The globe-trotting Conrank continues to spread his bass gospel far and wide, so you can imagine how amped we are to finally reveal the heavyweight 4 Letter Future EP from the man on our own Bassrush Records imprint. Known for pushing audiences and genres past the breaking point, the ever-impressive and prolific output of the UK-born, Shanghai-and-Los-Angeles-based artist defies easy categorization but always comes correct on the dancefloor and in that space between your ears. As always, this Bassrush Records release is a straight-up freebie so be sure to check the full audio below before digging into the headspace of the one and only Conrank—who promises the best is still to come.
Break down the title of the EP for us. The phrase 4 Letter Future can be read so many ways!
Everyone reads the title as if I’m saying the future is f**ked. I suppose you could read into it like that, but “bass” has four letters, too. For me it can be read both ways: the positivity that bass music has bought to my future as well as the realization that, after 2016, the future is looking, well, let’s say a “mess.”
The EP feels like a nice progression in your sound. How do you see it fitting into the “future” lean of the bass music genre as a whole?
This EP is a huge step for me, it’s the first time I haven’t hated my own music prior to releasing it, which has been really nice! It also really encompasses where I’m at musically in my head. Whether I officially fit into the “future” sound, I don’t know. All I can say is I feel confident that this is something original and fresh. I never try to be anything in particular, but when I listen to what came out in this EP, I feel like I hit the nail on the head. It’s definitely a nod to the “future bass” scene while also nodding to my UK roots. I don’t say this a lot but, I truly feel satisfied.
Speaking of which, how would you describe your sound for those who don’t know?
A distorted take on dubstep, grime and drum & bass after being in China and the US for eight years.
Break down the EP for us tune by tune. Let’s start with “Watch What I Do.”
This is one of my favorites; it actually features me on the vocals. I had a weird relationship with it for a while and stopped playing it and fell out of love with it. Then at Sermon in Brooklyn this year I dropped it for the first time in months, and it absolutely destroyed the place. It’s been in every set since, and I absolutely love it again.
This started as my first experiment with Serum and turned into something I’m really proud of. I wrote this in a cafe in Portland, come to think of it.
Every synth on this was made with outboard gear: my Moog Slimphatty, Access Virus, Mother 32 and Korg Minilogue all feature on this one. It pulls influences from the old-school rave sound, as I had been listening to ‘80s/’90s recordings of raves in the UK. Later that day this track started taking shape.
“Outside The Cones”
This is a special one for me. It was just such an effortless creation [that] seemed to flow from the start. I literally made the initial draft in two hours and played it that night at a show and the reaction just blew my mind. I’ve been ending every show with it ever since and it always gets an amazing reaction. I actually was making halftime drum & bass stuff about six or seven years ago and it felt good to jump back in there with this one. I love it.
Last but not least, before we jump headfirst into the tunes ourselves, let us know where you see yourself headed in 2017 and don’t forget to drop some shouts!
I see myself following the path I’ve been following from the start, and hopefully that path will keep elevating. I try my hardest to stay humble, work my ass off and not expect too much, but man, honestly I would love the chance to bring my sound to the big festival stages around the US and the world. I get so hyped when I’m on stage, it’s one of my favorite places to be. I would just love the chance to show people what I’m capable of and introduce my sound to new ears. I feel like the future is bright though, it’s a very positive time right now.
Regarding shouts, I need to give a huge thanks to my team, Gregg Sauber and Colin Johnson, who have really helped me take things to the next level the past couple of years, my fiancé Lu who just supports me nonstop, however stressful it is, my TM Brad Whitman who is literally a human Swiss Army knife, all my close friends (you know who you are) and family who have stuck by my side through thick and thin, the amazing fans and the Conrank Army that make it all worthwhile and show me so much love and finally you guys, Bassrush, for giving my music a chance and showing me so much support.