BASSEAH is a producer and audio-visual performer, leading an intimate Bassmusic/IDM project of dazing soundscapes, iconic harmonies and custom live visuals. Inspired by years of classical musicianship as well as the rise of the ‘glitch’ movement, dubstep, ‘psychedelic’ genres and unrealistic video-game-like sound design, and carried forward with a spirit of innovation and experimentation, BASSEAH brings a range of his niche electronic music to the world on a weekly basis. Led by the multi-instrumentalist, improviser and composer from the esteemed Berklee College of Music Deniz B. Turan who handles the project on all fronts on his own and is a true believer of the DIY-approach.
Tell us about your most recent singles, “Goethite” and “Bionic Sealife”. What went into the making of these works? What can you tell us about your 2nd and 3rd single releases? Goethite, I think, has been a work of spontaneity for me. A small part of the song existed before the rest, it was my soundtrack to a psy-art video made by a visual artist I had stumbled upon on the internet by the name of Ugur Engin Deniz. He had made this video of the mineral goethite, in “motion”, and it looked gorgeous. We collaborated on a bunch of his videos and he’s the guy who does all my artworks now, his skills are mind boggling to me. So one day I randomly decided to turn that music(it was forty-ish seconds) into a full track, to the point where it has so little left in common with the first version. It was proven to me with this, that while planning things ahead in a creative context is good for organization, it’s also a limit. With all the speculation comes the pressure of all the things you can really do, all the directions it could go, you doubt your initial intention and know you want to do something different instead, too many paths to choose and thoughts that follow, it can go meta pretty quickly. But to see that you can reach completion after starting with no clarity of intention but just to do something, the way a kid makes decisions without a second thought, it’s liberating, from the artistic standpoint.
What went into it, well I made the sound of the open hi-hat with my mouth and processed it, at this point I don’t know if that’s even original anymore. Saying “tss” into a laptop’s built-in mic wasn’t what I had in mind taking up music school, haha. Days of peaceful obsession, making something a little better at a time and then something else, that’s basically what I do. We used the video “Goethite In Motion” as the preview of the song later, it’s on youtube and on Engin’s vimeo.
Second release is a different story, I had made that track while I was in Spain last year, badly, and it was just sitting there. I took it up a couple of weeks ago, cringed at the production that I had made in 6 hours of the same day, and felt like it deserved to be finished in some experimental way. I’m not sure where I’m going with this whole psychedelic bassy style, hopefully in the long-term it’s not ‘too out’ so that I can find my audience!
Third single ‘Surfing Crystals’ is going to be an arrangement of an hour-long live set I had played on internet radio a few weeks ago, it was my favorite set with some of my favorite sound design, and I think my sound will be heading in that direction. Hyper active dark basslines, crystally, watery sound design, Very deep neuro bass and from my favorite percussive elements, processed finger snaps. It’s ready and I’m proud of it, it’s going to be unique and psytrance-like.
What is your main goal for this upcoming debut EP release for “Mineral Rave”? My goal for the upcoming EP is to put out the instrumental songs I’ve made that have some connection with each other. I don’t expect a lot of hype for it, but I hope to release new music at least once in two weeks from here and on, so it will be the EP my audience and I will look back at when my music sounds totally different eventually, probably. I’m trying to always grow in ways, which means things are changing little by little and I think my style would too.
What is your favorite part about this work? Do you have any favorite songs (if you had to choose)? I don’t want to play favorites, I think they have ended up very different despite the similarities. I always like my most recent work a little better than others, and then a few months pass and I’m fed up with it. So right now my favorite is the third single, but that means very little in the long term, haha.
What would you say was the most challenging part of putting together this EP? I think timing. I’ve always been bad with timing. I don’t miss deadlines but sometimes I cram the work on the last day and that’s not a good habit, although it’s a common way to be these days. I barely had any of those songs finished when I decided I was going to release some in an EP, and to give myself such short time meant I would have to not take a break for the most part. My process is so that I make live performance sets and then I record and edit them into a form I like, so I recycle my own work within the style sometimes, and I think I ended up with complete pieces in a short time, and I’m thankful to my audio engineer for the project Miss Beltran, a very promising producer with several productions, for getting the mastering job(s) done quickly and thoroughly.
Besides the release, what is next for you in 2017? I think probably some more singles and an album. I want to focus on doing some live shows soon and I will be busy with finishing up with school also. I want to expand as a composer for media, making music for psy-art videos is fun(and I’ll keep doing that as BASSEAH) but I should probably get my hands on doing interactive music for some video games like I always wanted to.