West Coast Weight: Kelly Dean’s ‘Firewall’ EP [SMOG025]

KellyDean_FireWall_FIN

Big up fam’, thanks for checking in again!  We’re already two weeks into the new year and there has been a solid amount of music to hit the shelves: DJ Madd’s remix of  Candyman’s ‘Killa Sound’, Killawatt & Ipman’s ‘Warehouse Dub/Single Entity’, Boddika’s ‘Soul What VIP’, Booka Shade’s 3-track release on Blaufield, and Bungle’s ‘Aura/Astral Travel’, to name a few.  If you thought that 2012 was an amazing year for bass music you’re right but, 2013 is going to be that much better!

Today marks the drop of California native Kelly Dean’s ‘Firewall EP’ on Smog records.  Kelly Dean is one of many producers within the deep dubstep scene who have recently been cementing the U.S. onto the radar of bassweight enthusiasts across the globe.  Yes, we’ve always had heads like Matty G, Starkey, OSC, Babylon System, and Roommate (among others), but the numbers are growing and the ratio of top-notch UK:US producers finally seems to be evening out a bit.

It should come as no surprise that one of the one of the nation’s leading producers rolls deep with one of the nation’s strongest and longest-running dubstep nights/labels – Smog.  This release sees Kelly Dean take on his role in the SMOG fam’ as the deeper and darker proponent with his sweeping reese bass lines, eye-closing sub bass, eerie atmospherics, and generally minimalist philosophy on production.  The EP also bolsters remixes from Chestplate Records up-and-comer District, as well as a remix by Drumcell of the infamous Los Angeles underground crew: Droid Behavior.  It is without a doubt an EP that should not be slept on.  I was lucky enough to grab a few words with Kelly in regards to this release so take a read below while you preview his ‘Firewall’ EP:

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BWS:  So how long has this EP been in the works for?

Its been over a year that’s for sure.  I actually played these tunes in an earlier form at the SMOG 5 year party.  They have transformed over the years and matured into what you hear today.  They actually feel like little kids to me at this point.  HAHA.

BWS:  What can the listeners expect to hear from this project?

This EP has a much more mature sound to it.  Take “Samurai” for instance.  The track’s vocal is actually me.  But I took the quote from Hagakure : Book of the Samurai which is a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, drawn from a collection of commentaries by the Samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo from 1709 to 1716.  So the historical context of this tune is pretty strong, and I believe the vibe of the song is consistent with that theme.

BWS:  Do you have a personal favorite off the release?

“Samurai” and “Firewall” are my favorites mainly because of the ongoing theme.  Its a lot of fun creating a song that has somewhat of a script, almost like your scoring a movie. Those tunes have little FX sprinkled in that hint at the track titles.

BWS:  Which beat did you have the hardest time completing?

Samurai was the hardest by far.  Its the longest of the lot and the structure is different then your average dubstep tune   .  It starts off dropping into almost a garage drum pattern.  Each 16 bars it changes slightly with the percussion slowly morphing into a standard dubstep beat.  The vocal was also quite a challenge.  This is the first time I have put my own vocals into a tune that has been released.

BWS:  Any shout outs to those that helped make this happen?

Everyone supporting me since I started making music has been a MASSIVE help!  Producing music is one of those things that even the littlest bit of motivation from your peers can generate a big response in your productivity and imagination, which really helps with the writing process.  Drew & Danny at SMOG are huge in that department and this EP would not have been possible without them.  Also huge shouts to District and Drumcell for banging out unreal remixes!  Its a honor to have them on board for this project.

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There you have it people.

Here are the buy links so  choose your record store of choice and make sure to get this one onto your hard drive!

BEATPORT || iTUNES || JUNO

Kelly Dean:

FACEBOOK || SOUNDCLOUD || TWITTER

Smog:

FACEBOOK || SOUNDCLOUD || TWITTER

I’ll catch you guys next time, thanks for reading!  Make sure to support your local scene – buy music, go to shows, and tell your local promoters what the people want to hear.

One love.

– Kinman

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Truth – Evil In The Woods [Smog Records]

Following suit from the appreciation Shice noted in receiving amazing music from a local imprint, it was an amazing day when I received the promo’s for the latest EP from the Smog imprint, based out of Los Angeles.  These guys have been building a dubstep following in the Southern California area for 6 years now – one of the longest running dubstep collectives in the nation!  They’ve seen an evolution from vacant corporate offices and basements of art galleries, to several thousand capacity venues.  I have the utmost respect for what the label has built in my hometown.  Their 20th release couldn’t have been more well represented, than by Truth.  Truth has been on a massive scale global infiltration mission, pushing their sound into every region of the world.  Their fully immersed touring habits, unbelievably high output of music, and the sincere way in which they carry themselves and their values, have all culminated into a following that holds in the highest of places among underground music.  Seeing what they’ve done within 2012 alone makes me extremely excited for what 2013 will bring – especially since they are now officially California residents!

