It has already been two years since Sub Basics released his last EP, Vapour, on Visceral Vibrations. In three tracks, Vapour had Sub Basics perfecting the ethereal sound he first portrayed on his debut EP, Khora. If his new EP is anything to go with, it seems the twenty months that lapsed since Vapour was released were spent trying new things, and honing a new sound. Fittingly published as Infernal Sounds’ first 2017 release, this new EP displays a different side of Sub Basics’ music, driven by intense sub bass, without losing the remarkable sound design that helped his previous two EPs stand out.
“Horus”, which opens the EP, does not wait long to stage this new style: following a short introduction in which the track’s wobbling sounds appear as ghostly resonances, the track focuses on the same melody, reincarnated as an old school dubstep bassline. Designed to shake a sound system, the track moves slowly, propelled by sharp drums that leave enough space for each bass note to trigger its full effect.
While “Horus” is a great opener, “Cartel” appears to be the real standout here. Similar in style as well as in the sounds it uses, “Cartel” sees Sub Basics mastering this sound in four minutes and a half, providing a track that sounds like it would have been a classic had it been released ten years ago. The track’s dark, impressive bassline is heightened by its drums, creating flowing dynamics. This sound is by no means new, but Sub Basics nears perfection, fine-tuning each element to increase the impact of the whole tune, giving it a timeless feeling.
The release includes “Northern Lights” as a digital bonus track. Following the same pattern as the main two tracks, “Northern Lights” calls back the atmospherics that prevailed in the first Sub Basics releases, as a means to display his wobbly basslines through a different prism, rounding up the release in an interesting twist that paves the way for possible future evolutions of his sound.