Across the full landscape of bass music, we are able to tread quite freely these days, knowing that nearly every day we are able to bump into something that looks and sounds spectacular. This is because of the top-quality infrastructure that we have slowly but surely over the years seen grow and embed among the numerous different labels and platforms that now populate that plain. This assembly of labels and artists is so unpredictable and interwoven that even with a tonne of inside information, we genuinely don’t know what to expect next.
These injections of energy are often put forward by newer, more fresh-faced imprints, however, today we are back talking about one of the original platforms to carve out a niche for bass music in the UK as Four40 Records return with a sumptuous two-track delight from Oxford-based producer: Vamp.
It would appear that something is brewing in the local waters of Oxford, with a pool of top-quality producers seemingly emerging from he area in recent times, Hamdi & Sammy Virji to name a couple to kick us off, both of whom command incredibly unique styles of production, mimicked in the way that Vamp has expressed himself across the breadth of this new EP.
We begin with ‘Party Of 98’, a proper rollercoaster of emotive harmonic structure and unpredictability, pushed forward firstly by its super synthy introductory section which makes us feel we are about to cascade across an overflow of raucous synthesizer action. Instead, however, we are in fact greeted by one of the most inventive bass tracks we have heard this year, as wave after wave of fluffy, marshmallow type sounds bounce gleefully off one another to give us something truly unique.
To follow this, we welcome The Real Alcapone on board as he teams up with Vamp to deliver ‘Persian Funk’, a more wonky style of production which this time fuses dissonant flute-based pitch glides with garage-centric drum maneuvers to skip us into something completely different, topped off with some nostalgic vocal slices for good measure of course!
Speaking to the latest member of the Four40 team and good friend Mofaux, we asked him why this EP was such a standout, to which he replied: Truth be told this was the first time I had come across Vamp, he sent over the track with The Real Al Capone and at the time it wasn’t what I had been looking for but it stood out so much. It still had the same energetic vibe that fits well into the UK bass scene, but it felt a bit lighter, not as groggy if you know what I mean. It sounded different but it still fits in which is perfect for Four40. From there he sent me over Party Of 98, which I felt was the perfect match for the B-side, much calmer and again, really different.”
You can check out the full release below: