By: Chris Schwarzkopf
Matt B, aka Bass Science
, stands as a prime example of a producer who has a clear idea about the music he wants to make.
His latest EP, Psychedelic American Boyhood
, released via 1320 Records, doesn’t differ all that much from his earlier work, but therein lies one of its greatest strengths. Fans of Bass Science were no doubt originally drawn to the music because of the particular sound and the particular sort of tinkering Matt Baggiani employs to get that sound. It speaks volumes to his ability and grasp of the components of various electronic styles that he is able to serve up the same quality of music consistently.
And this brings us to another strength: inclusiveness. Listen to the new EP, or any of Bass Science’s previous EPs and singles, and it’s fairly easy to identify the stylistic nods to dubstep, electro, trance, hip-hop and more that Matt B weaves into the music. But though it may be possible to identify these elements, the music is not wholly dubstep. Nor is it wholly electro, or trance, hip-hop, drum and bass, dub, ambient, disco or any other style.
Here we come to the third strength: innovation. As I said, Matt B makes music the way he wants. He may work from a broad range of styles but the music is an entirely different animal. His seamless blend of styles makes Psychedelic American Boyhood
a unique experience. Imagine ‘70s funk or early rap by seminal acts like Sugar Hill Gang or Grand Master Flash filtered through the lens of dubstep.
The first two cuts are dubstep-heavy free-for-alls with clunking, dirty bass breaks pinned between soaring synthesizers. “Starglide,” emphasizes a weird and wonderful stuttering snyth line that I cannot adequately describe. The fourth track features fuzzy, glitched guest vocals by High Top Kicks. “Mono Sweetheart,” is the most low-key piece with a more chilled, ambient turn on snyths. Even the bass breaks seem quieter and more understated. The final track, “In My Life” is the kicker. A brisk build of synth arpeggios runs into a thunderous drum and bass drop at 0:33 and continues unabated.
What comes after must, by definition, be built upon what came before. But what comes after must also, by necessity, expand upon what came before in order to uncover new things. Bass Science has a solid foundation upon which it has been building for the past five years and it has uncovered amazing things in that time. May it continue.