Mr Solo – Solo Mission

By Corey Maass

This collection leaks UK funky at the edges, blending with bass house, bassline and the classic grime elements that made UK funky stand up as a separate genre. Catchy leads lure you over big drops into bumpy bass lines. Voices from far away connect you to places foreign yet familiar and the best nights you remember. There’s something here for anyone who likes the deeper motifs of bass music.

A few highlights:

“Ting and Ting” feels like a live mash-up, capturing the UK funky-meets-ragga feel perfectly, which not everyone can pull off. The vocal is high energy, over catchy UK funky beat, bass, and grime licks. It’s the type of tune that will get pulled up twice and then mixed into something else, which is a shame because it’s solid right to the end.

UK Funky on a bass house tip, “Dutch Cheese” Is a deep and dirty little roller centered around another ragga sample, but stands in contrast to “Ting and Ting”. This one’s about getting low. Grimey basses slither around your ankles in the dark, while toms and dry snares elbow for room.

“Afrobass” is tough as nails. Stacked basses hit hard over a snappy rhythm, offset only by 8 bar octave leaps and the tension and release that comes with it. “Afrobass” feels like the middle of a tune, off and running, setting a darker mood of classic UK garage.

“Standby” is the kind of track you want banking when you walk into the club at 10:50 PM, just before they raise the cover. It’s the first tune that gets pulled up. It’s the type of big bottom tune that kicks off a night. And there’s a whistle. You can’t go wrong with a whistle.

And “Congo play” is one of the more gorgeous tunes on the album. Simple and driving, it’s got less to prove and somehow ends up one of the stronger contenders. A driving vamp plays off of clever percussion and a simple sub-bassline. While a lot of the big bass drops in this collection will hype a crowd, the vibe set by “Congo play” is what might stay with you.

This compilation covers every inch of a small circle of UK bass-centric dance music, while never quite repeating itself. Most of these tunes are bangers, not anthems, the kind that the best DJs use to set a mood, make people get low, and go home with smiles.

Posted on October 15, 2019