This past weekend The Charlotte Sessions, Dirt Sounds, NSFW Presents, and Future Pixels put together a two night run of underground bass music in Charlotte, NC and Savannah, GA. Just as I had begun noticing the Spicy Bois pop up on lineups all around the country, I found out from Zyven that we were booking a handful of the collective’s most promising talents (Cnopes, Space Wizard, Angelic Root, and Meso) along with two of riddim’s favorite underground artists, Mohno, and Felony. Shocked out of my mind yet immensely grateful, I finished up my first week of classes, packed up my bags, and made the drive to Charlotte, NC.
Going into the weekend, I had pretty high expectations for the shows… I mean come on, it’s the Spicy Bois. I never could’ve guessed, though, the reality of just how spicy the two night run would turn out to be.
Bass, Spice, & Everything Nice
Let me break this down for you. The Spicy Bois do indeed have copious amounts of spice. In fact, each one of them has their own distinct flavor.
If you ever get a chance to catch these guys in action, I strongly urge you to do so. The group itself features a wide variety of sub-genres within the larger genre of bass music, and as a whole, finds similarity in common themes of high quality sound design, peculiarity, individuality, and heavy low end frequency.
A humble, passionate, intelligent bass artisan named Connor aka Cnopes had the responsibility of opening up each night and he did so exceptionally well. The young DJ positioned himself behind the three CDJs with a calm, collected, and focused energy. Seamlessly mixing a variety of atmospheric beats with tasteful melodies and heavy low end, he swayed back and forth occasionally letting a smirk slip, courtesy of his own spice. Exchanging a few words with the OG Spicy Boi, it was comforting to find such genuine humility and passion for this crazy world of bass music. His disposition held true during his timeslot and I was very impressed with his ability to control the energy of the crowd as well as maintain their focus for the duration of his set.
The Wisconsin native carried himself with an expert’s poise and fabricated a unique sonic environment that perfectly set the stage for the remainder of the performances. The atmospheres he built managed to put you in a sort of trance, then just as you would begin to notice you were dazed, he would bring in spicy low end under head knocking beats and the type of energy that makes you think ‘oooOOoOoOooooh ya… that’s the stuff.’ His sets featured a good portion of his own original tunes, as well as a handful of others from artists like VCTRE, Mindset, Vide, Eazybaked, and fellow Spicy Boi prodigy Molokai. I’m super excited to watch him continue to grow as an artist and hone in on his juicy, neuro, melodic, experimental sound.
Follow Cnopes on Social to keep up with what he’s got in store for us [@cnopes]
Mike, aka Space Wizard, turned out to be exactly the madman bass monger I expected him to be. Like an evil genius he stood behind the decks, orchestrating extraterrestrial destruction upon the unsuspecting room of beautiful raging bassheads. Despite the utter insanity you might expect of a producer as nutty as Mike, it was surprisingly wholesome to watch him connect with the crowd before, during, and after dropping something he knew would be absolutely bonkers.
To complement his brutish disregard for ear canal safety, I found out Mike is a genuine dude who loves G Jones, underground alt rock bands, 7-Eleven cuisine, and pushing the limits of conventional sound design. He reminds me a lot of the guy from Back to The Future, with his targaryan white hair and ‘heh, you guys are about to get obliterated‘ disposition. This sorcerer from outer space isn’t all bass and strange noises though. Mike’s melodic vision suited him so well it was shocking and thus made me appreciate him all the more. To close out his sets he dropped the most beautiful melodic bass tune, and really brought full circle the direction he seems to be taking his career. I’m really excited to watch him find his path in bass music and I hope i’ll be able to catch another set very soon.
Follow him on social to keep up with what this Space Wizard has up his (robe??/space suit??) in the upcoming months. [ @space__wizard ]
Angelica Archangelica: An aromatic herb with a thick taproot that has been used for centuries in healing remedies as well as having been thought to ward off evil, provide strength to women, and bring good health to families.
Kody Jones: A physically young yet spiritually old yoga instructor/new age deep dub connoisseur that specializes in old school reggae, the lowest frequency that waves can go, modernized synth weight, and among other things, being an old soul. I bring you, Angelic Root.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to witness two sets from this abyssally deep badmon and it was a treat to say the least. It’s usually a difficult task to bring high energy to a deeper dub set, so it came as a pleasant surprise to find that Kody had absolutely no trouble in doing so. The yogi’s vitality behind the decks managed to help even the less experienced deep dubbers realize the energy brimming just beneath auditory range. Clearly evident was the young artist’s dedication to his vision for Angelic Root, as well as the overall quality of his productions. Like each of the other Spicy Bois, Kody brought his own individual spice to the overall collective, specifically in the form of energetic rhythms, unique well-designed samples/atmospheres (s/o King Tuppy), and gorgeous deep bass synthesis. I had the opportunity to exchange a couple words with the Michigan native and felt like after just moments of talking tunes, inspirations, motivations, and the like, I had gained yet another homie.
