Bassanova – Chicken Lover review

Upon unveiling plans for his record label Grizzly, Sinden outlined it would be “music you can’t quite put your finger on, stuff that sits between genres and puzzles you at the same time. Grizzly will bring this sense of unexpectedness, flitting between styles – it’s serious music without taking itself too seriously.” After releases from Wafa and Brodinski, Grizzly deliver on these expectations once again with the debut release from Bassanovva, the brainchild of two hardworking DJs in Toronto’s Grahamzilla and Brooklyn’s Jubilee. The former was the beat maker and DJ for electrocrunk boombappers Thunderheist, the latter co-curates the heavy bass and twisted club music imprint Night Shifters and promotes the Flashing Lights Brooklyn parties with Catchdubs and DJ Ayres. After years of friendship and shared appreciation of leftfield dance music, the duo start the real talk with Bassanovva.

The resultant EP which drops three Bassanovva originals and a multiplicity of remixes fully explores the sonic extremities of club music’s grey zone. “Chicken Lover” is a five minute dancefloor work out full of rooster noises, rave whistles and rolling sub bass augmented by a vocal proclamation of love for chicken over marching snares, clanking cow-bells and thumping toms. The three remixes included here push the vocal into other directions. Internet super-producer Munchi comes with a reggaeton inspired electro cruncher which contrasts nicely with Trouble & Bass’ latest signing, Samo Sound Boy, who brings an uptempo festival ready jam with squelchy synths and carnival percussion.  Nottingham producer Hackman delivers perhaps the finest remix, bringing some UK garage flavour to the track.

Bassanovva go Jurassic on “Terrodactyl”, sampling a dinosaur-esque shriek and laying it on top of a catchy synth melody that’s intertwined with handclaps and toms that really thump. Nacho Lovers and Greenmoney go toe to toe on the remix front with the former paying homage to Chicago house and the latter delivering a bastard mutation of UK funky and hard house. Bassanovva round off this fine debut with the cinematic 140 BPM knocker “Ovva” which sits nicely alongside recent output from the likes of Jam City, Nguzunguzu and Girl Unit. Chicken Lover is an essential release for DJs or listeners wishing to explore the serious but not-serious grey zone of club music.

Markus Garcia