Many folks particularly familiar with bass music have warmed up to the offerings of Inspected, the English collective most known for their fashion, photography, and of course, vast pool of talented music artists. Joining that legion of talented music artists is a duo that many serious fans of bass music have never of heard of, and their name is Ekcle. But alas, their name is soon to be one that will circulate within the confines of the genre.
Ekcle’s debut EP, Deshoda, is a dashing collection of four tracks that epitomize what good bass music sounds like: it emphasizes the full dynamic spectrum while sticking true to its namesake. In a mere 20 minutes of music, Ekcle’s EP transcends what some artists fail to encompass within album-length running times. The sound design, range, percussion, and sounds are truly immaculate in every sense of the word.
If there is a word I could use over and over again in respect to this EP, it would be transformative: this record is every bit as unexpected as it is well-produced. A Giant Carries the City is a deep track that flows between a deep bass accompanied by the occasional growl and bongo hits, but in no more than two minutes, the track transforms into an acoustically fluent, piano and strings-oriented track. As this acoustic transition ensues, a refined arp pulls the track into a deep new dance-centric form. This introduction is simply captivating, and because of it, the record unwinds into a cake mix of uncertainty and mystery.
The Impulsive State is probably just about the last thing you expect to follow the curated piano and strings combination that helped conclude the first track. The bass is earth-shattering, and that’s an understatement to how hard this track goes. But no sooner than Ekcle has opened up a can of bass whoopass, they pull a very complimentary high-end into the mix. The track which just seconds earlier was a basshead’s dream turns into a curated work that transcends future bass and a warm bass-piano duet for the outro.
Despite my deep love for all four tracks though, there is no doubt in my mind that the third track, Serené Mont Garde is the magnum opus of this EP. The closest affiliation you can try and place on the genre of this track is crazy good drum and bass. But even then, this “drum&bass” record is more a transcendence of grime, future bass, and the formerly mentioned than a singular thing. The “drum” part of drum and bass however is especially fitting for a track which has such a vested focus on the percussion, and let me just be the one to say that the percussion is something I haven’t an appropriate adjective for. Overall, the range and mix is something to be reckoned with — for both the unsuspecting, and the subwoofer you might play it on.
Sakoya is just as fitting a record of transcendence and percussive mastery as the former three and really captures a sense of “completion.” The track unwinds from a sort of mellow, wavey sound into an in-your-face, deep work of plucked synth cuts and vocal samples. This is the kind of music I’d expect to hear on a Spotify playlist called “People Transcending the Third Plane of Reality (but not really).” As a work, it sums up the EP well, and instills a sense of closure.
If there’s anything to be said about Ekcle after hearing this record, It’s that they are nothing less than special. Their music breathes a defined mix of beauty and chaos, and in that sense, the duo has established themselves as one of the best artists that you have yet to know. I’d go so far as to say that Ekcle is the most exciting inductee to the Inspected label since KOAN Sound, another significant bass duo. What has especially bothered me about this EP is not even the EP itself, but how many people have slept on it despite the wide range of outlets that featured it — such as InspectedDubplate, NestHQ, and UKF. But in due time, I anticipate there will be a shift, and much-deserved recognition of the duo’s work — past and present. So when I say that Ekcle represents some of bass music’s finest, I am not exaggerating or sugar coating, but affirming that this duo’s work is a ray of sunshine in a bass scene that –as of late– has been diluted with unoriginal, copycat sounds.
[Cover art & thumbnail art courtesy Inspected Records, created by artist FUNI.]
The track-by-track analysis does not represent the editorialized opinion of the Rave Advisory staff or publication at large, but rather the opinion of the writer of said analysis.