If you were to take a quick look at the American bass music landscape over the past few years and watch how the tides of styles ebb and flow, it becomes apparent that the merging of genres is what has allowed it to stay intriguing. The introduction of trap music to the mainstream has resulted in a proliferation of other styles and psychedelic influences, from psytrance to ambient, which have taken bass music in a completely different direction. However, few artists have managed to blend these styles effectively.
Enter AtYya. By incorporating elements of glitch, trap, and grime, and weaving in organic effects and ethereal melodies, 23 year old Canadian producer AtYyA has crafted a uniquely original style, previously unheard by American audiences. His first offering of 2015, released under the like-minded Merkaba Music label, is the Aurical EP – four new tracks that give listeners a bold taste of his style and sonic abilities.
Clocking in at over seven minutes long, the title track ‘Aurical’ is a journey of misty synths, birds chirping, and squishy bass with specks of grime that flesh out the 808 beat into an atmosphere as dense as it is expansive. As the beat progresses and variations develop, a guerilla smattering of synth swoops and stretches give way to impressive sub-bass force. With vibes that oscillate between mystical ambiance and murky swamp, this track is the most complete representation of AtYyA’s overall sound.
If there is one song on this release that seems designed for the dancefloor, it’s the aptly-titled ‘Movement.’ Ominous overtones expand and completely surround the listener, the beat explodes with claps, snaps, and reverberated percussion. Sub-bass underpinnings lurk around popping and shimmering synths, until the beat returns with glitched alterations and vocal effects. As all these elements coalesce, this mystical ancient-future trap groove makes it hard to sit still.
As the most melodic and spacey of the four tracks, ‘Dream’ closes the EP in stunning fashion. This downtempo session of expansive bass lines and trap rhythms is infused with smooth effects vocal samples wrapped in a dreamlike atmosphere. Stepping softly between the lines of trap and tribeadelic, AtYyA drops a serious yet sensuous beat to cap off the listener’s experience.
Most trap and bass styles rely on that “in your face” presence and energy to grab the listener. By stepping back and letting his various sounds and influences interact, AtYyA succeeds in pulling you in and inviting you to sense the mysteries of his music for yourself. The sub-bass interplay with otherwise wonky-sounding synths (‘Movement’) and 808 kicks with delicate piano melodies (‘Immortal’) are just two examples of AtYyA’s tasteful command of arrangement and production techniques.
As the year progresses, there will be many opportunities for this Kootenay Mountains native to present his music to you. In addition to a coast-to-coast US tour scheduled for the spring, he has been billed for one particularly special appearance at COSM’s Full Moon Gathering in May. Keep your eyes peeled for a full-length release later this year. Even with the wide variety of artists that have emerged in recent years, it’s safe to say the American bass music scene has never heard anything like AtYyA!
Catch AtYyA alongside Thriftworks, Andreilien, kLL sMTH and Brightside
Friday May 8th, 2015
at The Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, MA
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