With so many of the up and coming collectives and underground producers spreading their sounds around the country, even showcasing themselves at larger gatherings like SXSW, it’s clear to see that they’re doing something right. In a sub-scene where the abstract and artistic reigns supreme, and where listeners enter the frenzy with open minds and eager palettes, these producers continue to push their original ideas to depths both profound and unexplored. It’s difficult to try and define the myriad of styles that compose the backbones of groups like Soulection, Moving Castle, Alaya, SoulEtiquette, Courteous Family, and those like them. I’d like to try, however.
Attempting to group together all of the unique and individual styles and genre combinations of artists like these is impossible. There are simply too many avenues to address, and we all have places to be. However, I feel that there does exist a unifying factor to such collectives that allows them to be considered a part of a larger and more powerful movement outside of themselves. To me, this factor is the artists’ mutual ability to place their music outside the barriers of “dance music” and to, instead, create an accessible niche within the larger music realm as a whole. Rather than attempt to write the “best” trap in the EDM scene, or produce the “cleanest” house track, these producers opt to compose true music first while letting their audience decide to categorize it if they so choose. By making a triumphant return to mold-breaking, soulful approaches to music production, these artists are creating the veritable sound of tomorrow.
Two artists who I feel truly exemplify this mindset are G Jones and Tsuruda. While both exhibit a fervent connection to the heavy, dirtier side of bass music, they are able to keep present their integrity and personality within all of their songs. To the underground bass junky, their newest collaboration will come as something out of a dream. Titled “Push,” and featuring one of our favorite emoji cool cats, this song is an instant classic for anyone who claims to worship beats like Carmack‘s.
Beginning with an echoey and ethereal atmosphere, the song’s percussion quickly enters the picture bringing with it the juicy anticipation of what’s to come next. After the short build up, make sure to have your neck brace on standby. . . you’ll need it. During the continuous and evolving break, a simple plucky melody carries the rest of the track while the tight hi hats, scrapes, and beeps keep the interest focused on the percussion. Following some distorted brass stings and crunchy mallet hits, you begin to realize that you’ll be hearing this one played out all over the club circuit for some time to come. The stank face should come naturally with this track, and if not you can just check your shoulders for any dirt to brush off.
2015 is going to be a big year for Tsuruda and G Jones. As festival season approaches, make sure to keep a committed eye out for these two on the rosters. You’re not going to want to miss them.