Our favourite music discovery column is back with its 68th edition. Our latest installment of Focus Five features a Swedish multi-genre artist, a wave standout, a producer killing the remix game, a bass music beast, and a wicked new collaborative project. Get familiar with each below.
There’s something in the water in Sweden.
I don’t know what Arvid Häggström has been drinking, but apparently it’s musical nectar. The sheer diversity of this man’s library has caught me off-guard. Drum and bass, trap, house, trance, garage… you name it, he’s probably made it. “Jack of all trades, master of none,” doesn’t apply here. This is a producer who’s seemingly mastered everything he’s touched.
Drum and bass fans can gun-finger to their hearts’ content with Arvid’s bootleg of Russian house banger ‘Kak Mommy’ by INSTASAMKA. Trap heads will lose it for the percussion on the Soundcloud-exclusive ‘GONE‘ EP. House heads will find ‘Stop me‘ to be an unforgettable bop. If hip-hop is your thing, check out his remix of Travis Scott’s ‘SIRENS.’ Whatever you fancy, there’s a track for it.
I’m a strong proponent of the idea that “variety is spice of life.” Arvid Häggström has taken that philosophy to heart with his music. Now it’s time for you to find your own favorite niche in his discography, so start digging below.
Representing the wave genre in pure fashion and passion, CNQR+ has taken the underground by storm with his beautiful works and creations. Emanating heart-wrenching emotion through powerful melodies, haunting atmospheres, and organic stories of sound. From glistening ambient environments to hard wave utopias of the future, the range this artist continues to showcase is simply jaw-dropping. Every track of his can paint multiple pictures within your own imagination. Transporting you into a whole new world with haste and swiftness. Opening up doors to many different memories and emotions. They’re cinematic masterpieces to say the least. From his heavy and fast-paced new single, ‘Forza,’ to a slow and mysterious piece called, ‘Distorted,’ CNQR+ is a true force to be reckoned with. Keep a close eye on him because we have no doubt he’ll be bringing in the new year coming with a bang!
As you probably noticed from my Bootleg Business column, 2023 is the year I got (back) into bootlegs. Fed up with the banal or outrageous edits that populate mainstream playlists, I forced myself to escape those vicious circles and dig where I can actually find remixes that deserve this title. Daze22 was quite a last-minute find, but seeing his SoundCloud account populated only with remixes, of course, tickled my interest. I believe three tracks aren’t enough to give the listener a full picture of an artist’s skills and vision, but these interpretations of Kasbo, Virtual Self, and G Jones are just so much fun. While his latest breakbeat edit of ‘The Way You Had Me’ works fine even without completely turning the original mood upside down, the remix of ‘Angel Voice’s is of a wildly different nature. The creative process on this one is way more intricate and the result is, quoting Daze22 himself, “intense.” There’s not much information about the artist available online so I’ll let his music speak.
If you love dark and dank music, Don Jamal needs to be on your radar. The Boulder-based, Middle-Eastern-born producer has been steadily ascending the ranks of the bass scene with a myriad of monster singles spanning everything from 140 to DnB, experimental bass, dubstep, and beyond. When an artist keeps popping up on our favorite labels it’s a pretty clear sign that they’re something special. With releases on Space Yacht, Don’t Die At Work, Presently Lifted, and Deep Dark and Dangerous, it’s safe to say Don Jamal is a favorite among tastemakers. His releases have been consistently landing in our weekly FUXWITHITFRIDAYS segment so it’s only right we dive a little deeper. If you’re in the mood for brutish bass and mind-rattling sound design, ‘Quack’ is just what the doctor ordered. More of a DnB head? Don’t worry ‘Disintegrate’ is top-tier dark DnB. And those two just begin to scratch the surface of what the Don has to offer. Take a deep dive into his SoundCloud and be sure to smash that follow because there is definitely more heat to come.
PEROXIIDE is the wicked brainchild of latesleeper and Hydrae (aka NOAH ISLA). While the former is among bass music’s most underrated talents and the latter is the creative director and sound engineer for mccxvi.pl, together, PEROXIIDE remains relatively unknown. That needs to change, though. The duo, who have known each other since the beginning of the pandemic, first started making music together in late 2022, inspired by the footwork, jungle, and juke tunes in Euro Truck Simulator radio. This inspiration first came to life in the form of ‘GAZ,’ the duo’s first release, which showcased their wicked attention to detail, meticulous sound design, and ability to stray from typical bass music boundaries. Their debut EP, FR!!ENDLY F!!RE W!!LL NOT BE TOLERATED, further showcased this knack for blending all of the aforementioned influences into action-packed tunes, with ‘STREAML!!NE’ standing out as a personal favourite. Every subsequent release from PEROXIIDE has been equally as impressive as the last, attesting to the duo’s undeniable chemistry and raw skill. Don’t sleep on PEROXIIDE.
Written by Alessio, Braden, Colin, John & Steph.