One of the silver linings of the current times is that musicians and artists are throwing out work at a crazy rate and it’s some of the best work that’s been done in recent years. This is especially true in the case of bass music, where even releases that have been in the works for a while are showing a leveling up of talent and creativity. Even with all that said, however, one must ask the following question: where the hell did Kumarion come from?
As part of a wave of new bass music producers who seem to traverse the line between drum & bass and slower bass music with an ease never before seen, Kumarion is stunning everyone with the fact that is seems he’s come out the gates not only able to do multiple tempo formats but to excel at them. His first D&B track “1984” rivals the work of many legendary producers who’ve been doing this for decades. Bassrush premiered “Stuntin,” the first single off his debut The Incantation EP, last mongh and once again it blew everyone away with how clean, solid and simultaneously grimy it was.
The Incantation drops today on Reid Speed’s Play Me Records and it will once again have the bass world feeling bitchslapped. Starting off with the juke-flavored dubstep title track, what will strike fans and producers alike is the composition. With ravey synths, a cinematic, Middle Eastern-inspired sound design backdrop and a bassline that hits like bricks, the opening track conjures early-era Ivy Lab but with a punch even the leftfield masters couldn’t have anticipated.
In addition to the title track and the masterful “Stuntin” which we’ve already dicussed at length, the EP also features another Mid-East-infused drum & bass track called “Lilith” and a sort of pop-forward yet still hard-hitting halftimer called “Hold You.” In terms of its bass and drum tracks, “Lilith” is surprisingly light and minimal given Kumarion’s style so far, though the bass kick is still full of depth. The main synth is a bass synth, however, so listeners shouldn’t expect that this track means Kumarion is easing up on the chest reverb. That crunchy, sine wave synth will do very nicely, thank you, and the buildups and transitions into the main beat and synths are simply unreal.
“Hold You” is another surprise from this surprising artist from the American Northwest, as its vocal melody and mod seem like it could fit into a pop future bass track. Kumarion has loftier goals for the high registers of this track, however, as he pairs them with a hip hop beat in the opening of the track as well as a haunting, jittery synth that will make even the most jaded of underground fans perk up and listen, and that’s all before the main drop. The meat of the track actually occurs at the end where that Middle Eastern flare comes in again to match the earlier synth in the form of the ney, the mizmar (zurna) and other high-pitched instruments.
EPs like The Incantation are important not only because they introduce major new talents like Kumarion to the world but because they push artists, both well-established and new, to step up and bring even more great work to the world. In a time where it’s sorely needed, it’s doubly appreciated. In the meantime, it’s time to clock Kumarion among 2020’s most promising new talent and to marvel at what he’s produced in such a short time.