As February comes to a close, we bring you another round of Focus Five. This month we’ve got an artist who moves between dubstep and halftime, an Austrian newcomer, a Vancouver-based bass wizard, an LA producer championing Hyperbounce, and an under-the-radar master of slow trap and wave. Get familiar with them all below.
With very recent releases on both Inspected and Renraku, as well as a hefty catalog of singles and remixes that range from dubstep to halftime, it’s time the bass scene stopped sleeping on Ankou. Landing on my radar with the menacing bootleg of ‘Figaro’ that established the Polish-based artist among the best up-and-comers in the scene through a relentless flow that truly shatters listeners to their core, Ankou has since gone on to release one quality tune after the other. Showcasing a versatility in genres while staying true to a gritty signature sound, the talented producer is sure to unleash the nastiest of bass faces no matter what style he chooses to explore. It’s a shame it took us so long to feature Ankou, as few are keeping bass music as fresh as he is. A deep dive into his repertoire is highly recommended.
I’m so used to writing about music coming from every corner of the planet that when I find something closer to home, it always feels somehow special. Last month I brought you to Italy, this time we’re going to cross the Austrian border to the city of Gratz, 480 kilometers from the room where I’m typing these words right now. This is where the music enthusiast, dancer and producer who goes by the name of d:enigma is currently based. With just six tracks out, labeling this project as a newcomer is definitely not out of place, but considering him unprepared, that would be a mistake. I can agree that twenty minutes of music are barely enough to get to know an artist properly, but as in life, first impressions matter a lot. His Virtual Self EP released via Vale is one hell of a calling card that flexes what he’s made of: intricate beats, genre fluidity, extreme care to details. It’s clear that he knows what he wants and that he’s not down to accept compromises. Only time will tell us the truth, but I’ve placed my bet. Your turn.
Canada’s west coast scene is as diverse as they come, especially on the bass side of things. One of those experimental artists, Vancouver’s Konka, is all but impossible to pin down. His passion for all things under the bass umbrella has led him to dabble in, and play with, halftime, DnB, dubstep, garage and future beats. That said, the one constant to Konka’s creations is they’re sure to slap.
My first proper foray into Konka’s catalogue came with his three-track Street Ritual EP, Shrine. Featuring a dark and ominous Far East soundscape, the EP opens as a spine-tingling stalker, morphs into a raucous rush of raw industrial DnB and closes with a toxic twist that may lead to you lose your lunch. Following a few months later, Konka had me captivated with the unholy animus of Westwood X affair, ‘Corsette.’ A brutish, bump-and-grind banger, there’s no missing the intensity and animosity at its core. More recently, Konka’s lent his abilities to other west coasters with an epic remix of Kermode’s powerhouse ‘Paladin‘ and an ice-cold collab with Outsider in ‘Trus’ Me.’ What Konka will do next, we do not know. However, we do know this; it’ll be a hard-hitter.
Championing the latest genre sensation that’s sweeping the SoundCloud nation, Los Angeles’s Norémac has only one goal; making hyperbounce as popular as humanly possible. Blurring the line between rhythm-focused trap and the gritty, jarring sound design of dubstep, you’re left with a concoction that’s astronomically absurd. First firmly capturing my attention with his release ‘Chucked,’ I was quickly enamored with the abrasive and immensely energetic style, which will undoubtedly light the scene on fire if given enough proper attention. His collaboration ‘Muggin’ with fellow hyperbounce enthusiast Cm. is another prime example of just how ruthless and diverse this sound can be, packing more oomph than a fully-loaded bazooka and enough bounce to make a trampoline quiver with jealousy. In dire need of some immensely brutal, forward-thinking pieces in your life? Norémac and hyperbounce have you more than covered.
Experimental, wavy, minimal, captivating. All words that perfectly characterize $ayonara. The Romanian producer has been bubbling on the low for year but recently captivated my full attention with ‘HOLDmeDOWN.’ and ‘EYESonÜ.’ The former pairs ghostly vocals with a stripped-down trap approach creating a tranquil atmosphere pulsating with feels. The latter is an adventurous affair that could be likened to TroyBoi off too much Indica. Beautiful worldly elements are layered with lush pads and expertly placed samples. If you’re looking to truly slow things down and feel all the emotion or are just a wave enthusiast, ‘HeCan’tF***You.‘ is another can’t miss.
Word by Alessio, Alex, Colin, Oggie & Steph.