With a vast discography under his belt at the age of just 21, and many more works set to release on some of the most well-known forward thinking labels in the industry (Deep Dark & Dangerous, The Undergrowth, Wakaan) it looks like Kody has no plans of slowing down. I am absolutely stoked to watch Angelic Root continue to dive deeper into this deep, dark, and dangerous world of bass music.
Follow him on social to stay up to date with all the incredible things he’s got in store. [ @angelicrootbass ]
Meso MESO. MeSO. Meh, so? MeSo? MeSo. He’s so spicy. He’s got all the spice. He’s so spicy he invented spice. No really, he invented spice. At least the Spicy Bois anyways XD. It is with great honor that I present to you, Chicago native, melodic genius, scratch savant, bass brilliant, blank-faced, rhythmically ascended gangster, and mastermind behind the Spicy Bois collective, MeSo.
Now, there are two ways this can go down. Either A. I write eleven paragraphs describing just how utterly absurd Kevin aka MeSo is when it comes to DJ’ing, or B. I attempt to briefly verbalize my first experience watching him do his thing behind the decks.
I’ll go with option B I’m sure you’re with me.
Now, leading up to the shows I had pretty high expectations for the Spicy Bois brainchild. Little did I know, MeSo had plans to shatter my expectations not once but TWICE. The first night in Charlotte was beyond anything I could’ve imagined. I’ve never seen somebody mix such an eclectic variety of bass tunes in a way that never missed a beat even once. Let me tell you, HE THREW DOWN A GREAT SHOW. Mixing, EXPERT. Song choice, OUTSTANDING. Energy control of the crowd, EXCEPTIONAL. Bass, FRIGHTENINGLY OBESE. Hair, WIND-SWEPT & SPICY. I joke because a simple write up just won’t suffice, but don’t let that distract you from my point here. MeSo is everything I could’ve hoped him to be and more. His demeanor caught me off guard initially, but then I realized he was just in the zone, blank-faced and laser focused on mixing with fantastic precision. I started to notice how his demeanor actually speaks novels for his emotion as an artist; confident, focused, professional. Left and right he slung some of the most piquant experimental, house, melodic, dubstep, tunes I’ve heard in a very long while.
Along with tracks from some of the most head turning upcoming artists in bass music, he effectively mixed in those gorgeous melodic atmospheres his fans know and love. He didn’t just stop at ‘mixing’ tunes though, the flagrant spice of MeSo was most pungent in his ability to scratch. I’ve never been a scratchin’ guy but I guess I am now, because, like I said previously, THIS DUDE IS UTTERLY ABSURD. It’s the type of funky you can’t help but get down to. Night one was shockingly fire. Night two? NIGHT TWO? Night two brought a whole different meaning to the word Spice. I was literally jumping all over the place for the entirety of his set. Completely in a state of disbelief I stood in the Savannah crowd, mind doing backflips, trying to fathom how it was possible for him to top the previous night. Long story short, a MeSo live set is truly a sight to see.
Do yourself a favor and follow him on social so that you won’t miss out on any of the amazing things he has for the future, because I can assure you, things are going to get pretty Spicy. [ @mesoyaramen ]
Over the weekend I started to realize how special this group of guys really is, and why. It’s unusual for such a wide variety of vibes to come from the same group of artists. As I watched each of them perform, I realized that the central theme they all share is simply spice. Spice meaning that extra low end oomph, and the experimental touch sprinkled throughout each of their tunes. Both nights, when each Spicy Boi approached the three cdj’s they carried along with them their own unique presence and charisma. From Cnopes to Space Wizard to Angelic Root to Meso, I was blown away by the unfailing talent and genuine spirits within each of the guys. All of them falling between 21 and 23, these young hardworking gents have already begun tapping into the brilliant flow and unimaginable sonic potential within them.
Felony & Mohno
These two talented individuals were responsible for the riddim portion of each evening. The Louisville native DJ and Producer Felony played out a handful of heavy, grimy dubstep tracks that had the crowd throwing their bodies around like absolute nutcases (myself included). Some of his top notch creations such as “Arrow in the Knee”, coproduced with Argentina bass tyrant Poisonous, and his newest Riddim select, “Henny and Plan B” rattled the wooden floors of SERJ’s Under the Moon Stage. In contrast to the more synth focused riddim tunes of Felony, Pennsylvania native Mohno dropped a selection of more melodically driven tracks. Artists such as LAEM, GG, Trentcast and Gerald made their way in her frantic performance. Her favored subgenre ‘liquid riddim’ emphasizes melodic structure and atmosphere, with minimalist synth rhythms craftily interwoven within each respective melodic atmosphere. At just the very beginning of both of their artistic careers, I am excited to see them continue to hone in on what makes them unique as individual artists.
Last but not least I would like to give a massive thank you to the madman riddim professor himself, Zyven. Without you I would not be anywhere near where I am today and I would never have had the opportunity to talk about the insanely talented artists making amazing music all around me. Thank you for giving me an outlet to voice my appreciation for all of these passionate and hardworking individuals in the bass music industry. You are an inspiration to me always and I am honored to represent The Charlotte Sessions!