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Very rarely do we see bass artists with the ability or skill to break out of the mold of conventional bass music and ascend to a level of recognition typically given to the best electronic artists, or better yet, musicians. Techmaster P.E.B. and Dynamix II are just a couple of names from the small list that comprises this category. Well, it appears that there is another group that has accomplished this difficult task and their sophomore effort, "Live Deeper", does nothing to prove the validity of this statement. I speak of none other than the Underground Bass Masters.

While their debut, "Transcend", was incredibly powerful and helped to put electro-bass (having been pushed aside by the uninspired booty bass craze) back on the map, it showed potential more than anything else. It seems that that potential has not only been met but has been far exceeded, for the UBM have crafted a work of extraordinarily passionate electronic art. It is so full of intelligence, intensity, and imagination that it truly reshapes the bass paradigm and makes you wonder why all bass music isn't this damn good.

One of the most unique attributes to "Live Deeper" is how the bass is woven into the accompanying instrumentation. All too often, bass artists focus primarily on the bass, making a great competition disc, but one with absolutely no aesthetic quality. Many times, the bass overpowers everything else the listener is presented with, which gives a good deal of bass music an almost muddy quality, void of life and luster. The UBM, however, have treated the bass on "Live Deeper" almost as an afterthought; a garnish that is necessary to the composition as a whole, but is secondary to and dependent on all of the other musical elements. And because "Live Deeper" deals very heavily with the ambient genre, one can't help but feel elation and a sense of spirituality when listening to it.

Another unique quality of "Live Deeper" is how the music is presented. While the disc is not continuously mixed, there are a few crucial points where the UBM have blended a couple of the tracks together. Additionally, the slower tracks are exquisitely integrated with the faster ones. Therefore, the listener is not left confused or frustrated. He or she is instead slowly brought to an aural, emotional climax and then brought back down to a state of calm and inner peace, only to have the process repeat itself again and again.

There are no words that can truly capture the beauty and essence of "Live Deeper". Just as a sunset must be watched to be fully understood and appreciated, so must this electronic opus be listened to. I enthusiastically encourage anyone and everyone, basshead or not, to add "Live Deeper" to their collection.

Derek Barnett (Momentum Magazine)

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