‘Introducing’ is a weekly feature highlighting new and upcoming artists from the world of electronic music. Every Sunday we are proud to present a musician worth their salt, who is pushing bounds, making waves, is undiscovered, under-appreciated, or about to blow up, and most importantly, is making music people will be talking about six months from now.
Of all the artists that have come across my radar as of late, Lockah has been sizzling away on the back burner of my thoughts and has never quite left. The Scotland-based artist provides a delicious mix of atmospheric melodies, sharp percussion hits, and bass, which gives him a distinct sound that is forcing the Aberdeen bass community into the limelight. He takes the unassuming, secondary parts of each influencing genre (that coincidentally make each genre wonderful) and puts them together into a package that’s as oddly gripping as it is subtly familiar.
His 2012 release on the Jeffree’s division of Mad Decent “When U Stop Feeling Like a Weirdo & Become a Threat” was one of his most public offerings to date. Now U Wanna explores minimalist bass and trap with brassy tuba hits, skittering bleeps and sparse vocal samples that give his brand of bass instant recognition. Goons n Roses shows its real beauty in its middle breakdown, stripping away all but bells to introduce the second musical theme. It’s an uplifting twist on sparse beat patterns that dance floors seem so fond of as of late. However, The Sour Drink from the Ocean is the shining standout on the EP; an atmospheric six-minute finale where synths take the place of a string section and Lockah gets a chance to flex his melodic muscles.
You can hear his easily identifiable (and perhaps iconic) sound put to good use in his remixes of both Lana Del Rey’s Video Games and Ashanti’s Only U, giving each a taste of quasi-chiptune rhythms.
His mix for the Fader is one of the best examples of his taste in music, leaning towards the soaring sort of trap and further establishing his particular brand of bass.
Lockah is no doubt a busy man; in 2009 he established his own label, Tuff Wax, which serves to highlight and catalogue the emerging music scenes in Aberdeen and the rest of the UK. The label exclusively releases many low-run pressings, and their shop is definitely worth a look for any vinyl enthusiast. Tuff Wax boasts other emerging artists such as ¥oin and Bones & Money, who both bring similar brands of sound to the table.
One of the most interesting things about Lockah is not his sound alone, although it is a treat to listen to. It’s his devotion to the scene that he came from and owes much of his existence to, and how his music and his label serve as mediums to brand Aberdeen Bass and bring it to a larger audience. How he chooses to promote and encourage the growth of this sub-genre will greatly affect its lifespan, but with such a specific mission in mind he gives me great hope for both his own future and the futures of each artist on Tuff Wax and beyond.