Sunday Morning Medicine Vol 160, ‘Unlikely Contenders’ with Zeds Dead, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, + more
Bass music’s omnipresent ringleader, Bassnectar, kicks off this week’s edition of Sunday Morning Medicine, Unlikely Contenders. The hair-thrashing dubstep maestro’s older catalog is brimming with spaced-out downtempo (most notably selections from Mesmerizing the Ultra of 2005 and Underground Communication of 2007). “Laughter Crescendo,” from his more recent Vava Voom (2012) with its splashy, rippling ambience, is a surefire way to catch a dose of the acid giggles this Sunday Morning.
Pretty Lights is, and always has been, one of those rare artists who can sew old-school extremities to new-school infrastructure. Taken from his token analog electronica record, A Color Map of the Sun, is the halcyon happy song “Yellow Bird.” Let Pretty Lights heal all weekend wounds, with the track’s recoiling, instrument-abound hip-hop loop, winding like the vulnerable wrapping of an emotional bandage.
Despite his recent delve into heavy riddim dubstep, Virtual Riot has released some truly tender and melodic tracks over the years, from liquid drum ‘n’ bass to glitchy future bass. This week’s selection, “Pixel Forest,” resides with the latter. The pixelated lead synth and pitched-up vocal samples are the ideal recipe for a Sunday spent sitting in front of the Nintendo.
Zeds Dead aka “The Boys,” are categorical softies. Inside nearly every ear-pummeling dubstep production from these two is a poignant center (“Collapse 2.0,” “Shut Up & Sing V2.0,” “Blink”). A raw demonstration of this emotional vigor, “Slow Down,” featuring Jenna Pemkowski, is a stripped-back, downtempo middle finger to those who aim to pigeonhole Zeds Dead inside any one genre. The track also serves as a tender crescendo to their most recent album, Northern Lights, and outro to their second edition of their Catching Z’s mix series: an entrancing outlet for their softer sounds. Oh, and it’s not bad for a Sunday detox, either. For optimal results, pair with a fruit rainbow and multi-vitamin.
Capping off Unlikely Contenders is the “Head Splitter” himself, Getter. The Californian recently renounced his post among the scene’s most fearsome bass savages, divulging into his need for “Something New,” and freeing himself from the confines of his former image. The fluttery track is an expedient Sunday vessel into uncharted and untainted bodily terrain.