Introducing sfam: NOLA hybrid trap duo shares highly experimental 7-track ‘shadows’ EP via Wakaan
Here at Conscious Electronic, we love all things bass — breakbeat, downtempo, left-field, experimental, dubstep in all its forms, you name it. As the underground bass movement has begun its full ascendancy in the US, we’ve been keeping a finger on the pulse of up-and-coming bass artists the country over. As such, CE’s Rising Bass Spotlight seeks to turn a focus onto those rising producers who’re developing their craft, garnering their audiences, and turning eyes, ears, heads, and bodies with their commitment to all things low end.
Avid underground bass music listeners have been following sfam for some time now. The New Orleans duo, comprised of Jacob Hoerner and Michael Pearson, have positioned themselves as one of the scene’s most impressive and innovative new acts in bass music. Drawing on inspirations from heavy bass and minimal trap beats, sfam has formulated a dark, distinct sound of unique, amorphous, original beats. It’s a sound that has earned the support of industry tastemakers like UZ, Bassnectar, Dirt Monkey, Kai Wachi, and Toadface, to name a few.
Most recently, the pair has caught the attention of Liquid Stranger’s Wakaan imprint, which has resulted in their newest EP showing, titled shadows. The 7-track masterpiece is a deep dive into a highly experimental terrain. It’s a space in which sfam is clearly comfortable.
“we’ve been making experimental beats for about 5 years now and have noticed how much this style has blown up over the last couple years,” says sfam. “with that being said, we really wanted to reach even further to make an ep that doesn’t sound like anything anyone else is putting out. that’s always the goal with every tune we make but it was even stronger for the ep.”
The EP’s title track, “shadows,” begins with an ominous lead-in that quickly picks up in rhythm before a left-field drop into low-tempo territory. The track sets the dark, foreboding mood of sfam’s world before dipping into a Mersiv collaboration. While Mersiv’s mark on the track is obvious, the single sits heavily within sfam’s wonky, twisted sound. Fast forward to the EP’s closing track in “we be comin'” and the general vibe of the EP becomes one about a journey into industrial mayhem and postmodern beat construction. These are artists who don’t care much for convention.
In fact, sfam does everything to outwardly defy convention and that’s what makes their compositions so cutting-edge. They even stretch the term “experimental” to it’s farthest boundaries. Just when listeners feel a melodic stint coming in, the duo cuts to an unexpected, completely off-kilter left-turn — making them perfect for the weird and wonderful world of Wakaan. Locked and loaded for plenty of appearances for the year, 2019 has truly shaped up to be a breakout year for sfam. Be sure to catch the experimental bass duo at Lost Lands, Wakaan Fest, and along Dirt Monkey’s Primatology tour this fall.
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