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.
For the true underground heads, who scrape at the holes and cracks of the bass music floorboards, Spicy Bois is one name that is immediately recognizable. If their red hot habanero sound isn’t on your radar, then it’s time to start doing your homework. The hot-right-now label collective represents some of the spiciest rising acts in low waveform bass, including Angelic Root, Super Future, Space Wizard, MeSo, and smith., to name but a few.
One recent comrade to join the piquant club is a rather mysterious fellow who flies under the name southgate. An enigmatic comrade in both sound and image, this is a guy who doesn’t have even one photo where his face isn’t completely blurred out. Nevertheless, he has captured our eyes and ears. After some digging, we’ve identified the new kid on the block as Baton Rouge-born Alex Koulpasis.
Deeply embedded in the Texas heavy bass scene, Koulpasis’ sound skews defiantly experimental. Certainly not one for trends or gimmicks, his sound is technically savvy, expertly produced, highly evocative, and highly experimental. Granular, moody, gritty, malevolent, and glitchy are a few ways to describe his hard-hitting sound design. Essentially, it’s the kind of music that tears at the very fabric of space-time, scraping and scratching at the low-end sound barrier, urging listeners to come bathe in his frequencies.
The up-and-coming producer has releases on both Wormhole and Rapture. He’s also embedded himself in both The Missing Links and Spicy Bois collectives. Most recently, southgate. has managed to conjure up a hard-hitting experimental project on the latter label.
The experimental trap EP is suitably titled GRIM, mostly because it is just that—grim. At times aloof and uninviting, but wildly tempting and savory, GRIM‘s three tracks opt for gritty basslines, snarling synths, heavy 808-kicks, low and mid-tempo play, but also harmonic overtones and glitchy, melodic flavors.
From the heavily distorted chops, crunching synths, and downbeat kick drums on the EP’s opening track, “Bom,” to the swarming energy and spacey atmospheres of “Ftp,” to the air-tight compression of “Gangslang,” the entire EP is a whirlwind of sonic layering. There’s so many layers to uncover that the EP would leave even G Jones floored and drawing crop circles in the carpet. Either that or tearing out his eyeballs from the cosmic dark matter.
Listen for yourself below and be sure grab the free download here.