The end of August 2013 was a life changing month for me, the artist BC#9. I had been working in Miami, Florida as a DJ, producer and host of the monthly global podcast Hooked on Tronix, with success. Building my transition from organic studio musician to an electronic based producer under the brand BC#9 was going well. I had just finished my first official DNB single for my full length release Aquasonica, and it was due to be released in the summer of 2013. Feeling confident and excited with my first global DNB release after working on writing and producing the tracks over the last year, a list of venues to premier the release was set up, including talks of performance at Ultra music fest during the Winter Music Conference. The thing about life is you just never know what’s going to happen the next day, no matter how prepared you try to be. A week before the album was due to drop on iTunes, Beatport, Juno and other major platforms worldwide, and the promotional campaign was set to kick off, an unexpected direct hit happened. I had come home from the studio about 12:30 am and had gone to bed. At 3:30 am I woke up freezing cold and couldn’t move my right hand or arm. I lived about two miles from Boca Raton’s community hospital. I rushed to my car and drove myself to the hospital with my one arm that was still responding. I walked into the emergency room and collapsed. I woke up three days later from a coma. I had a stroke and brain aneurysm, I was told. Out of nowhere I just felt like somebody had knocked the wind out of me. I had so many questions…the doctors, after running a series of tests, had explained that I had a hole in my heart from birth, which resulted in a condition called cardiomyopathy that had contributed to the stroke. I had also caught a virus that caused my body to slip into septic shock, which had almost killed me. Talk about everything changing at the very moment that I had planned, that would be an understatement. After three more weeks of recovering, and what would be an extensive six month routine of physical therapy for my hand and arm, I was released back home to move on with my treatment plan of aftercare. What I never could have imagined was that my drive to get back to recording couldn’t have been stronger, even with one hand. As an artist I needed to be working to keep myself sane, and from slipping into depression, and then off the grid. I have seen it happen to others. Two weeks later, at almost the same time of the morning, I suffered a second stroke, losing the ability to function with my left arm. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me, in any way. I drove to the hospital with my knees and elbows, and this time, they were able to get me stable much faster than before. They did, however, put me on a severe work restriction. So, no live performances, and that really hurt. I had to cancel everything except one thing, my album release. I let the album drop on schedule, on line, with one change. I felt the need to finish work on the album’s single. All of the people who got me through that difficult time were not the people I expected to show up. Almost like they thought that they may catch what I had, which was impossible. People that I thought would show up didn’t, but the people I knew from my online DNB group did. They even started a Go Fund Me page to help with my medical expenses. I lost everything almost that I owned, and had to start pretty much from scratch. I finished writing the song “Going On”, and released it as the single from the album, and it was a huge success! That was the track that I put my heart and soul into, to deal with what I was going through, and the message was, that no matter what cards you get dealt, just keep going on. It became my mantra. The follow up full release Aquasonica landed me three recording contracts, and I was back on top, on my way to recovery, and a better life. During this time I met my fiancé Xtene as well. So, sometimes salvation is truly in the eye of the storm. DNB and my DNB producers group really did save my life. So I produced a video for the single Going On, and for its anniversary I wanted to share my story, song, and video. This is a special song and anniversary, and I have so much to be grateful for. Cheers, Jason Bakes, a/k/a BC#9 September 25 2013 was the official release of "Going On"Drum+bass saved my life!
BC#9 – Aquasonica @JasonBakes1 (Album Review)
Now i am sure your all aware of our association with american producer BC#9 by now but if not let me give you a quick introduction to the production mastermind that is the creative genius of Jason Bakes. Jason started off his career as a guitarist for the band Thin White Line and worked with many inspirational and legendary rock/punk artists and bands before making the progression onto drum and bass and electronica production.
This album is a landmark in his production career as it marks great success both on a PERSONAL level for Jason and on a professional level as his fan bass continues to gain followers and grow with every coming day. One thing i would like to note about Jason is he is a very emotion based producer. In the short time i have known him i am yet to hear him create a piece of music that has been made for the sake of it, by that i mean every track although the majority have no vocals, tell a story and a struggle with a form of emotion unique to that piece of production.
