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.
Khiva may not be a new name for those immersed in the Deep Dark & Dangerous corner of the bass music world. With over 9,000 SoundCloud followers and 6,000 on Facebook, it’s not as though the West Coast bass artist is entirely new to the underground bass scene. At the same time, Khiva only just getting started. She’s just wrapped a New Zealand tour with label mate TRUTH, opened for Bassnectar’s BassCenter XII, along with 2019 festival appearances at Solasta, Infrasound, and Sonic Bloom, to name a few.
In terms of her overall sound design, Khiva’s musical exports showcase her propensity for emotionally-laden textures and often-dramatic low-frequency soundscapes. A sonic sculpture in her own right, her main mission is to invoke a truly authentic human experience in the listener—whatever that may be.
Finding a home in the dubstep and weird bass terrains, her newest project takes on 140-centric styles as a natural bpm focal point. She’s dubbed the EP Alchemy Vol. 1 and it’s every bit as sensual and seductive as it dark, foreboding, and breathtakingly unique. It’s also a sign of what is to come from deep within her vault.
A narrative, an introduction. An emulsification of poetry and bass,” as Khiva describes the five-track EP.
From the dark and brooding project opener, “Blood & Rust,” with it’s swarming synths, changing tempos, and intricately-crafted bass lines, all the way up until the EP’s closing track, “Coconut Cream,” with it’s slippery landscapes, seductive vocals, and silky smooth sampling techniques, Khiva’s newest collection listens a lot like reading a piece of theoretical philosophy. On the one hand, vague and abstract. On the other, profound and metaphysical.
That’s probably because all of her musical choices arise from somewhere far beneath the surface of what one can taste, touch, see, or smell. Her music is conjured up somewhere within the realm of conscious thought, implicit intention, and the more deeply-layered emotional spaces. Take the EP’s second track, “Closer,” as a case in point. The song is chill and effortless, hypnotic and sexual, leading listeners into a deeply meditative state before dropping them into haunting territories.
Khiva then dips into higher tempo terrains on “Paper Cut,” with its typewriter samples, eerily chiming synths, and expertly asserted hip-hop verses. Another high-tempo standout on the EP is “Glitch,” which is every bit as ominous as the previous track, so much so that it sounds like a continuation of “Paper Cuts.” Before long, listeners are completely lost in Khiva’s calcifying world of low-frequency experimentation.
At the end of the journey, Khiva shows that she’s no run-of-the-mill electronic dance music producer. Armed with sweltering beats and conscious intention in her newest Alchemy EP, Khiva embodies the very ethos of Deep Dark & Dangerous in her music. The best part is there’s more where that came from.