By: Natty Morrison
As I spend my last days of vacation running around the streets of Oakland and San Francisco, I come to a realization that the Bay Area is a bit larger than I may have first guessed. It’s tough to see everything in one trip, and the same is true for the region’s electronic music. Bay Area music is tough to pin down, but it certainly features crunk and grime. Some have argued that most of it is nothing more than dubstep, but that’s just not true. Drumstep, electro, house and glitch hop all get their chances to shine in this so-called sunshine state. Now, it would be nearly impossible to rank the immense amount of talent in the area, so here are five of my favorites. Don’t be afraid to write in and tell me how it should be (email@example.com), I’m only a visitor to this wonderful and strange land.
1. “Money” - The Flying Skulls
A lot of Flying Skulls tracks capture the same grime and crunk aesthetic, but that doesn’t mean that they’re making the same song. The Flying Skulls, a crew of producers from the Bay Area, all bring their own approach to the track. And that means excitement for the listeners.
2. “Out Here” - NastyNasty
It’s probably a good idea he picked his name twice; one single “Nasty” isn’t enough. This Bay Area producer and DJ uses whomp as a weapon, firing shards of metallic bass at his sprawling sound collages, complete with tasty beeps and skittered drums. Grammatical gurus may argue that he needs a comma between his two names, but who’s counting? This guy is nasty.
3. “Babylon (K-Theory Remix)” - K-Theory
In this massive remix of the already-massive NiT GriT track “Babylon,” K- Theory shows off this duo’s affinity for “broken beats and melodies.” But they’ve also got a leaning towards wisdom, especially in terms of their pacing and composition. Notice in this track how they hold off on the drop, choosing to glide along on a slick beat and thick atmospherics until chasing down the rabbit hole and dropping some serious bass.
4. “Seek and Destroy (Remix)” - Bassnectar
One of the biggest names on the scene today, Bassnectar may be a polarizing figure among underground fans, but that certainly doesn’t mean the man can’t bring it. Check out this remix of the raw ’86 Metallica cut “Seek and Destroy” where he reinterprets Kirk Hammett’s visceral guitar attack as a dinosaur-like bass stomp.
5. “What’s Going On” - NiT GriT
My vote for best Bay Area DJ would have to go solely to Danny Beale, aka NiT GriT. I probably don’t need to say much about him, I’ve already fawned over this guy’s work for months now. So I’ll shut up and let you check out this short clip of an upcoming NiT track featuring a very special guest vocalist. Can you guess who? Hint: He wrote a famous song called “What’s Going On?” Second hint: The vocalist’s dad was a real asshole.
If you’re an artist who’d like to be featured on Natty’s Picks of the Week, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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