Heads up, weird bass enthusiasts: one of the most innovative records of the year has finally dropped. If you’ve been following Saturate! Records at all over the last couple of years, then you know how important this release is to the label. And if not, then the time to tune in is now; this is one of the imprint’s biggest releases to date and you most certainly want to be in the loop. Philadelphia’s Starkey is more than just a talented producer; he is a pioneer of ‘street bass’, which fuses the elements of grime, hip hop, and dubstep to create an entirely new palette of sounds and styles. Not only that, but he was actually one of the first American producers to create grime in any notable way.
Over a decade in the scene has honed his beat-making ability to a fine point, and his love for the rich emissions of analog synthesizers makes his sound design both textured and supremely unique. These talents culminate and display themselves prominently on his newest EP, Odyssey Five, though upon first listen it is a major detour from what we’ve come to expect from Starkey. You’ll find no booming 808s or grinding bass lines here; this is pure synth wizardry, an orchestra of alien ambience and impeccably layered sonic patterns. Percussion is extremely minimal throughout the release, and what little can be found is understated and soft to allow for maximal enjoyment of the sounds on display here. The atmosphere Starkey has created is truly not of this world, and for good reason: he made these songs as a sonic representation of Arthur C. Clarke’s famed A Space Odyssey series. It’s music you can lose yourself within, floating between the familiar and the strange.
And, hey, if you came looking for bangers, don’t run off just yet! In juxtaposition to the rest of the EP, DJ Pound‘s version of ‘Tropical’ is utter madness; using the existing arrangement as framework, he added a touch of his own gritty flair and flipped into an absolute earth-shaker of a tune. As the sole remixer, we applaud his decision to do so. We’re sure you’re itching to get a listen at this point, so check out the full stream after the jump and be sure to grab a copy of your own on the Saturate! Records’ Bandcamp page.