What started two years ago as an idea to just do a song together gave birth to the brainchild that is Bass Sekolah. Comprising CEE, whose sound is more Berlin’s grimy techno and UK’s heavier bass, and Darren Ashley, whose own music is either synth pop or EDM-inclined (recently, at least), the combination of the two makes for a rather strange pairing. Nevertheless, the result doesn’t befit the odd couple nature of their disparate styles – Bass Sekolah lives up to their namesake. You’d only need to listen to their collaborative track with Berlin’s Phon.o, ‘HereNow’, to understand that the duo’s musical inclination favours CEE’s preference.
Initially, CEE was to release a song with Darren as a featured artiste in June last year. But then once they played the track to friends and folks they trusted musically, they had a moment of clarity due to the general consensus they received from the listening party. “Everyone said we should do an album, and here we are now working on it, and session after session we just got better as a team,” said CEE.
There was never a list of artistes CEE would want to form a group with, with Darren he simply had the acumen and foresight to know that they would work well together. Elaborating further, he revealed that he was already familiar with Darren as the drummer of Busco and as a solo artiste who would go nuts on the KAOS Pad – often time singing and building tracks from scratch during his solo sessions. Impressed, he connected with the crimson haired prodigy and the rest was history.
With a punny name like Bass Sekolah, don’t expect them to be self-serious. When asked of the group’s influences, CEE half-jokingly gave a non-musical answer: they had great pasta before their last jam session, which he then segued to what we assumed was a real inspiration, the jungle surrounding CEE’s HQ The Dusun. Or that could be some form of witticism indicating a genre stimulus instead of the literal jungle. Goading him for a real answer, CEE said, “Before starting to compose, we went through my music archives for a while.” Even though settling for 50Weapons’ new signee Alex Banks and Addison Groove’s latest record in the process, he said it would be inaccurate to say footwork is their main influence now. Perhaps like the latter’s ‘Footcrab’, Bass Sekolah took juke and footwork and filtered them through their own genric range.
All of these sound very current, in tune with the sounds of the underground, so we wondered where the group is at now in terms of their progress. “We put some great sketches on Ableton Push together and will now go deeper into song building mode,” answered CEE vaguely. Keeping most of their new materials locked up, he can only tease us with this; despite the odd couple supposition we posited in the opening paragraph, together CEE and Darren have found exciting common grounds. CEE specified that it is especially with Darren on board to build songs for Bass Sekolah that he is excited about the project: “The toughest and best thing about working together with him is that he is a big talent and has millions of ideas.“
Bass Sekolah is hoping to release an EP “very soon” with an LP record scheduled for much later this year, all depending on the label they are currently discussing with. Beyond the released Phon.o collaboration, they are also in talks with Sasha Perera (of Jahcoozi and Perera Elsewhere fame) and Monome maestro Daedelus. While it’s going to take a while before you’d get to hear more of Bass Sekolah on record, expect to hear their original materials at their coming shows this year.