A Perfect example of this is the title track “Going On” which was produced at a very powerful and life defining moment in the history of Jason’s career. After a 2 year period of RECOVERING from a brain aneurysm that left Jason without the use of both his arms, this track was created with the release of emotion and stress he had overcome in the previous months and years. The first thing you notice about this track is the beautiful, atmospheric and almost self motivating synths that induce a trance like state that really make you go on a personal journey whilst listening. This is perfectly complimented by the rolling drum beat that drops in around 25 seconds into the track also with the addition of a transfixing almost haunting vocal chant of the word “going on”. This is a track to put on at maximum volume as you kick back after a long week at work to express the feeling that im sure most of you feel each week that you are just “going on” continuing with your day to day duties and routines.
Another notable compliment of this album is that Jason has not tried to make music in similar style to any of his influences. I review a lot of albums for the website and 8 out of every 10 albums i receive sound like cloned copies of the artists that influenced the music. Jason however gracefully breaks free of this bracket and brings a fresh OUTLOOK on the art of production. This is apparent as i listen to the track “Plat Numb Night Crawler” with the track starting off with soft, waving synths and a nice subtle liquid drum and bass percussion line. The track also has almost gospel sounding synth chords in the breaks between drum patterns and samples that takes me back to the early days and careers of SPY, Danny Byrd, High Contrast and the rising of the UK’s liquid drum and bass scene. Yet again this track would be perfect for maximum relaxation, just press play and sit back with a beer whilst the music takes you on a sonic audio journey through the mind of Jason Bakes.
iTunes – Plat Numb Night Crawler
A haunting and dramatic change for the album comes into play as the track “Night Stalker” drops in with its curiosity inducing intro and attention grabbing percussion. Night Stalker almost sounds like the perfect theme tune to a mystery based thriller in which no one is safe but clues will eventually lead to a realization of the culprit. I can almost positively guarantee the little riff in this track will stick in your head for hours after you have listened to it and not in a bad way what so ever.
Liquid Blue is a more uptempo, head bobbing track that instantly makes you want to get up and dance around the room. I challenge anyone to listening to this song and not smile as its foot tapping drum pattern starts to make your limbs and body become automatically influenced by the song and its emotion. With some thoughtful and suggestion synths in place but leaving the drum pattern as the main element, this track is one of my PERSONAL favorites from the album.
This brings me to the shining star of the album, the Mona Lisa of BC#9’s production career thus far. A brilliantly constructed and almost industrial sounding track by the name of “Aquasonica”. During its 3 minutes and 52 second of climatic audio pleasure it twists and turns along many different infrastructures of the liquid drum and bass genre. One minute its rolling nice a fluent taking you upon the waves of thoughtful atmospherics and then without warning the drum pattern begins to become a bit more Jungle influenced and almost South American carnival themed. If i had to liken this track to any other artist i would compare it to the styles of DJ Marky and his southern american influenced liquid drum and bass.
iTunes – Aquasonica Another defining moment on the album is the final track “Dirty Talk” featuring Jason’s wife on vocal duties. This tune is another smooth roller with a very sassy and seductive feel to it but still with enough clout to get you up on your feet and dancing. A nice stomping sample is present as the track plays through taking you on yet another audio journey throughout the mind of this world class producer.
All in all this album is an AUDIBLE masterpiece that can take you on an emotionally pleasing journey from your desk office at work straight into the sunny skyline of the Bahamas. As well as beign pleasing to the lsitener this release is also a personal landmark for us and Jason as we have been closely involved in the albums making from providing pre release promotion to having our producers So Real Sounds help with the mastering of the tracks. We wish nothing but good luck upon Jason and his crew of merry music makers along the journey that this album is sure to bring and we stand alongside to help in every which way that we can. Dj MalcolmMx
Going On: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/going-on-single/id718312080