Nathan Micay, otherwise known as Bwana, has been regularly featured on Life Crushed–a testament both to his tenacity and repeated excellence. Bwana’s Over & Done EP, the seventh release for the blooming label Infinite Machine, rises above the standard, even for Micay.
Composed of three original tracks and three outstanding remixes, first and foremost it must be said that this release cannot be missed. Undoubtedly most of you reading this review have already heard this release, but it is worth giving the EP a proper review and a second wave of attention. Bwana’s rapid rise from obscurity to bass scene recognition has been rather inspiring to many devoted, yet little known, artists producing their work and sharing freely via Soundcloud, compilations, and mixes for magazines or blogs. Bwana’s first EP on Infinite Machine, released in August of last year, brought a lot of attention to his music around the web. Nathan Micay hails from Toronto, Canada, but since moving to Leeds and participating in the explosive music scene there he has expanded and refined his craft.
“It Ain’t Done ‘Til It’s Over” sets off the release with epic melancholy. The beat recoils from waves of obstinate finality like an endlessly reloading gun, always finished but never ending. There is a certain artificiality that is a given when it comes to electronic music. For instance, you know there is going to be a lot of repetition. The beat is artificially constructed to repeat, build, break, and repeat again. But in this artifice there is also a certain call back to our bestial origins, for the sound of our mother’s own heartbeat is possibly the first form of auditory expression that we experience. Bwana’s sounds demonstrate this base understanding because after all each song we hear is just a further expression of life, and it is not done until it is over.
The second track, “When There Is Nothing Left,” utilizes a sample that will be recognized by anyone who has keenly followed the Canadian Indie music scene–for it is derived from a sample used by the band Stars in their song “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead.” From what I gather on Wikipedia the recording is actually the lead singer’s father, a Canadian stage actor, saying “When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.” Besides the source, Bwana uses the sample to impress seriousness onto a richly developed and intertwined beat. Pianos twinkle, high-hats sound off like flames licking darkness, and subtle mutes provide the unpredictability of the entire conflagration.
Finally, “Sleeping In” finishes the three originals with a more subdued sensuality. The softly uttered vocal sample, “tell me what you like,” pries into our fantasies, asking for them. But the smooth velvet intro is quickly replaced by an energetic frenzy of claps and movement, rounding out the most gracefully bold track ever put out by Bwana.
The three remixes featured on the EP are each huge names, which shows the respect Bwana has received in the music community and the way he is propelling to even greater heights. There are two remixes of the first track, one by XI and the other by Sibian and Faun. The third remix, by Jack Dixon, is of the intense second track. XI is the only artist of the three to actually reduce the tempo of the track and craft a spacier and more melodic rendition. Dixon, on the other hand, turns Bwana’s creation into a dark, bass-heavy dance track. Sibian and Faun sample elements of the first track at breakneck pace over a synth-drone canvas. Each remix honors Bwana according to the remixers own style, and successfully.
The game has changed, and Bwana proves it. Independent artists, musicians, record labels, bloggers, promoters, and fans are all enabled by the Internet to create, produce, release, review, and listen. The old model of music production and distribution has been replaced by a more successful, independence-focused model. There are costs to the new model, but in terms of how they weigh against the benefits there is no turning back, only moving forward and finding new, creative solutions to the gaps between artistic thought, materialization, and appreciation.
So whether you are reading this as a fellow blogger, a contemporary musician, an aspiring musician, an interested fan, or a filthy rich CEO of a massive record label…you can support Bwana and Infinite Machine by picking up the release digitally at their Bandcamp or physically over at Kudos Records, or by reblogging his tunes on Soundcloud, or even by liking his page on Facebook.
- sofuckingradical likes this
- yoceron likes this
- entoncescomo likes this
- thebeast88 likes this
- thesmoosmoo likes this
- absolutebassline likes this
- thesoulelectronic likes this
- morethanlost likes this
- the-epitaph reblogged this from lifecrushed and added:
- lifecrushed posted this