLLY HERNDON - "ETERNAL" [4AD]
The first single from her hotly anticipated album PROTO was never meant to fill the dance-floor, it was made to highlight the progression of her A.I Spawn, in particular of its ability to identify and reinterpret unfamiliar sounds. It has a postmodern charm, a primal sense of expression as well as a subtle battle between the organic and the artificial going on. Kind of like me.
7. LOCKED GROOVE - "DO NOT FREAK" [HOTFLUSH]
Inspired by Belgium's dance music history and released last month on Hotflush, Locked Groove's Sunset Service LP features elements of EBM, New Beat, trance, rave and techno and is really quite good. The first single is a mellow jam and a great example of the flavor of the record.
8. LAUREL HALO - "SWEETIE (DJ KICKS)" [!K7]
Laurel Halo has become the flagship female artist on Hyperdub, her experimental and intellectual approach to music is always fascinating to hear and interpret, which is why it comes as no surprise that DJ Kicks picked her up. "Sweetie" is a down tempo chilled out banger and much like the woman herself, has a slightly tropical and undeniable appeal.
9. PERC - "PIVOT" [PERC TRAX]
If producers were buildings then Perc would be an undeniably brutalist monstrosity. But for all his thumping moody loops there is an undeniable power and vigor in his repetitive aural assaults. His recent EP Three Tracks to Send To your Ghost Producer is no different, keeping you on edge waiting for a drop that never comes, its a good song to go crazy too.
10. ALGORYTHM - "SHARK TALE" [NEPTUNE]
Algorythm seems to be a bit of an enigma, which is always a good thing. You can sense the energy he has invested in his last months Hunter EP, the distance from his personal life and his art clearly informing his sound. "Shark Tale" is an enthralling soundscape were waves of synths and percussion meet in a wonderful waltz.
11. RIAN TREANOR - "ATAXIA B-1" [PLANET MU]
Rian Treanor's Ataxia album may not be for everyone with it's sporadic splattering of digital noise but there is no denying his technical acumen as a producer. "B-1" is an unnerving attack on the senses that will either make you want to freak out on the dancefloor given the right level of intoxication or have a panic attack.
12. HEAVEE – "SELFLESS STATE VIP" [MOVELTRAXX]
Taken from Moveltraxx's recent Street Bangers Factory compilation Selfless State VIP sees Heavee flirt with a more smooth, house-inspired and dynamic footwork sound and the results are quite simply wonderful.
13. MICHAEL ZUCKER - "CITY STREETS" [RDV MUSIC]
A dreamy cut from RDV's new compilation, "City Streets" is a truly atmospheric and beautiful piece, it's lush cadence forming a great basis to soundtrack your daydreams too.
14. CHRIS MOSS ACID – "MACHINE HEAVY" [BALKAN VINYL]
Chris Moss Acid has a love affair with acid house that does not seem to be ending anytime soon, but when he recreates the vibe of the period so well, who would want it too?
15. MORCHEEBA - "BLAZE AWAY (THROWING SNOW REMIX)" [FLY AGARIC]
We had Bonobo's remix of a Throwing Snow track last month and now we have the man himself taking his turn with his remix of Morcheeba's "Blaze Away." He works well building a new dynamic around Skye Edwards soulful voice, the momentum and anticipation slowly building up into a bassy, elegant crescendo that you would have to be alien not to appreciate.