Bass Clef – ‘Bugbranded EP’ 12″ [Public Information]

Brand new joints from Ralph Cumbers aka Bass Clef coming out on Public Information, some of the best new music we’ve heard lately, kicking off a series of wax pressings on various labels for the man. With a self-described ‘Ekoplekz styled release schedule’ for the year, this drop is actually one of two new releases this month, the second-coming on PAN, with the vinyl release of last year’s Acid Tracts Vol. 1 – which appeared in our Best Of 2013 lists – not far behind.

Building on the vibes of that last cassette release, Bugbranded is Bass Clef tuned in to his wonderful creation space. The man’s a master, a producer’s producer for a reason, you can picture yourself in the studio with him watching the work being recorded and fine tuned. Cumbers makes music that lives and breathes, and it’s never been so obvious as it is on this EP. You can hear that track’s slipping in and out of comfortable pattern points, before they meld together and mutate in to something new.

Psych-electronics get a techno beat, but it’s all happening in real-time, the machines being composed and controlled by a brilliant conductor who pushes them in new directions. The title of the 12″ itself gives a clue to these vibes, with a throwback to Tom Brags aka BugBrand, an electronic instrument creator with a shop in Bristol. Taking on this influence we’ve now got the spirit of two people dedicated to moving music forward instead of churning out 32 bars of the same patterns.

Big ups Bass Clef, the man doesn’t make a bad record. Can guarantee that this is a plate that you’ll be spinning for years. Limited to 500, already in to some stores and should be hitting the rest on Monday, get on it.

via Public Information
And so we drive down rain-slicked analogue motorways head first into our second EP series release following an IVVVO dispatch in September 2013. This time out Ralph Cumbers AKA Some Truths AKA Bass Clef is behind the wheels.

The clue is in the title. Tom “BugBrand” Bugs, denizen of Bristol, electronic sound devices engineer, maker and creator. The four tracks here are dedicated to his craft and design: the thrill of the analogue-surprise, the crunch of the circuit, the twist of the patch cable, the white-hot burn of solder on board. BUT it takes a real master to make sense of these machines, Public Information are so happy to have one in our midst.

Long-time wielder of the modular-flame, Ralph Cumbers has a distinguished CV for the likes of Punch Drunk and his own Magic+Dreams imprint. Here, across four extended sequences does he shine, taking the crystalline drive and coarse groove of the acclaimed Reeling Skullways LP into hotwired groove zones.

“Sometimes the only way out is to go further in” starts the trip. Take care dear listener; once you’re in track one, you may not want to escape from its grip, its cyclical riffs, its space dust licks, its buttered bass notes. Then, the sadness. The mournful minor key shuffle of “elsewhen” is sheer blue-note Blade Runner melancholy. Then, the euphoria. Instant gratification hits you on “faster than the speed of love” a click-pump-click-pump kick surrounded by jagged sawtones, straight to the chest. Through swirling, speed-addled melodies does Clef then lead us- Detroit nights under Hackney sodium lights. Then, to a breath. Bugbranded arrives at an all too premature end with “neon black and vulcane” a glistening collage of white noise splash, acidic whispers and head-nod-chug.

This is techno how it was dreamed in Belleville, re-imagined by a genius with a synth or three. In Clef we trust, for all our magic and dreams.

A1: sometimes the only way out is to go further in
A2: elsewhen
B1: faster than the speed of love
B2: neon black and vulcane