Ralph Cumbers, better known as Bass Clef, is a perfect example of the exploratory journey that many bass-fetischistic british musicians have embarked upon these past few years. On PHONO14 he’ll be playing two shows, each focusing on different aspects of his highly personal sound – one on the evening program as his most frequently used alias, and one on the daytime program as Some Truths.
Raised in the deepest underground of dubstep, neck-deep in ultra low frequencies and colourful, peak-time rave, Cumbers has developed an increasingly experimental and personal version of bass music, soaked in the sounds of modular synths and streaked through with squelchy, acidic melodies that twist and turn uncontrollably around the stereo field.
2014 has been the most productive year for Cumbers so far. Among other things, he’s released a record as Some Truth, and two EPs as Bass Clef, one of which was released on the excellent berlin-based label PAN. It’s telling of Cumbers’ evolution, that his latest excurtions was released by this particular label – better than almost anyone, PAN represents the coming together of hard-hitting club-oriented music and the experimental avant-garde.
Like a space probe using the gravitational field of a cosmic object to correct its course and gain further momentum, Cumbers have used dubstep and UK garage to fling himself far into the furthest regions of bass music, where [weird] ideas, bubbling melodies and fat, low-end bass-lines come together to form glittering and unexpected constellations. Do not miss neither the modular synth-explorations of Some Truth nor Bass Clefs explorations of what british bass music can (and perhaps should) be.