CharlestheFirst raises the bar on experimental bass via enchanting third studio album, ‘Solus’
CharlestheFirst has become an increasingly alluring figure and coveted tastemaker since first emerging in 2014. The Lake Tahoe-based artist has now further cemented himself as a benevolent force in experimental bass production via the next chapter in his sonic saga, Solus. With this latest LP, the man behind the music, Charles Ingalls, offers a most personal look yet into his imagination through a haven of his symphonic static, natural sound cache, and contorted bass signatures. Through previously-announced collaborations with Tsuruda, kLL sMTH, and fellow Lab Group-member, potions, and plenty of solo originals of Ingalls’ own, the 13-track journey moves through emotive sound, beats, and storytelling.
This effort marks Ingalls’ third studio LP to date and his first full-length release since late 2018’s The Ascent. CharlestheFirst only released two LP teasers in “Out of the Dark,” which made CE‘s Top Singles of 2020 shortlist, and “For Now,” in which CharlestheFirst offers his own vocals—a new and interesting development that Ingalls has been becoming increasingly more comfortable with over the last few years. The production’s intimate style shows imprints of his side project, hawk. as it delves into lo-fi territory, but then returning to his fully imposing basslines and 808s that have long vibrated hearts on dance floors. The unique mood that Charles creates is generated by his originality in bass, both the depth and uniqueness of sound within that density. How this has now evolved is on full display throughout the entire album.
Solus is inspiring in that it offers a long glance into CharlestheFirst’s creative expression of emotion, conflict, and the changes that occur through life over time. Naturally, this progression through life is a solitary one that the artist wants us to see is, in itself, overwhelmingly beautiful despite its turbulence. Narrated by his stirring production and open lyricism, Ingalls’ third longform project stands as a testament to the power of music as both an instrument of story-telling and an individual’s human experience.
“The meaning of Solus to me is a journey alone. It’s a pilgrimage of sorts to homebase; a resetting of it all. I feel that this album stands alone in my discography because of how much I dove into its creation. I really lived it and loved the process. So many important changes happened to me over the course of it being written.”– CharlestheFirst
CharlestheFirst – Solus LP
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Reformed educator who’s fond of cats and getting good and lost on his onewheel. He has no interest at all in getting found. Unless there’s food.