There are indeed few things in this universe that one can rely on: styles change in the wink of an eye, jobs vanish overnight, computers are outmoded before you leave the shop, beef steaks turn out ground cat droppings and quantum physics continually challenges our very perception while the irresponsible madmen in charge continue to challenge our very existence. But when Optiv and BTK release an EP, one thing is certain: you are in for a treat. And let me assure you, when I get up in the morning to check if the sun has finally risen in the west, with the seductive and viscid Slander being my soundtrack to this neurotic proceeding, she could not have risen at all I’d only carry on my frantic dance to its uplifting bass line and heavy percussion. And when I look out the window to check if the beautiful blue Danube has finally turned blood red, I wouldn’t mind it turning to jelly as long as the EP’s title track Drop the Funk keeps reassuring me there’s groove in surreal massiveness and harmonies to put a smile on James Brown’s dead body. And when after that I turn my eyes skywards to check if the falling raindrops have finally been exchanged for frogs and locusts, I swear it could be raining rocks and stones as long as their destructive sounds of impact blend nicely with the pulsating energy and crispy drums of Get Dark (frankly my favourite) and don’t interfere too much with the subtle scapes and fills that the intercontinental Neurofunk connection so convincingly managed to manufacture. And when I finally dare go out into the street to find all the people turned into zombies, at least the concluding Hack and Slash would provide me with the right sonic environment to hold high that ancient wisdom: ‘When surrounded by an undead armada longing to devour your brain, stick with Optiv & BTK and there is no cause for concern.’ And contemplating this sage saying, everyone will realize quickly how with each salvo of gritty bass and grain of fearless funk the world heals a little.
Optiv & BTK – Drop The Funk EP (Playaz)
A little remembrance of the times when people would rather rely on superior beings and fate than superior brands and luck is offered on bass music’s solemn altar by Austrian producer Bowsar, whose Pantheon EP so eloquently wraps the spirits of three mythological figures into mesmerizing bass-waves and synth stabs (-thus actually being a triptheon EP, but never mind). Not particularly Greek in nature and consistently illustrated with that outer-worldly sparkle, the EP commences with the aural representation of Helios, the god of the sun. Though I suggest that Bowsar actually takes side with Ovid and Homer who claim Helios to be a titan – for truly titanic are his efforts and thoroughly wicked the vibe. The second hymn on this EP is to Kronos, the mighty titan who fathered the main gods and ghastly ingested each of them right after birth in a sudden paroxysm of bad parentship (-those were the days…). So what can I say but to warn you about the devouring potential of this tune as its subtle and atmospheric intro steadily gives way to the vicious and yet controlled outbursts of bad bassmanship while the crisp drums chase you to Tartarus and back? The concluding tune is to Eos, the rosy-fingered goddess of dawn, but I daresay she apparently exchanged her common robe of saffron for a cerement of crimson as this stop-motion-madness shines early light on the utterly disturbing events in this temple of lunacy and boom. Sacrifice accepted.
Bowsar – Pantheon EP (Modulate Recordings)
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