Friday, April 20, 2007

Keith P- Bass Music (free mix CD)

A few weeks ago, someone in one of our comment sections remarked that one of the only ways to hear interesting new music in Dallas these days is to go see a DJ set. Given the context, it seemed like the statement was made in jest, but when taken literally, there appears to be more than a bit of truth to it. Although there ARE talented musicians in Dallas making interesting original music right now (Treewave, Unconscious Collective, The Frenz, various members of the Laptop Deathmatch, etc.), many of them perform sparsely, and the majority of forward-looking, well attended and interesting local music events that have taken place in the city over the past six months have been DJ shows. The talented Central Booking crew has played a major role in this development and have deservedly received most of the local coverage, but recently, a veteran local DJ named Keith P released a free downloadable mix CD that is likely to garner him some attention of his own.

Keith P has been spinning around the city for several years as a long standing member of Unit One, a DJ/design/marketing crew that is probably best known around town for its Vice Records Run the Road release parties and Dub Assembly, its rotating dubstep party currently happening once a month at the Green Elephant. For the past few years, Keith's sets have focused mainly on 2-step, dubstep and grime, rapidly evolving genres that have started to gain popularity in American electronic underground circles over the past few years. These influences can certainly be heard all over Bass Music, Keith P's latest collection of songs, but the mix happily finds the DJ branching out into a myriad of other highly relevant sounds while utilizing eclecticism, effective live mixing and a seemingly instinctive knack for track selection to create one of the most shrewdly contemporary, accessible and exhilarating party soundtracks we've heard all year.

Mixed completely live and clocking in at just over an hour, Bass Music is a showcase of contemporary club-bangers that seem to rise, peak and fall at exactly the right times, demonstrating a utilitarian focus on dance floor movement propelled by a selection of highly tasteful tracks that will likely impress even the most knowledgeable vinyl hounds. The mix's main strength lies in the breadth of sounds and scenes that it touches on, shifting from tracks like the bouncy, ultra hyper collaboration between French hip hop act TTC and Bpitch Control's Modeselektor to the sugary r&b dance pop of Jamelia's "Something About You," all with a seamless and casual confidence. Present through the duration of the mix are the influences of acid house, dubstep, hip hop, R&B and even a bit of synth pop, but none of these sounds ever truly shine through to dominate the mood. Instead, we get a virtual meet and greet with some of the most talked about DJs and producers in dance music today, including the glitchy, anthemic new house of Sebastian's "Ross Ross Ross" and the red hot Erol Alkan remix of Justice's "Waters of Nazareth", as well as Jesse Rose and Sinden's hard hitting dub influenced "Me Mobile" and poppier songs from the likes of Lilly Allen, Basement Jaxx and Sneaker Pimps, whom Keith uses to close out the mix with great effect. Balancing menacing, repetitive dub heavy tracks with pulsing bass, blip house hits and exclusive cuts from Drop The Lime and Curses, among others, Keith effectively whips together highly varying sounds and turns them into a unit in which not a single break or turn seems forced or out of place, which is a much more difficult feat than he makes it seem.

Essentially, Bass Music has everything you would expect from a hip, competent mix CD, but the truly exciting thing is that Keith P is someone we have just started to hear things about even though he's been sitting in our backyard for years. You probably couldn't take a better snap shot of the current state of tasteful, quality electro than he has here, and its good to know that Keith is just one of several local DJs with a thumb firmly planted on the pulse of the international dance underground. And speaking of pulses, the cohesive mixing and dance floor appeal of Bass Music make it truly accessible to anybody that has one.

(You can download Keith P's Bass music for free on his Myspace page. Rating is four stars out of a possible five)

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Blogger nick said...

That sure was an interesting way of starting an article.

12:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can handle DJ music for a very limited amount of time. There's something to the more organic feel of a live band.

Save your comments on how being a dj can compare to a live act.

Not saying it doesn't take talent. I'm not sure what I'm saying.

Am I even awake yet?

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Friday, April 20 - $4 - 8:00pm
Mad Scientists + Violent/OVEO/ Squid + Christian! Teenage Runaways

Saturday, April 21 - $4 - 8:00pm
The Noise Revival Orchestra Experience (Austin) + Dana Falconberry (Austin) + Grass Fight

Sunday, April 22 - $4 - 8:00pm
The Points (DC) + Yellow Fever (Austin) + The Bracelets

Monday, April 23 - $3 - 8:00pm
STNNNG (Minneapolis) + Burnt Sienna Trio

Thursday, April 26 - 8:00pm
GLAD Drag Show

Saturday, April 28 - 8:00pm
Rocket Pop Presents: "Everybody Sqwerts" Toy/Art Show

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burnt Sienna!

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made that comment about "if you want to hear underground music in Dallas, you better hope a DJ plays it for you". That comment was in reference to the lack of small live music venues. New Music Tuesdays, hate em or love em, was that last place in Dallas catering to underground live music (of all sorts) on a weekly basis. So I wasn't slamming DJ's at all, but pointing out the fact that it seems like that is all that is left.

Sloppyworld, you are our only hope...

11:14 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

cool. I didn't think you were slamming DJs... I just meant that your statement seemed more like a critique of Dallas rock music than a celebration of DJ sets.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith P has been putting out quality stuff for some time now. Nice to see him get the props he deserves!


9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Props to Keith! This guy has really taken a lot of shit for trying to push new sounds in town. Keep it up!


12:01 PM  

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