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What the Hell is Global Bass?
Eck Echo Berlin.Global bass for the Kiez
Originally from Lima Peru, Petardo is now based in Tubingen, Germany. He was just in Berlin to play at the latest Eck Echo party and describes his sets as a cocktail of beats, where you’ll find Reggae, Dub, Reggaeton, Dancehall and of course Cumbia. Every Saturday he does a two-hour radio show called Cumbia Dub Club where he showcases artists like Chancha Via Circuito from Argentina, artists on the ZZK label, Dengue Dengue Dengue from Lima, Peru, Terror Negro, Deltatron, Chakruna, Sonidos Profundos, Elegante and La Imperial.
“...Each country across Latin America,
from Columbia, Mexico, Peru, Argentina –
has its own sound in Cumbia...”
Petardo says that Global Bass is gaining momentum in Europe. “Many people don’t have any idea what Cumbia is, but they just let themselves be pulled by the bassline and they feel it and they like it,” says Petardo. “It’s about 80 or 100 bpm, so they can dance it like Dancehall, Reggae, Hip Hop or Drum & Bass or Dubstep when its slower.”
Each country has its own sound
Julio Lugon AKA Toasting Dubz AKA Pira Lemu from the Eck Echo crew, says that the Global Bass scene is a fascinating phenomenon because each country has its own unique sound. Bass artists from the Caribbean and Latin America fall under Tropical Bass, which is largely influenced by Cumbia, Reggae and Reggaeton. “Each country across Latin America, from Columbia, Mexico, Peru, Argentina – has its own sound in Cumbia,” explains Julio, “Cumbia Villera in Argentina, Chicha in Peru, Cumbia Rebajada from Mexico, which is kind of like Cumbia from Colombia, but pitched down, so it’s really slow. All of these producers are taking the roots from their own country and blending it with global bass sounds. So in a set you can have like all these different blends and at the end maybe the bassline is the thread.”
"...The concept of the parties is to
go from the past to the future....”
So if you’re new to Global Bass, expect eclectic sets packed with different rhythms and styles that will keep you on your toes. Toasting Dubz admits that he’s “never played a set with just one BPM – that’s kind of boring for me. I go from slow music to really fast music in the set, so I have to solve this with different effects and genres like slowed down sub-bass and at the end it’s like Footwork at 160 BPM.”
This kind of philosophy infiltrates the Eck Echo parties. “We often start with classic Cumbia - straight records,” explains Julio, “over the course of the night we mix it with electronics, and then at the end it’s often straight electronic with tropical flavours. The concept of the parties is to go from the past to the future.”