Bass Clef

Bass Clef is the primary handle for the marauding musical runnings of Ralph Cumbers, the producer, trombone player, DJ and modular synth manipulator (as Some Truths) whom, whilst calling Hackney, UK his current home, has long since broken through the earthly atmosphere with his itinerant, style-and-pattern approach to electronic music.

With four full-lengths and innumerable EPs, single cuts and remixes to his name, Bass Clef releases nowadays come in clusters, forming unexpected but very much desired constellations: recent times have seen a score of fresh portals opening up through which to access Cumbers’ constructs in space and time: 2014 alone saw on-point output for PAN, ALTER, We Can Elude Control, Mordant, Iberian Recordings, his conduit for releasing works both personal and from sonically sympathetic peers.

Featured releases

Ralph Cumbers makes a very welcome return to Slip with the sweet drive and unguarded lyricism of 'Orezero': a smiling-through-the tears chaser to 2019's majestic '111 angelic MIDI cascade'. Says Clef: "'Orezero' is both the prequel and sequel to '111 Angelic MIDI Casacde' in that I'm not sure which ones is Wonderland and which one is through the Looking Glass. So it can stay unresolved as both and neither? Feels like a strange time to be releasing what might be the most joyous Bass Clef record. Certainly 'One Tree Island' and 'Heavy Lifting Light Wave' are two cuts of happiness, but the kind of happiness that acknowledges and incorporates all the unhappiness that came along the way. Other tracks are a more rarefied kind of joy I guess, I find myself stripping back layers on these tracks to an extent I never would have dreamed was possible for me. These tracks were recorded in 2019 over quite some time, although each track itself takes no more than 3-4 hours and are recorded live. Editing clears the clutter to reveal the intent, not always obvious at the time of recording. I was pushing myself, again, to focus on harmony, and melody, the two things I think I am worst at, rather than returning to rhythm and texture, the playgrounds I always felt most comfortable in. Instrument restrictions helped as always – most of the sounds heard are from two ROMplers, much-loathed relics of pre-computer music, loaded with largely un-tweakable samples of acoustic instruments, samples you have heard on a billion records, but hopefully stacked in new combinations this time around. Backed up with Microkorg, a resolutely and extremely popular, yet deeply uncool, digital synthesizer. The tracks here were originally intended for two different records (maybe that’s why the prequel/sequel feeling persists) but thanks to excellent old school A&R in the form of an evolving conversation with Laurie from Slip, together we eventually uncovered one record that I think manages to weave all these threads together. I hope it will bring some smiles to some people." 'Orezero' [SLP059] is available from October 2020 on cassette and/or download. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. 

Bass Clef – Orezero

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