Chicago-based Chrissy Murderbot (née Chris Shively) has been touring the world with his footwork beats for a decade, but the producer wants nothing more than to be close friends with his fanbase. As his recent Boiler Room performance attests, these ground-level sets explore the most obscure of UK bass music, never relying on the mechanized bass wobble, electro-whips, or trap hi-hats that have saturated the US dance floor. While short, Murderbot’s Friendship EP blends club music’s danceability with the underground appeal of UK bass music to further separate his sound from that of his American colleagues.
This progressive approach to production has aided Murderbot in landing a long list of underground MCs (e.g. MC Zulu, Young Live, Johnny Moog) to create verses over his future garage-meets-Chicago juke instrumentals. The lyrics they contributed to 2011’s I’m a Asshole EP and Women’s Studies were so heavy and vulgar (“I Nutted In You” is a prime example) that his bass beats and quirky sampling were condemned to coach those first-class obscenities.
Murderbot has now chosen to shift the focus back to beats on Friendship, abusing short vocal snippets with the Roland 808 just as hip-hop and techno producers have been treating drum patterns for decades. Both “Bionic Penguins” and “Friendship” distort simple phrases into indistinguishable fragments, choosing to layer them, chop them up, and place them on repeat at 170 bpm– or in the background 0f spiraling bass drum ambiance, creating a steady beat to hold onto in the black hole of psychedelic juke. Murderbot stretches the glitch-hop bass midway through “Friendship”, shaking the subs and welcoming listeners back to reality.
In a testament of respect for fellow producers, Friendship closes with remixes courtesy of Florida’s Sumsun (“Bionic Penguins”) and the Netherland’s Legowelt (“Friendship”). Each greatly reduces the originals bpms, making the tracks appropriate for the wee hours of the morning when revelers are eager to shake off the madness from the night before and jump into bed, likely with someone who shared that body-quaking experience.
Essential Tracks: “Friendship”, “Friendship” (Legowelt Remix)