Czech bass music dynamo Forbidden Society has been making his way through the ranks of drum & bass and halftime in Europe this year with his own namesake label and unique spin on bass music. He’s even broken America with his last LP, Liminal Point earlier this year.
It’s not completely unheard of for an artist to jump directly from their own label and a few other smaller labels to Noisia’s Vision Recordings but it is pretty rare. That’s exactly what Forbidden Society has done with his new Subworld EP, however, and despite it being a rare phenomenon, fans of the deep bass master won’t be surprised.
Much of the D&B scene in Forbidden Society’s native Czech Republic are focused on neurofunk almost exclusively, so artists like him who are into deep bass, slower beats and more experimental sounds have struggled to find a toehold there. Luckily Noisia love their experimental stuff and deep bass, and it’s clear with Subworld that Forbidden Society felt freedom with the EP to experiment to all his minimal, glitchy, ambient, deep bass heart’s desire.
Three of the five tracks on Subworld are still dedicated to drum & bass but “Excuses,” “Wormhole Demon” and the EP’s title track are pretty much as far as one can get from neurofunk. Minimal and steppy in their beat range but with lots of deep bass and even a muted foghorn, these tracks sit in the middle of the EP and seem to tell an ancient, mystical story of drum & bass that listeners are not yet privy to. If you’ve seen his merch and clock his name “Frobidden Society,” however, that story may begin to reveal itself.
The D&B tracks are bookended by two halftime tracks that also have that minimal/deep bass marriage and seem to be part of the sonic story Forbidden Society is writing. The closing track “Yellow” is smooth and its beat structure and samples infuse a bit of hip hop flavor before going into a heavy chugger of a bassline.
Our Your EDM premiere from Subworld is the opening track “Edges,” whose beat structure compared to “Yellow” is a little more clearly halftime drum & bass. There’s still sort of a funky edge but the bassline is set way in the background while a series of layered snares make up the bulk of the track. While said background bassline is part of the ambient sound design of the track, it’s still extremely deep and resonant so as a listener you can’t miss it. It’s clear Forbidden Society had the most fun on “Edges” playing with snares and sound design and it’s really paid off in a one-of-a-kind halftime track.
The halftime-and deep bass-loving US might just be the fanbase Forbidden Society has been looking for as the likes of Shades, Ivy Lab, Mala and Posij have already seen major traction here. It doesn’t hurt that Vision have also seen this artist’s talent either. With his ability to straddle genres, a major deep bass player has officially entered the game with Subworld, and there’s likely no going back.