The scenesters of yesteryears have forgone their respective genre bigotry and united into something else entirely; record label/electronic collective Bass Punks. Founded by Rooks, Faiz, Farez, and Andy – originally the former two came from the rap scene while the latter belonged in punk bands – they nevertheless shared the same DIY spirit towards music making, which later brought them to where they are now.
As label head Rooks puts it, “we wanted to incorporate all these elements that were reminiscent of our golden days as teenagers to something that’s more current and Bass Punks was born out of that.”
Naturally Bass Punks consists of electronic acts that range from the more commercially acceptable electro of Nazkimo and Victor Trixter to the louder-than-punk dubstep of We Are Mutants and the deafening drum & bass of Resistiv3. Dangerdisko regularly plays party bangers and new recruit DJ Jony brings grimy, dark dubstep back to the forefront. All these acts display so much subversive power to themselves as a record label that they are almost a scene by themselves.
“Our raw, indie and edgy styles appeal to most scenesters today. People are always looking to be a part of something, and that something has to be different and edgy enough to be able to attract recruitment.” Rooks opines.
While it’s arguable that they made dubstep much more of a staple to local fans of electronic music, they don’t take credit for pioneering whole new scenes in Malaysia. H3 of We Are Mutants is of the opinion that the growth of a scene is a group effort on everyone’s part and that they’re just glad they are part of it.
“Knowing that some homie somewhere is going nuts at the same tune we are going nuts to is sick.”
It hasn’t always been easy for Bass Punks though, not everyone can embrace the harder sounding beats played by some of the collectives. H3 recalls “a year or 2 back, I would drop a Rusko track or even a Rihanna Dubstep Remix and it would clear the floor.”
Crediting the internet, Rooks says the audience “are more educated in a sense of knowing the different styles and genres, keeping updated with current trends and so forth.”
There is credibility to that claim, Rooks himself handled electronic music blog obsessionsyndrome, which helped him network with locals from the scene and eventually led to the conception of Bass Punks.
“We aim to create a stable of quality talents to showcase to the international stage and make Malaysia proud.”
True to this Bass Punks has indeed gotten props globally from numerous indie labels and music blogs, effectively putting Malaysia on the electronic-dance map of the pop culture landscape.
Just as the founders of the label were peeps from disparate scenes, Bass Punks still keeps to the same ethos. Not one to only limit themselves to their own scene, the label actively sets out to collaborate with acts outside the dance circuit. Names like Adeline Chua of Halfway Kings, Jin Hackman, and AlCaponey of CSBTEA have all been featured by H3.
“Further cross-genre collaborations will grow the scene as a whole and bring us forward into the future of music.”
With the technology easily procured, DJing gets increasingly more accessible, thus increasing the competition for those who want to get into it. Rooks has this to say to that;
“Find your niche and believe in what you do. Strive to build your brand and always be passionate with what you’re doing.”
Or as VNRP and H3 of We Are Mutants would say, “go hard or go home.”
Bass Punks can be found at www.basspunks.com.