I'm not going to lie, I've run out of cliche seasonally-themed introductions for the bass chart (until next month obviously, when i'm going to be Santa Claus and the tracks are obviously going to be presents under the Christmas tree of my good taste), so I will just keep it short and sweet and say that we have some serious bangers for November's chart. Our top spot this month is a surprise knockout from Burial, we also have a big collaboration from two of Bristol's finest, Pinch & Kahn, an atmospheric juggernaut from Ekman off his stellar A Pastime for Semi Gods EP, a new lush track from Four Tet and piece of avant-garde grime production from East Man.
1. BURIAL - OLD TAPE [HYPERDUB]
Taken from Hyperdub and Adult Swim's Hyperswim compilation, this new track from Burial is something else entirely. It starts up like a synthy intro song for a neon-saturated Japanese sci-fi film, but as you listen you can hear, almost see, the layers unravel, and that initial buzzy warmth giving way to a sense of heartache. That head initially geared toward the future, ends up fixed toward the past as the sample sorrowfully repeats, "You were my girl." That narrative truly comes into its own through the latter half of the track, that story of starry-eyed romantics that's fire eventually burnt out, leaving them with nothing but wet eyeballs and flashbacks of twilight nights. Indeed it seems we have a breakup song from Burial at number 1 this month folks. Good luck not thinking about your ex and listening to this one on repeat.
2. PINCH & KAHN - CROSSING THE LINE (FEAT. KILLA'S ARMY) [TECTONIC]
Brixton MCs Killa P, Irah and Long Range also known as Killa's Army bring some serious bars and South London attitude on this sub-bass powered collaboration with two of Bristols finest, Pinch and Kahn. A grime track with serious dancehall sensibilities, this is guaranteed to bring the hype and set the tone for many weed-scented impromptu club mosh pits.
3. EKMAN - THINKING CODE [BEDOUIN RECORDS]
Dutchman Roel "Ekman" Dijiks from Emirates-based Bedouin Record continues to refine his ominous and psychedelic sound with his new Pastimes for Semi-Gods EP. "Thinking Code" is a deep dive into the producers murky waters to the level of total submersion. It's mantra-like chord repetition guides the fluctuating and fragmented rhythms through until finally you surface for air.
4. PLANETARY ASSAULT SYSTEMS - WHIP IT GOOD [OSTGUT TON]
Considering his experience and acute understanding of the dynamics of the German electronic music scene, it comes as no surprise that the Berghain regular Planetary Assault Systems new EP Plantae is a success on multiple levels. "Whip it good" is a signal transmission from the outer reaches that's singular aim is to build up some serious anticipation and momentum on the dancefloor, and it succeeds wholeheartedly in that noble objective.
5. KARENN - TASTE YOURSELF [VOAM]
Saying the debut album from Blawan and Pariah (Karenn) does not disappoint is an understatement. Grapefruit Regret is filled to the brim with weapons and devices of all shapes and sizes but all sharing a sense of subdued fury and cyclic hypnotism. "Taste Yourself" is perhaps one of the more understated and humble offerings on the LP, but it's that sweet spot between dance music to get your blood pumping and cerebral electronic music to spur revelation that make it stand out.
6. ASQUITH - TAKE ANYMORE (FEAT. QUAILS) [HYPERCOLOUR]
Lobster Theremin founder Jimmy Asquith blends funky, rave, breaks and speed garage to startling effect on his new Time & Space EP. "Take Anymore" featuring Quails is a cut that focuses more on the no-frills garage rave vibe, and while that is nothing revolutionary in itself, the track is executed with a level of finesse that elevate it leagues above anything else in the scene at the moment.
7. EAST MAN - SELECTOR [PADRE HIMALAYA]
East Man aka Basic Rhythm, proves he knows all the contours that make up the sonic geography of London's urban music scene with this stripped-down oddball joint taken from the excellent EP Eastern Code. While the EP has a number of bangers like "Darkage" and "Bandit Country," "Selector" is grime at its most naked, loopy and downright eccentric.
