Basserk Records is back with a second installment of Bleeps, Beats & Bass, but this time they’ve upped the ante. The new release can be worn as a sweatshirt (available in white or black)! With this promotion ~ thanks to Amsterdam partners 310k ~ we catch a glimpse of a possible future. Imagine all music on clothes, or all clothes adorned with music, with QR codes ready to be scanned. One could turn to a friend and say, “You’ve got to check out this track!”, offering them a mitten, a hat, a sleeve. One might sew a playlist on a scarf, or embroider a baby blanket with nursery tunes. The possibilities are endless. There’s a slight downside, of course, as the person behind you at Starbucks might be too curious to resist scanning you ~ so make sure the music is good!
Fortunately in this case it is. Once again, the roster is packed with talent, timbres ranging from hip-hop to old school rave. Radio Parkplatz’ “Wormshop” is an early highlight, building energy as it coasts forward on a sea of synths, referencing classic trance with arpeggios galore. Sjamsjoedin contributes hard beats and a pure dance vibe, a reminder that Basserk is all about body movement. But as the label is promising bleeps along with their beats and bass, it’s a joy to encounter the IDM rhythms of Xyloglotte’s “McKlatchey,” which somehow manages to sound like its title. This is when one realizes that the common denominator is joy. There’s only one moody track here (KRAZ’ “Shelter”), which is consistent with our expectations; the first installment ended up on our chart The Happiest Music of 2016. And think about this for a moment: if you’re representing yourself to the outside world, especially as summer approaches, don’t you want to wear happy clothes with happy music? You don’t want to scare people with an emo shirt, do you?
Heart Space returns to the upbeat with “Move Aside,” offering gentle vocal scales and “whoop-whoop” synths (recalling “That’s the sound of the police!”). Baptist’s “Nothing Left” defies its title by picking up steam in the deep end, electronics imitating the sound of a string ensemble. Tholyson launches “For Amoureux” with a similar tempo and timbre, making these tracks the best sequenced pair on the album (at least for those playing the digital tracks in order). And then the hip-hop vibes that opened the set close it as well.
A great idea with excellent execution. What’s that on your shoulder? It’s a tuuuune! (Richard Allen)