Distal/HxdB/Mayhem, Typewriter Tune VIP/Frozen Barnacles

[Surefire Sound]

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Like a Venn diagram, the overlapping artist collaborations on the Typewriter Tune VIP/Frozen Barnacles single from Surefire Sound is a succinct overview of North American bass music styles. With Distal and Mayhem from Atlanta, Georgia and HxdB from Vancouver, Canada, the music these producers have composed together present a vibrant counterpoint to the dominance of London’s club culture. Even though these artists can be described as rising stars, even a cursory look at their collective catalog turns up deep careers, with releases on Soul Jazz, Tube 10 Recordings, Mindset, Echodub, Argon, and Subway Recordings.

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The digital-only “Typewriter Tune” garnered so much play, Distal and Hxdb all but had to gave it the VIP treatment. With its fast-paced bubbling rhythm and sliding synth melodies, there is more than a touch of UK funky in its bass frequencies. The stop-start breakdowns and sometimes gritty sound design make the track feel far from that style, though. Indeed, the juke-inflected vocal patterns that pop-up add yet another sensation to the track. For the VIP treatment this new release highlights, Distal and HxdB heightened the pace of the track and further twisted the synths to increase their energy levels. Completing the Venn diagram is “Frozen Barnacles” by Mayhem & Distal. A slower track with echoing low-end and much more heavy dubstep feel, it’s a good complement to “Typewriter Tune”‘s upbeat funk. The synths coat the rhythm in a vibrant and deep warmth, while a pitched down horn wails down the middle of the track. With such strong bass energies coming out of North America, the dominant UK scene faces some strong competition from this triad of producers.

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