Bass Clef

Bass Clef is the nom de track of Ralph Cumbers. A native of London, Ralph has also spent formative musical years living in Bristol, and now resides in Hackney. After a brief apprenticeship playing bass in various bands, Ralph took off on his own route, staying in to get way out - i.e. honing his skills in his bedroom studio. The result was the signature Bass Clef sound, one that fuses together the musical undercurrents of both Bristol and East London into the heavy, sparse, dubbed-out plates of bass and drum beloved of both scenes. The debut 12" on Blank Tapes, Hackney Centralist, was snapped up in a flash. The album, A Smile is a Curve that Straightens Most Things, grabbed ears well beyond the dubstep scene, with rave broadsheet reviews, and a place in The Sun's Top 10 Dance Albums of 2006. The Opera 12" introduced the floor-shaking Cannot be Straightened to the world. The Bass Clef effect has also been felt in remixes carried out for (amongst others) Peverelist, Liquid Liquid and the CEO of Def Jux himself, El-P. Ralph played nights as grimy as the Warrior Dubz tour, and as cerebral as the White Cube Gallery in White chapel. In the summer of 2008 he toured with the amazing Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Bass Clef has become a live floor filler and a festival specialist with show stopping gigs at Sonar, Glastonbury, Venn, Concrete and Glasss and Swn. His live show bypasses laptop/looping and embraces a beautiful multi-instrumentalism with ringing cow-bell, heavy trombone blasts and effects all spicing up his atmospheric but uptempo sound, it is very London but timeless. The music has a strong dub feel and he certainly likes his Soca, Jazz and booty bass but it all is fused together with heavy knowledge of musical history and the glee you get by abusing electronic machines. He has a electric heads up 21st style stage presence - a heady combination of heavy bass, dirty high end and killer riffs and cheeky samples. Full moon musical moonshine. Autumn 2007 revealed Bass Clef`s best and most ambitious work yet: the three volume Zamyatin Tapes series. Spread over two 12"s (Vols 1 & 2) and a special digital-only release (Vol 3), with their traces of futurist disco and Detroit techno Zamyatin tracks have been cropping up in DJ sets by Aphex Twin, Optimo and Hot Chip. Ralph is currently working on the follow-up album to A Smile is a Curve, due for release in 2009, which, if rumours of live drumming thrown into the mix are true, promises to be the most explosive Bass Clef release to date.



Artist info

Label: Blank Tapes
Array: GB
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