When Unsound Festival was announced for New York City, people who had been familiar with the original Krakow festival knew about the famed annual Bass Mutations events, where artists such as Kode9, Ikonika, 2562 and Untold flexed their low-end muscle. Massive anticipation set in for the New York edition, and when the lineup was announced it did not disappoiSnt. Artists highlighting the bill were Untold, TRG, 2562, FaltyDL, Sepalcure (Machine Drum & Praveen Sharma), Pole, Pavel Ambiont and Dub War resident Dave Q. Needless to say, this was a lineup that wouldn’t come around to New York for a while, so people took to getting there and enjoying.
Bass Mutations line-up at The Bunker @ Public Assembly, Brooklyn, NY 02/13/10
Walking into the Bunker at Public Assembly, the vibe was undeniably different and exciting. People were already buzzing about the lineup and who was lined up and what room they would be playing, it was all leading up moments that would be crystallized in bass music history. Starting in the front and back rooms respectively, Pavel Ambiont and Dave Q both got the crowd in each room to melt away into their creative soundscapes. While Ambiont had started to drop Middle Eastern spacious bass, Dave Q was dropping rhythms of darkness, depth and deviance all at once. Scurrying between rooms for about two hours, Sepalcure (Machine Drum & Praveen Sharma’s love/funky/house collab) were spinning a great set of dubstep, funky and avant-garde 2-step. Keeping the vibe fresh in the front room, the back room was getting packed quickly, as Dave Q was wrapping a solid set and handing off the decks to Cosmin TRG. What occurred was a welcome shift change in beats, going from dubstep to a mix of tech/funky/and TRG’s own brand of “Hi-Tek” house. For almost ninety minutes, patrons went absolutely nuts to Cosmin’s set, finding breaks between the relentless rhythms to catch their breath and then collectively losing themselves in the kicks and snare. However, that was only a precursor as to what was coming; quite possibly the best DJ set (at least bass-wise) in recent years.
Untold live at The Bunker @ Public Assembly, Brooklyn, NY 02/13/10
When much-buzzed producer and proper party-starter Untold came towards the 1s and 2s, the room dynamic shifted entirely. Starting with the perfect sounds of mutated bass and heavy percussion, the room erupted in a unified dance floor fury. Screaming, jumping, and for all intensive purposes, a positively musical psychotic breakdown was all about. The energy of Untold’s set was unmatched by anyone at the Unsound Festival (even with DJ Qu’s absolutely stunning set the night before) and he provided bits and pieces of upcoming tracks as well as validated his place in forward-thinking bass culture. With his selections ranging from a personal remix of Joy Orbison’s “J. Doe” to his mind-melting track “Bad Girls”, the set was just as intense as it why punishingly satisfying for the brains of the people there. Seeing the poise of Untold, there was no other person in his purview, he immersed himself in his selection, his tastemaking and his overall musical direction. His set ended magically with a drop of James Blake’s take on Untold’s “Stop What Your Doing”, with overwhemingly bombastic results. The room literally shook with fervor. The crowd erupted as he left the decks to 2562, as the grin on his face read satisfaction from side to side. 2562 proceeded to deliver a set of classic house, solid techno and dark dub tunes for nearly three hours. He was a machine in peak performance, working each angle of bass as best as he could perform. In the other room, FaltyDL started to warm up the crowd in a way I had not seen before.
FaltyDL live at The Bunker @ Public Assembly, Brooklyn, NY 02/13/10
This was the third time Drew Lustman had proceeded to provide a smile to my face in terms of performance, as he was “in it to win it.” As cheesy as that may sound, whenever Ghost’s “The Club” and Dorian Concept’s “Trilingual Dance Sexperience” are in the same set, my attention is grabbed. FaltyDL provided some very welcome post-3AM dance moves to the proceedings along with a solid selection of tunes that ranged from classic house stabs to telling people to shut the f*** up with mutated dubstep from Luke Vibert. A set that was solid as it was lengthy, Lustman provided a welcome ending to the proceedings. What should be known about this night of Bass Mutations is not how well artists performed or how the venue was packed to the brim, it should be the feeling of the room. The vibe from the moment of opening right until the moment of closing was absolutely warm, welcoming and bass-hungry. People were there not to mosh, not to shove or see the newest thing around, they were there to drink, dance and immerse themselves in what is now undoubtedly, the future of bass music.
Special thanks to The Bunker for hosting this immense event. For more amazing shots of Bass Mutations, check out the URB gallery HERE