As the popularity of breakbeat rises, a number of producers have begun taking the sounds of UK garage (aka UKG) from the ’90s and incorporating it into the landscape of today’s UK bass sound. Mosca’s new EP Done Me Wrong/Bax, released recently on popular garage label Numbers, is an excellent example of this new, yet retro sound. A common thread runs through the two tracks: an urban, nocturnal atmosphere. If the UKG of the ’90s was bright and clear, the prevailing theme for the past decade has been to move more into the shadows.
Done Me Wrong has the skittish drums from yesterday, but vocal edits that are distinctly now. More well-known track Bax then continues to build on what made Done Me Wrong strong. It’s a dark UKG song reminiscent of a lot of El-B’s work, where the low end is simple, but infectious. It’s not lush with different sounds or flowing with complexity, but it’s not supposed to be; the bass is the song. The focus is on rhythm and groove–where it should be. It’s an encouraging sign that both Mosca and Numbers continue to put out releases of a sound that has yet to come close to its expiration date.