Burnin’ With The BassLION – 5G4B (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

The one thing which becomes apparent as I sit here day after day listening to, exploring and trying to put into words, the audio outputs, the fab and groovy waxings…the music which flashes across my senses is that this world falls largely into two camps. Those who want to be seen to be making music, and those who actually make music. Let me explain…

The majority of what falls under the pen, especially that which comes from a more industry supported place, tends to be in the former group. Money is at stake, careers are being forged, fame is within their grasp, better to play by the rules and do what is expected of them by their ivory-towered masters. Which is why the majority of the commercial and mainstream music made today sounds uninspired, unoriginal…familiar. Indie bands channel Oasis…who channelled T. Rex and The Jam in the first place… rock bands still echo Zeppelin, or worse…Metallica, pop tarts still think that their substandard Whitney impression is going to bring untold riches and even the cutting edge of dance feels like a warning about the issues of technology over technique, style over substance, marketing over melody. Thank god for people like 5G4B!!!

5G4B lives in the basement of even the lower reaches of the underground of music, not just subterranean, he’s what ever is found miles below that. He seems more than happy to wander those long forgotten creative paths and sonic tunnels gathering all manner of sounds, myriad inspirations and influences, styles and genres which he then gene-splices, hammers, weaves and welds into tracks which really are new, inspirational, different and often wonderfully odd. Odd’s good. Odd is the opposite of ordinary.

We’ve already experienced what it’s like to go Ridin’ With The BassLION, now we get to Burn with him too. It’s drum and bass, it’s hip-hop, it’s industrial strength dance, it’s rap and roll, it’s all those things and more. Again at the core are the relentless beats of relentless beasts, perhaps the only consistence element of the music but tethering the song perfectly. On top of this he adds samples and grooves, lyrics and experimental sonics. Trumpets ebb and flow, complex salvos of lyrics are meshed together, explosive drum solos rise and fall, fighting their way to the surface as the surrounding sounds only grudgingly allow them room to be heard and shards of electronica shatter left right and centre.

Wow, you feel like you need a rest after listening to all of that, I can only imagine how exhausting it must be to make such music. But as always, it’s a mercurial and masterful ride, one which feels as if you are totally out of control, hanging on and just going with the flow. It’s wild. It’s weird. It’s rewarding.

Some people measure their success with social media likes, units sold, column inches and talk show appearances…music often seems the least of their concerns. But whilst they are playing that game, people like 5G4B are creating whole new genres, burning down the existing sonic structures, ushering in a musical year zero and building whole new sonic worlds to play in. Doesn’t that sound a better use of your time?

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