Misanthrop : Bass Politics

Many years ago, Easter and Christmas used to be the year’s highlights – now it’s the biannual outputs of Neosignal music; and I swear, when there’s a new Misanthrop EP on the horizon, my eyes start to sparkle like they used to the morning on Christmas Eve. Greed of Gain is what this new seminal four-track compound is called, and the title says it all. Well, almost, since there’s no further words used to elaborate the driving question of when profit turns into greed -except Egoism and Selfish in the opening track. Yet somehow, the proverbial universality of music seems to overcome this apparent verbal muteness, and Misanthrop miraculously manages to state a lot more about our system and its current state of decay than an army of journalists, politicians and experts could ever accomplish.

You might have noticed that from the inside a hamster wheel looks almost exactly like a career ladder. Deadlock is what Misanthrop calls it, undoubtedly aiming at the direction most of this world has taken. But does the track need its non-musical implications to work? Definitely not. Revolving around its vicious two bar cycle of vocal shards and eigth note bass, this frightening evolvement of the recent Neosignal project gradually becomes the Deadlock itself. And even though the relentlessly repeated elements constantly change their character; even though the harmonious play with varied layers adds up to a stratification of almost classical depth, there is just no breaking this Deadlock of groove and terror.

The upcoming title track as well as the rest of the EP are more in the classic fringy mid-bass-laden style of the German master, though Greed of Gain is probably the EP’s ‘weakest’ track – weak like Apollon in comparison to Zeus of course. I’d attribute this to this basher’s rather unsurprising approach. Sure, if it had been a single I’d probably be dancing around to it in the street, likely naked, totally out of my mind as is my custom to tunes beyond my narrow comprehension; but measured against Neosignal’s own standards, Greed of Gain’s pounding two-step and scruffy bass are just pretty plain. Catch 22 –another synonym for an inescapable bullshit situation- flows in a similar vein, but it is the wrath that Misanthrop seemingly managed to put into this piece directly that makes it so big. I mean, almost anyone can pick up a guitar, turn it up loud and let out their anger pretty much unfiltered and straight (-I’m talking emotion here, not outcome-). But it is something quite different and far more complex to preserve the emotion’s immense energy through all the steps it takes to get it into the computer and mold it into their final form as dnb masterpiece. But I guess even if you don’t care much for transitions, there’s no way Catch 22’s enthralling beats and powerful basses could leave anyone cold.

Talking of masterpieces, the final item to this EP is my designated tune of the year, the unproportionally epic, ever progressing hyper-driving opus System Crash where all of Misanthrop’s energy manifests as if it was to tear the dreaded system apart all by itself. Retaining Deadlock’s clarity and the other tunes’ power and dirt, and entwined with a melody of generic simplicity, the tune also becomes somewhat of a paradigm in terms of sound – if Phace’s production was vitreous, Misanthrop’s is adamantine.

So when the system finally crashes, make sure you have some spare batteries for your iPod: for Greed of Gain is the ultimate expression – sonically, energetically, politically – and you will not want to miss it!

Misanthrop – Greed Of Gain EP (Neosignal Recordings)

Check out the interview with the man behind Greed of Gain!

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