A dive into Abelation’s newest release, the Catharsis EP

Geoffrey Carter |

Released under the new and rising label, Outer Realms, owned by EDM’s mastermind, Minnesota, Abelation continues to amaze audiences with his latest work, Catharsis. It is clear that Abelation went above and beyond to perfect this EP to be something truly different in the bass music world.

This EP pushes the boundaries of the bass music scene with unique, riveting basslines and laid back, hip-hop style grooves. Each track is a new journey that has its own breed of substance crisp production.

The opening track, Shoot Them With Lazers, starts off with an introductory soundscape that sets the tone, and soon plunges headfirst into a laid back groove at around 62/124 bpm. The drums and percussion are kept minimal which gives room to a wild rollercoaster of creative bass design. After the first drop, the breakdown contains similar sound elements to the intro, which sets us up for a second, even gnarlier drop.

The second track, Animosity, grabs your attention from the start with a distorted bass opening that leads into a surprisingly melodic introduction and buildup. The EP has now picked up speed with this track sitting at around 72/144 bpm. The drop hits hard with more diverse sounding bass design and with subtle neuro style processing and classic wobbles. The track then sets up for the same melodic hook that we heard in the intro. The second drop is a variation of the first with many of the same elements in the second half for consistency.

Energy, the third track and a personal favourite, wastes no time by flowing into a steady 82 bpm main groove. The drums in this track stood out to me, having this broken beat lo fi feel, especially in the breakdown section after the first drop. They lay down the groove beneath a melodic pad sound and granular soundscapes. Another drop happens which is similar to the first with rich sounding basses and steady rhythms. The track closes out with the same pad from the breakdown, this time without drums.

The next and fourth track, Murked, has a unique arrangement with both melodic sections only at the beginning and end of the piece. The opening feels melancholy, with the drums laying down a beat much slower (~70 bpm) than the previous track and an arpeggiated I V chord progression played on a synth. The main drop happens shortly after with many varying bass sounds to keep the story flowing. We break for four measures in the middle to catch our breaths and then finish out the drop and end the tune same way it began.

The final track, Wub Machine, is exactly as the title suggests, an engine of a track that brings the deep basses right from the start of the first drop. A classic synth pad opens it up for the breakdown but wastes no time digging deeper with his next drop. Similar to other tracks in the EP, we end with a melodic synth outro.

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