News & Reviews
The bass goes boom in DJ Fresh’s Bass Invaderz
By BPM Smith
There aren’t too many DJs trying to pull off a theme
something you expect from sleepy 70’s bands like Pink Floyd, not a
spirited Drum & Bass mix. DJ Fresh
angles his way from dark beats
to uplifting anthems in his album Bass
Invaderz, all the while pursued
by video game robots who demand more bass.
Nowadays, a Drum & Bass DJ is expected to come out hard and hold a
fast pace from beginning to end. With a nod to today’s impatient Drum
& Bass-head, Fresh quickly moves from a spaced out robot intro to
the rumbling bass lines of his self-produced track X Project.
As longtime fans are no doubt thrilled to find, Fresh delves deep into
some dark Drum & Bass with tracks like X Ray by Subfocus, Floodlight (a Fresh track)
and Crossfire (Drumsound & Bassline Smith). But
hardcore dark listeners shouldn’t be disappointed when he pulls an
about face, seamlessly moving into anthem tracks like Makoto’s Golden Girl, which features
a guest appearance by MC Conrad.
Fresh shows his dexterity on the decks working off Golden Girl, with some nice fader
and stop-go action. This transition from dark to sweet is also somewhat
of a pull-back from recent years, when dark Drum & Bass DJs often
pushed the BPM threshold to somewhere between a fast bounce and
Crossfire is a good
snapshot of DJ Fresh’s mix as a whole: about 180 BPM, crisp snares, and
mean rumbling basslines are countered with the a soft woman’s chant of
"Angel." Bass Invaders takes off like a rocket, smoothly transitions
from dark to anthem tracks and keeps the listener’s attention from
opening to finish.
As for Bass
Invaderz’s subplot, catch the video game
robots who make repeat visits and offer ecstasy to rave-attending
Scale: 5 stars: Incredible!…4
stars: Excellent…3 stars: Good…2 stars: Mediocre…1 star: Lame!
Rating: 4 stars
The Bass Test: Every
album faces a severe test in BPM Smith’s car stereo, which regularly
wins bass wars vs. the hip hop loving homeboys of Oakland, California.
DJ Fresh raises the lows on certain Bass Invaders tracks to launch a
bevy of sonic bombs. This creates bass waves that roll up your back,
vibrates the rear view mirror and turns heads on the busiest of city
streets. Coming smack in the middle of Fresh’s mix, Uprising by Artificial Intelligence will jiggle
your cheeks. Bass Invaderz is aptly titled.
Bass Score: 10
BPM Smith is a Drum & Bass DJ,
novelist and editor of WORD'N'BASS.com. He can eat a pint of chocolate
ice cream in one sitting. You can contact him by e-mail at
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