By: Logan Podbielski
The newest member of the weird bass community is 18-year-old Charles Ingalls aka CharlestheFirst, and his most recent output is the stunning new EP Roots. Despite the EP’s title, Ingalls is taking his sound to uncharted territories; combining all sorts of effects to create a sound entirely his own.
Given his upbringing in the Sierra Nevada mountains, CharlestheFirst has an affinity for nature and the great adventures that can take place within it. His music is a perfect reflection of those core values. Even from the song names one can see Ingalls’ goal as a producer is to take his listeners on a journey. Much like Bassnectar, Emancipator, or similar artists, Ingalls sometimes uses timely, impactful quotes as samples that combine with his signature sound to create a composition that immerses the audience into his world and actually sends a message.
Much like his fellow psy-dub artists, Charles has a knack for putting sounds together that wouldn’t seem to fit otherwise to create an abstract masterpiece. This is certainly the case on songs like “Ebb and Flow” and even more so on “Into the Unknown”, where Ingalls’ hip-hop influences really shine through like a late 90’s Tipper track.
On subsequent tracks like “Quiet Seeds” and “Katana,” incredible synth work, unnaturally well incorporated vocal chops, and a dash of compressed bass fuse together to challenge Odesza as kings of the synthesizer lullaby. The closing two tracks “Tamalapais/ Ayana” and “Tired Eyes” are culminations of smooth synthetics, abstract bass, and interesting samples that have these songs feeling like a tribal science experiment.
The EP labeling tune “Roots” is definitely the most impressive off the record and was premiered here on The Untz a few weeks ago. Although beginning slow and simple this track builds into a beautiful gathering of chopped vocals and warped bass that allows the audiences’ mind to travel wherever it so desires.
Charles might just be starting out but with an impactful style and rapid fire production he should find himself rising to the top of the lineup cards in no time. Bottom line ladies and gentleman: this kid has skills!
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