“Making their debut to the Smog label, TRUTH brings you something deep, dark and dangerous from this New Zealand duo. “Evil In The Woods” conjures up images of witch craft and black magic. This four track EP includes a unique collaboration with DATSIK that crosses his mechanical bass with that classic Truth sound.”

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Evil In The Woods ||

This is a track that was perfectly suited for its UKF hosting.  In my opinion, it’s the most aggressive track on the EP (yes, even more so than the Datsik collab).  The tune gets straight to the point with sweeping atmospheres and chords that stab their way through the background.  The square wave bass notes immediately tear through your speaker box as the beat drops into full effect, leaving your mind filled with thoughts of apocalyptic madness (or at least my mind).  This is definitely a track that’s meant to destroy dance floors worldwide.

All Over ||

This beat sees Truth hark back on a nostalgic journey through half-step grooves couple with the seemingly signature ability to process samples in a fashion that just cannot be matched.  From the elongated fade of a single note to the perfect choice in words to splice, Truth make use of their vocal samples in the most efficient way.  The variety of atmospherics, and alternating basslines drenched with delay show their face in every nook and cranny of the track – making it impossible to predict what you’re about to hear next.  Get ready for your soul to be swallowed by rupturing low-end frequencies.

No Chance ft. Datsik ||

This one caused some whispers prior to its preview being released!  It seems that as soon as some saw the name ‘Datsik’ included in the track name, they began to doubt the Truth.  I’m sure there are still some that claim to dislike this beat but, for the most part, I think people have to admit that this tune is an absolute riddim’.  I’ve heard a few Truth & Datsik collabs while having the pleasure of seeing Truth play out, and I’ve never once been dissatisfied.  In all honesty I think the robotic bass techniques, that Datsik is clearly endowed with, compliment Truths undeniable ability to blow your shirt back with bassweight.

Talking To Myself ||

Grabbing hold of your brain with LFO modulation and swinging high hats you’ll be instantly hooked.  With its neck-snapping snare hits and gritty bass horn, that would likely be used to signal roll call for modern day druids, this is an absolute anthem!  Sweeping pads build the energy between each segment of the song magnificently.  The delayed percussion that hits at the beginning of each bar, the filter mod’ing on what seems to be an arpeggiator, and feedback laced bass strikes all equate to a stomping rhythm that will bring charred witches up from their graves.

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BEATPORT || ITUNES

Follow Smog:  FACEBOOK || WEBSITE || SOUNDCLOUD

Follow Truth:  FACEBOOK || SOUNDCLOUD || TWITTER

That’s what I got for your bass bins today, folks.  Get out there and snag this EP up.  It’s a digital only release, so all the vinyl heads like myself, I recommend finding a reasonably priced cutter to get these to you on acetate.  It’s worth it, in my opinion.  Until next time.

To the gods.

-Kinman

Halfway Home: Tunes To Get You Into The Weekend

Yo!  We baaaaack.  Hope everybody is well.  If you’re not, hopefully these tunes can brighten up your day :).  Don’t have time to write much today, I have some major schoolwork to handle. <BLAH.  Anyways, let’s get down to it!

First track for today is another one from the man who has been turning peoples heads HARD lately, Wayfarer.  We highlighted an absolutely MASSIVE tribal rhythm that he produced called ‘Fall Of The Zulu’ recently and the tune that we have for you today is another top-notch production.  This one is a bit of a different approach but, nonetheless, will set the vibes off in a real proper fashion.  I anticipate that this guy will be making some XXXXXL moves in the year to come so keep your ears locked for more of his sounds!

Wayfarer – Untitled

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Next on the buttons is the Chestplate family member, District.  Coming hard with pounding kick drums and a reese bass that can summon the most evil of thoughts into your head.  I’m talking zombie rave status.  Or maybe an underground (I literally mean underneath the earth) club that has no light in it, just people head nodding in an untamed manner.  Yeah, I have weird thought, WHAT?!  Haha.  Anyways take a listen to this one and make sure you check underneath your bed after.

District – The Shift

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Content is the mastermind behind this next tune.  As with Wayfarer, I think this guy is going to be a top competitor for ‘Best New Producer’ this year in the DSF awards, no joke.  He’s putting out tune after tune in a Killawatt-ish fashion.  I know the Subculture crew has to be mad stoked to have him aboard the team.  The entire Subculture roster is heading for big things this year with cats like Pressa, Demon, Crises, Pistonsbeneath, fuck, theres too many to list!  Respect to the crew from over here stateside.

Content – Xerxes

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This last track is from a producer I know nothing about.  Got wind of it from the AJP crew earlier today.  Definitely on a different tip than the previous tunes but, it’s DOPE!

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That’s it for the tunes today but, before I send you off I have one more gem for you.  US bossman Noah D put together an absolutely magnificent mix for the SMOG podcast series.  Bringing a true west coast style to the decks and showcasing his new tunes alongside many others this mix will be  a very well-spent 30 minutes of your life. I GUARANTEE IT!  Lend your ears and clear your mind.

Noah D – SMOG Podcast 13

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Respect.

To the gods.

-Kinman