Bass Time Continuum – Review by Gil Gershman
As “Breakers Throwndown (Final Battle Mix)” announces, “The music doesn’t follow you; you follow the music. And that’s what really makes a B-Boy.” Bass Time Continuum, like Phil Klein’s previous In Bass No One Can Hear You Scream, envisions electro not as a nostalgic refuge for those who miss Zaxxon and Ms. Pac-Man, but as the only religion fit for these technocentric (and otherwise spiritually bankrupt) times. Hanging most tracks on a B-boy vocal hook, Klein styles his Bass Junkie tracks with reverence for the beatbox bashers of the past, forsaking the “cool” ’90s-style irony that cheapens many of the neo-electricians. “A New Order Of Intelligence” enters on an angelic choir, giving the feel and fervor of an evangelical sermon to the ensuing rhythmic tirade. Klein’s revivalist electro comes at you as a densely packed, speaker churning rush of fidgety 303 runs, detuned Atari synth, fitful slice n’ dice beats, and vocodered proselytizing – an earnest address delivered from atop the bass bins. And, of course, there is bass; undiluted, soul-juddering bass. In a modern rite of flagellation, Klein scratches feverishly and offers the benediction of “R-M-T-S” (“Records-Mixer-Turntables-Speakers”) as though it were liturgy. Like Drexciya, Bass Junkie has a techno-utopian New Jerusalem in mind (Futura), whose anthem is an electronic hymn in the holy Detroit style. Moreover, Bass Time Continuum’s titles suggest an underlying sense of history and myth to rival the Pentateuch?a Genesis (“Bass Time Continuum,” the birth of the “Bass Mutant (Re-Mutated”)), an Exodus (“A Bass Odyssey”), a Leviticus (the commandment of “Listen To The Beat”), a Numbers (the stray-flock wanderings of “Back In The Jungle”), a Deuteronomy (“Welcome To Futura”), and even a Messianic prophecy (“Return Of The OVC,” wherein “Man is finally ready to move into Bass”). All Klein needs is a congregation – and maybe a satellite-radio hookup – and his ministry is primed for worldwide conquest.