WANARB Recommends: Ron Basejam
For me, Ron Basejam is the unsung hero of ‘slo mo’ (Slow Motion House). My ears first pricked up to him when he appeared on Hot Toddy’s shimmering 2010 slo mo monster (105 bpm), ‘I Need Love‘, but up until very recently I presumed he was just another charismatic but obscure, under-rated bedroom producer. I’d never seen him on any lineups at disco nights in London, or heard/seen any hype about him at all. It turns out that he is actually the inimitable and multi-talented James Baron – one of the two founders of Crazy Penis (who now go under the more ‘accessible’ name of Crazy P).
Now I don’t know why slo mo house pioneered by the likes of Mark E, The Revenge and Hot Toddy (who it turns out is actually the other founder of Crazy P, Chris Todd) is not a massive deal in east London (especially on the after party circuit), but hopefully drawing your attention to someone who has produced some fantastic slo mo, Ron Basejam, will help it along a bit.
Here is one reason why you should believe in the coming slo mo revolution: ‘A Life In Headphones’. This was Ron Basejam’s last EP, which came out last September on Redux Records.
Ron Basejam – Looter
The opening track, ‘Looter’, makes me want to hump my speakers. The rhythm and infectious energy of the vocal combined with the chugging, acid-tinged bassline puts a massive smile on my face every time. But as well as this slo mo anthem there are 4 more tracks on the EP, each of which are equally full of charismatic production and flair. ‘Get Closer’ is a great track to get people warmed up at the beginning of the night, and any dj who drops ‘Hell No’ into their set at any time of the night gets massive props from me.
Ron Basejam – Get Closer
But what is a bit baffling is that his 2010 album, ‘Deep & Meanginless’ seemed to go almost totally unnoticed (including by me). This was the year that everyone went crazy for inventive and interesting new disco flavours such as Aeroplane’s ‘We Can Fly’ album, and Tiger & Woods’ fantastic output that year. So it seems a shame to me that Basejam’s 2010 album pretty much went unnoticed, especially when there are tracks on there that are up there with some of Aeroplane’s We Can Fly. For instance the opening track, ‘Hot Fridge‘, has a lot in common with The Revenge at his best; mesmerising vocal loops, sultry organ stabs, tight, restrained bass grooves, all underpinned by slick house production. And the amazing Holly Backler (who’s laid down ace vox for Lovebirds and Manuel Tur) co-writes and sings on several stand out tracks, including the Betty Davis stylee, ‘Fan My Flames’.
Ron Basejam – For The People By The People
But anyway what makes Ron Basejam a great producer is that his obvious musicianship and deep knowledge of music before the era of electronic dance music shines through in every one of his productions. Without wanting to be too much of a snob, all too often in electronic music producers place more emphasis on production techniques and cool sample loops than they do on including some raw musicality into their tracks. While some of my favourite producers at the minute probably aren’t musicians at all, it’s always really refreshing to see obviously good musicians (like Jamie Jones) making great dance music.
Vive Le Slo Mo Revolution!
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