Since getting the tip about the set, I’ve been drawn back over and over again to the inaugural release from Calgary’s own J-Byrd’s (a.k.a Jai Benteau) new project Bass Caravan. By blending layers of funky gypsy beats with electro swing and a nice interlude of drum and bass; the result is something really special. There is something incredibly lively and fun about it, which is something I feel is missing a lot in music today. Even though most of the samples sound like their from an age long past, they fill me with nostalgia for a time that I never knew. The juxtaposition between the EDM bass lines and the balkan undertones leaves me feeling like I’m in a smoke filled tent stuck between two familiar eras.
One most common comparisons of an EDM event is that it is carinvalesque. Filled with music and dancing, carnivals of old were also a venue for satire and humor. It is a celebration mixed with something deeper – it was an early form of the Temporary Autonomous Zone. So, when producers started creating music that seemed more at home with burlesque dancers and romanian gypsies it was easy to see the trajectory of this re-appropriated sound. There is depth in the sound, and instruments that hadn’t traditionally been found in electronic music have now found a home. The mixing of the old and new has invigorated genres that had been slowly disappearing.
I can’t wait to see what Bass Caravan does next. Here on the west coast we have been privileged enough to have access to the Electro Swing Club where this sound has found a large and faithful audience. I am sure that given some time, Bass Caravan will be part of this burgeoning scene.