By: Heather Hodder
Last month, the experimental bass community lost a major figure in Frank Heiss. One of our exciting artists from The Untz Festival lineup, Ascentient, released a mix, Ep 026 of Electric Mitten Monday on what turned out to be the day of Heiss' passing, and has now made it a tribute to the late, great producer.
Cord Butler's tribute is a psychedelic soundscape mix of weird bass, live finger drumming, flute and futuristic fractaled voices. This is the music a shaman of the 31st century might blast during a digital ayahuasca ceremony.
Unexpectedly, Ascentient is not from some remote village in the Amazon, instead he’s from Ann Arbor, Michigan. His music has a quality similar to Shpongle, Govinda, Papadosio,Yheti, and Pretty Lights.
This mix is where opposites mesh: delicate flute and jarring glitches, live drumming and reggae vox, synth guitar and psy-hop—Ascentient is no stranger to creating outside the box. His style is more than one genre: visionary bass and psy-bass, world music, glitch, wobble-step, and psychedelia. Ascentient will be performing this June at The Untz Festival in Mariposa, California, and we await his arrival.
In a Facebook post releasing this mixtape, Ascentient wrote : “I lost a dear friend and inspiration while recording this mixtape. Thank you Heiss for everything you did for the community and your loving and unwavering intentions, can’t believe I’m even typing this tbh.” Heiss passed away suddenly on April 15, 2018.
Ascentient’s mixtape opens with wind chimes, flute arpeggios and dark wobbly bass. The contrast between the delicate flute and jarring electronic bass is very unique. Guitar and percussion guide the rhythm, with mysterious voices and vocals that trickle throughout.
The mixtape’s transitions are fluid, mixing parts of Heiss’s music, such as tracks from Heiss’s 2013 release Ascensio(N). Ascentient moves from one style to the other similar to Heiss, who was known for his versatility, being able to move from jungle to breakbot to drum and bass (among other styles) without missing a beat. Heiss the “Frequency Fodder” was a noise engineer, electronic music producer and record label owner of Transcendent Tunes. Heiss’s music has been remixed by Supersillyus, Soulacybin, Skytree, Ali Berger, and others. For more listening and learning about the legendary Frank Heiss, check out his website www.heissmusik.com.
To stay up to date with Ascentient, follow @ascentient on Facebook and make sure to get your tickets to see Ascentient at The Untz Music Festival, which can be purchased online at www.theuntzfestival.com.