Bomb The Bass originally found fame in the Acid House scene of the late 1980s. As the 1990s rolled along, the EDM scene became different and more diverse. This album released in 1995, is a step in a more independent direction for Bomb The Bass. Let’s check out this album, and see if it is listenable.
To begin with is the legendary track Bug Powder Dust which features the awesome rapping and name of Justin Warfield. It references a huge amount of pop music culture over time, from The Beatles to Men At Work. It’s a classic song, and a must-listen.
The next tune, Sleepyhead is a low key tripped out Hip Hop piece. It features Bim Sherman, and is a semi-psychedelic listen. Some almost IDM like structures are here in the music, exhibiting the wide influence of the combined effort here. A good and interesting listen. It’s almost chant like in the chorus, giving the track a nice feel to it in a singalong way.
One To One Religion is actually not about religion specifically, but a religious feeling, perhaps brought on by psychedelic drug use and the music at hand. It is a soulful and inspired listen, featuring Carlton singing along quite nicely. Once again, a good effort. It is slow without being dull or boring, a rarity in music.
Darkheart begins brilliantly with some retro Acid like bass sounds, before going into another trippy listen with Spikey T pulling off a superb and relaxed sounding vocal performance. There is a proto-Dubstep sound here in terms of the overall mix, and the guest performance sounds like a Rastafarian Reggae chant. Excellent stuff. It’s nearly seven minutes, but suits this album perfectly. Some interesting samples are at the end here, adding to the chilled vibe.
Next up is If You Reach The Border, which could refer to going from the USA to Mexico to score psychedelics. Leslie Weiner does a spoken word part over the relaxed instrumental, which is a good listen, although not a great one. Still, it is listenable and enjoyable.
Following up is the awesome Braindead. Justin Warfield here refers to the two likely most essential Pink Floyd albums here in one sentence, “Step up to the Dark Side Of The Moon, like a Piper At Gates Of Dawn.” It’s a little different than the first track he appeared on, but there are many great musical references once again. A good listen, and fits the album very well. The main sample sounds like a slowed down Jimi Hendrix wah-wah guitar part, and it is a good listen in general. The ending is surprising.
After that, we arrive at 5ml Barrel. It’s another spoken-word piece over an instrumental, this time by Will Self. It talks crazy man’s talk about drugs and other strange ideals that a drug making scientist would do. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this album is about the use and abuse of drugs, that is if it were a concept album. It’s entertaining and good listening all the same.
Somewhere is next, with psychedelic wind chimes and eerie sounds to begin with. It’s discordant and strange sounding until it breaks into the main section of the track. A variety of instrumental textures in this context are released slowly and intelligently, creating a soundscape that could be used in a film scene. It’s excellent stuff, even though it was recorded way back in 1995. It’s a good listen, something to soothe one’s nerves.
Sandcastles with Bernard Fowler being the guest appearance, is a weaker track, but still keeps the overall vibe of the album going. More about the texture than the lyrics here, it is an okay, but not brilliant listening experience. The Eddie Van Halen sounding bass parts in the midsection are interesting though.
The next piece is Tidal Wave, a picturesque and lush laidback chill tune. River guests here this time, giving a beautiful and wonderful female vocal performance here. It is surely something one can close their eyes to, and relax. Epic.
Lastly, we have Empire. With guests Sinead O’Connor and Benjamin Zephaniah, it is a slow and mellow listen. It’s very much a weaker track here on this album, yet is still a good listen.
This is an underrated released from 1995, and a classy EDM, proto-Trip Hop and proto-Dubstep release. If you like the sound of something along the lines of this music, check this out. Worth hearing.