8. FOUR TET - ੂ࿃ूੂළඕั✧✧ı̴̴̡ ̡̡͡|̲̲̲͡ ̲̲̲͡͡π̲̲͡͡ ɵੂ≢࿃ूੂ೧ູఠీੂ ඊູཀ ꐑ(ʅ͡͡͡͡͡͡͡͡͡͡͡(ƟӨ)ʃ͡͡͡͡͡͡͡͡͡͡ [TEXT RECORDS]
I'd say 2019 has been a pretty chill year for Mr. Hebden. While he hasn't released a new album since 2017, the tracks he has been putting out have been of substantial quality and consistency you have come to expect from the veteran producer. This new track is a masterclass in bleepy, bouncy, shapeshifting, down tempo, sample-rich electronic music.
9. AARDVARCK - MONKEY SEE [DEEP MEDI MUZIK]
The guttural rumbles, sonic pulses and vibrations on this one is going to take you straight back to the golden age of dubstep, how could it not, featuring Aardvarck and coming from the OG's of dubstep, Deep Medi Muzik. The fact is, this white label still packs as much of a punch now as it did back in the day. Big tune for sure.
10. SHYGIRL - BB [NUXXE]
I'm really digging London collective NUXXE. Coucou Chloe first caught my attention with her idiosyncratic vibe and murky, sloppy sound, but you know what, Shygirl is bringing some serious heat as well, both as a rapper and a producer. This beat is fire, her flow is calm and her lyrics are raw and honest, two things any man can appreciate from a woman I'm sure.
11. LAPALUX - THE LUX QUADRANT (FEAT. JFDR) [BRAINFEEDER]
Taken from the Aminoverse album on Brainfeeder, this joint from Lapalux follows a relatively safe IDM formula, that while not groundbreaking, it is still very nice both technically and aesthetically. "The Lux Quadrant" starts off like an Aphex track, before it goes into flux, from sterile and mechanical precision, to brief reflective and organic moments of clarity. The music video is pretty cool too.
12. JOY ORBISON X OVERMONO - BROMLEY [XL RECORDINGS]
A fine ode to Brockley if there ever was one. Taken from the Bromley/Still Moving EP on XL Recordings, this humble offering from Joy Orbison and Overmono doesn't rely on big budget moves or shameless attempts to seduce the masses to the dancefloor en masse. It works its magic subtly and overtime, with trancey pads and well-timed sample loops. A meal with only three ingredients, but all cooked to perfection.
13. SHANTI CELESTE - VOX (INSTRUMENTAL) [PEACH DISCS]
Judging from her new release Tangerine, It would appear that Shanti Celeste's transition from DJ to album artist has been a success. Laced with a spiritual undercurrent and possessed of a self assurance that belies her years, "Vox" is perhaps the best representation of the mellow, glowing, Eastern-flavor of the album, flexible enough to be played both in the club and while practicing your Tai Chi postures.
14. ANDY STOTT - VERSI [MODERN LOVE]
This one is from the It Should Be Us EP, Andy's first EP since 2011 and his latest release since 2016. An EP of slow motion sonic escapades that feels like a premium sound collage or an avant-garde university art experiment. As with all of his greatest works, its a sombre and darkly seductive slow burner that rewards the patient and has no time for gimmicks.
15. AISHA DEVI - I'M NOT ALWAYS WHERE MY BODY IS (VARG REMIX) [HOUNDSTOOTH]
This rework of Aisha Devi's "I'm Not Always Where My Body Is" by Nordic maverick Varg is a blistering avalanche of high-speed jungle breaks that forms a relentless synergy with Devi's high pitched vocals, at times it feels like the track is sentient and breathing in air. Top quality stuff indeed.
You can find The 15 Best Bass Music Tracks of November 2019 on SoundCloud every month