In most realms of life, there are two paths; the Mainstream, and the Underground. One of the realms where this division can be noticed in all of its glory is in music. There is music, and then there is Music. When you flip to a local terrestrial radio station while you’re driving, or even let a satellite radio station play a programmed genre for you on a device, you are hearing music. However, on the other hand, you know every place left in your town that sells vinyl, and you make a weekly stop there to listen to what just arrived, or you find and follow an artist online after seeing or hearing them somewhere, or a friend sends you an artist that they found by digging around and investing time in their local scene or deep diving labels online, what you are hearing now is Music. Something created in someone’s personal creative space...a bedroom, a garage, a kitchen table. And then relentlessly, with a lot of time and effort, it is shared by the same person or people that created it, that’s Music. This release is Music. Created in a spare bedroom-turned-studio, mostly late at night when nobody else is awake. Mixed and mastered by fellow creatives, working late at night in far away parts of the world, some of whom have never met in person...they collaborate in the dark and solitude of the night to bring you Music like this. The Underground is the title of this track by DJ BC#9. He comes from the Underground himself, having played guitar in an iconic punk band in the mid-eighties for a decade, until finding himself in London amid the electronic music and rave culture of the early to mid-nineties. He fell naturally in love with the sounds as well as the nature of the Drum and Bass scene, which is an Underground scene within another Underground scene...BC#9 laid down his guitar after over twenty years and bought a Mac, beginning his musical journey into a new Underground, not in a band but on his own, and found his people, his tribe. And he has been releasing and producing electronic music ever since. This release comes at a difficult but powerful time for this artist, as he was diagnosed with cancer last month. As it always has, Music is there to save him. He and his closest group of artists, Music and video, as well as the artists who engineer this sound, have gathered and gone all in on this release. The result is a complex, sophisticated and incredibly textural piece of Music, that will give you a real experience of the power of Music as you listen to the song roll over you. There are what seem like dozens of sounds, musical notes, but also sounds that aren’t exactly musical notes, but when layered skillfully with unique and interesting beats, they create Music that takes you on a true journey through moods and emotions. Between the lyrics and spoken word, and masterful blending of so many elements of sound, that it’s kind of inaccurate to call it just a song.
The evolution of underground music. A discussion about the evolution of todays electronic music with recording industry Artist & Producer Jason Bakes of Drum+Bass United Records.
A wall of lush pads fills the soundscape created with these tracks tones, textures, and colors. There is also an instrumental version that is a solid track that allows the listener to be taken on an audio journey without the distraction of the story told in the vocal version. BC#9 created a really cool video that he filmed in Japan. As the video opens, you are walking down the steps of the Ginza subway stop in the heart of Japan, city of mass transit and upscale shops. BC#9 then travels to Bristol in the UK and brings the viewer into a live performance at The Print Works. As you experience the club and its guest's energy, BC#9 drops his bass, the light show takes you into the perspective of being on stage experiencing the crowd from the view of the DJ. Following this, BC#9 brings to the video an animated returning from BC#9’s previous 2018 video Jungle Demon. Finally, you're taken on a cosmic trip around the galaxy. This is the first track outside of the Drum+Bass genre that BC#9 has released in many years. The Downtempo and ambient genres are both styles of music that BC#9 has released before and enjoys this style of music when its late night and the big show is over, BC#9 likes to drop the bpm and get down. I think you will too, once you hear this new EP. Put your headphones on and let yourself be taken away to The Underground. Todays Electronic music scene contains many genres and sub-genres that often have very dedicated fans, and even more dedicated artists, responsible for creating signature sounds to push the boundaries that define the genre they represent. Bristol is home to many artists who created a style and sound in the ’90s that was considered alternative underground. Bands and artists like Massive Attack and Portishead were blending organic sounds with electronic instruments to create something new and exciting. Portisheadwas making Dub-plates with recordings of their own music, and setting up turntables for their live performance and scratching as part of their live sound. Radiohead was one of the leaders in mixing electronica and organic sounds to pull off albums like Amnesiac, Kid A and Ok Computer to a new generation of listeners who loved it. Pere Ubu and The Talking Heads were also a big part of this underground movement. Mixing analog and digital sounds to create a hybrid that inspired a list of new genres to be born, this new cross-pollination of sounds not only went into new directions, but literally created new genres that for a period of time were being referred to as “underground music” when it couldn’t be defined in a previous way accurately. The artists known as The Thievery Corporation received their name because they were taking samples of other peoples music and building their own songs from sound and melodies that already existed. This gave birth to all those audio loops, samples, and plugin-presets subscription services today. ADSR, Splice, Sounds.com and Loop Masters are all companies selling sounds and hardware to producers and DJ’s who want to create their own music, perform it live, and sell it. So when someone says that they love electronic music, and you ask what kind, and they say EDM, Im sorry, but that is a very insulting and narrow-minded way of thinking. All electronic music is Electronic Dance Music. It is not. It may be the most commercial, and represent all of those 20-something festival goers that like to go and party at Ultra in Miami or Tomorrowland in Europe, but that is the polar opposite of what Underground electronic music is. In the spirit of that great sound that Massive Attack debuted with their hit Protection, many doors started opening for other artists to get signed to recording contracts with the success of these new artists on the charts. Portishead performed a legendary show I attended at Roseland NYC in 1997 that was sold out. It was one of the most celebrated underground shows of that decade. At the same time, UK Garage was making its way to Jungle Music, which was turning into Drum+Bass. Goldie was releasing Inner City Life and we were on our way a new day and a new sound. In the spirit of that Bristol sound that I fell in love with back in the 90’s I wrote and produced my new EP The Underground. There is a full version with both female and male vocals that tell a story about life in the underground. There is a flow of urban beat poetry along with a great funky bass line that fits right into the pocket of the beat.
