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Bass Clef – ‘Rollercoasters of the Heart/So Cruel’ (Punch Drunk)

Yet another of Bristol’s favourite bass music sons, Bass Clef has been making waves for years now, gaining a reputation amongst contemporaries and critics alike with an extraordinary live show that encompassed his skull-shattering productions with an array of loop stations percussion, and, most memorably, proficient trombone skills.

Three albums in, and following a move to Hackney, the producer has been building on his successes with underground favourites such as ‘Cannot be Straightened’ and ‘Calpton Deep’ with more challenging projects including an involvement with the fantastic Tradi-Mods vs Rockers releases from last year – his collaboration with Kasai Allstars on a reworking of their track ‘The Incident at Mbuji-Mayi’ proving a particular highlight.

This latest 12” follows directly on from third album ‘Inner Space Break Free’, a Magic & Dreams release the producer describes as a culmination of the inspiration taken from two decades exposed to DJs, soundsystems and pirate radio, with the single finding a home on Bristol’s imperious Punch Drunk label.

‘Rollercoasters of the Heart’, with the rhythmical euphoria of its intro (reminiscent of a positive-mood Gold Panda), flits around between deep bass and vocals splashed about liberally like a 6-year old finger painting, breaking down and building up with phased sections to a triumphant, hands-in-the-air peak around the 4-minute mark. If the phrase wasn’t so regularly abused, the track would definitely be dubbed a ‘summer anthem’.

‘So Cruel’ is the antidote to ‘Rollercoaster of the Heart’s infectious upbeat nature; a muted and intense track that echoes the sentiments of its title through half-time beats and a perfectly balanced yet threatening sub bass line. The layer of synths that join the fun halfway through carry the mood through to the track’s conclusion, rounding off another strong release from Bristol’s boundary-smashing Punch Drunk.

Tom Quickfall

‘Rollercoasters of the Heart/So Cruel’ is released through Punch Drunk on June 13.