Beyond the Bang: Embracing the Intricate Rhythms in Modern Bass Tracks
February 23, 2024
February 23, 2024
I was browsing Instagram the other day, when I happened upon a reel posted by Australian DJ/producer Pretence. The in-video captions on this reel read: “Labels: Your sound is too dark and not commercial enough. Me: No worries, I’ll self-release this shit then!”
A brief soundbite of his new single “Just a Dream” plays in the background as Pretence bobs his head and jams out to the beat. Needless to say, this post made an incredible first impression on me. I was immediately compelled to listen to the full song and was not disappointed, adding it to my library upon its conclusion.
The songs starts out with fluid percussion as metallic waves of sound come at us from all sides. At this point, the song sounds a bit brighter and cheerier than the album cover supposedly depicts. Fear not, for salvation is near. The vibrant waves of sound give way to a guttural vocal sample of the word ‘dream’ as this sample is warped into a buildup for the first inevitable drop. “This is Just a dream” has a shadowy, lumbering drop influenced by dark house and techno does justice to the macabre themes of the single’s cover art, which depicts a shadowy figure amongst flames and burning objects. Nice. Involuntary head-bobs abound. An eerie wail makes its presence known and meshes itself with the progressing beat, like a ghost floating through a popping nightclub. Numerous, distorted vocal samples effortlessly blend with the dark tech-house breakdowns to help draw the track to a close.
In my honest opinion, this song does not need the backing of a major label to help make it great. It thrives perfectly in The Underground, with Pretence’s dark, yet seamless production being enough to help make this song (and the artist) stand out amongst his peers. This is only the second Australian DJ/producer that I have discovered (in addition to Sippy), which makes me curious on how Australian EDM differs from its American counterpart. “Just a Dream” would be a fitting addition to the soundtrack of a new “Nightmare on Elm Street” reboot, if Hollywood decides to pull the switch on that one. Please check out Pretence’s music and follow him on social media to be just as pleasantly surprised as I was by this algorithm-driven recommendation. Social media is one of the best ways to find new music, support new artists, and attend as many shows as possible. New discoveries are around every corner of the internet. What an age that we live in.