Life Thrills Remix from BC#9
In 2018 there was a remix contest hosted by Faderpro featuring Drum+Bass artist Danny Byrd of Hospital Records.BC#9 entered the contest. Downloading the audio stems from the contest was step one.BC#9 then adding the vocals from Hospitals acapella production pack from Metrik's track "Life/Thrills. Finally, BC#9 added his own tracks and beats. The result was a brand new track. It didn't win the contest but resulted in a great summertime dnb banger. Drum+Bas producer Invalid took the track across the finish line by mixing it down and adding his magic. Mastered by Nik Hrycyk @Amethyst Studios UK.Video created by BC#9.Timelapse photography by Tokyo artist Darwinfish105.DNB United Records 2019.
BC#9 himself ended up producing two different pieces of Music from his original creation. The version with the haunting lyric, “there is no past, there is no future, only now...” and the deep, sonorous spoken word piece about the Underground, is one result. To listen to this track, I recommend (as usual) good headphones and closed eyes for your first trip through. The combined elements of the track, dark and light, heavy and lilting, gave me visions of dark, mysterious tunnels winding around under our hard-driving, everyday world. An Underground where beams of light break through and give us glimpses of raw graffiti art, ancient bricks and metal rails leading to who knows where...and then a swarm of fireflies appear in the tunnel, silent and majestic, lighting up the scene with their tiny little absinthe green flares, then disappearing only to reappear in another form as the seconds pass. Let these sparkling magical creatures guide you over to the instrumental version, where more layers and swirls of sounds mix with totally unique beats to add to your experience of these tracks. Here is BC#9 up to his usual tricks, combining his hard-driving, guitar playing roots with years and years of electronic composing and producing coming together to create Music, the kind which gets inside your heart and becomes part of the soundtrack of your life. Just as his health is driving him to create, to survive, he offers this soundtrack in vocal as well as instrumental forms for us to join him in his fight, and to remind us that only Music can save us. Christene Brinkman aka XteenSixteen Editor dnbunited.com.
The Underground Instrumental Version
The Underground: Written & produced by BC#9. Mixed by Jonathan Loeser @invalidproductions. Video created by BC#9. A year and a half ago, BC#9 started an instrumental version of this track and posted it on Splice.com for other producers to Splice the track and see what they could do with the stems. Over 1200 producers downloaded the stems. The Underground EP is out now on all platforms. I would like to thank all those who inspired this release as well as those industry professionals that had a significant role in making it happen. Jonathan Loeser a/k/a Invalid did a beautiful job mixing the track as the audio engineer. I would like to also take a moment to give Big Ups to dnb united's and Downtempo Recordings new audio engineer who has just signed up as our new exclusive mastering engineer. Welcome, Adam Haggar a/k/a The Mount. Mount Olympia Mastering Is A Dedicated Mastering Facility In Downtown Asbury Park, The Dark City By The Sea, And Home To Mastering Engineer Adam Haggar. We Specialize In Mastering For Vinyl And Digital Releases With An Innovative Approach That Invokes The Discipline Of Legacy Engineering While Forging New Precedents In Prepared Sound. We Are Accessible By Train From New York’s Penn Station. There will be more information to come soon. Also, there is a second instrumental version of The Underground which will have its own video as well. More to come. Jason Bakes aka BC#9.