Super Future Brings Balance to Bass Music with ‘Equilibria’ EP
Article by: Ryan Hood
Last year brought incredible turmoil and distress. The uncertainty of the times were unprecedented for all of us, making it nearly impossible to describe how we felt.
Super Future does that perfectly in his latest EP Equilibria. The birth child of a tumultuous 2020, Equilibria represents a drastic change in style for Super Future, diverting from his ass-shaking experimental bass music. Equilibria is a journey through sound, utilizing organic FX and melodies coupled with deep, melodic bass that takes listeners on a ride of emotional highs and lows. Listening to this downtempo EP is taking a break from the chaos of life to explore one’s own thoughts through sound.
Equilibria is the poster child for the music Sskwan is putting out. This EP represents a more subdued, melodic side of bass music that more artists have explored in recent years. Super Future himself credits Wakaan label boss Liquid Stranger for influencing his dive into downtempo music, citing a feeling of inspiration when the label was announced during Wakaan Festival in 2019.
The aptly titled “Open Up” is the perfect opening song for the EP. Starting with a floating arp topline and brooding bass, the intro persists, notably lacking the typical percussive structure of bass music. The bass and topline eventually fade, giving way to a light percussion pattern and a topline reminiscent of a kalimba. The drop has a sense of breakthrough and discovery, setting the stage for the rest of the EP.
“Fall Forever” is another one of Super Future’s experiments in instrumentation. Described as a downtempo love song, “Fall Forever” uses a guitar rhythm in the intro as well as ambiguous, airy, and distant vocals which take over as the song builds. The guitar lead is then modified via synthesis for the drop, and is reminiscent of rock ballads with huge guitar riffs and leads. The main melody coupled with a backing sample of a woman laughing invokes feelings of attachment and understanding.
“Rain Dance” is arguably the most beautiful track on the EP. Starting with the sound of falling rain and a gentle melody, “Rain Dance” represents the acceptance and celebration of the things we cannot control. Rain itself represents cleansing and starting anew, and this track perfectly captures that feeling. The gentle melody and beat give way to a deep, sustained bass synth layered with topline melodies and FX. This track artistically calls upon sounds from nature such as an eagle’s cry and other animal and insect sounds. This track has multiple segments, each defined by its own signature percussion and groove.
“Heartbeat” walks the line between beautiful melodies and crazy bass, relying on a standard heartbeat as its main source of percussion. The sound design in this track is superb, as each bass synth contains a wide array of frequencies. While lacking the traditional structure of bass music, Super Future managed to write a downtempo bass tune that can still rile up a festival crowd.
Next up is the most fun track on the EP “Shadow Twork.” The title is a play on the idea of shadow work, the work one does to address the ugly parts of their past to resolve their trauma and issues. While it can be ugly, this song plays into the idea that one can go through shadow work with enthusiasm. It seeks to show the enjoyment we can find even in life’s toughest moments. Utilizing what Super Future calls a twerk beat, “Shadow Twork” definitely gets asses moving with a groovy beat and low, wobbly bass. The track features loads of organic FX, including wind chimes that give the track a very mysterious and natural feel.
Inspired by another Sskwan project, Lightcode, the eponymous track of the EP lacks any tempo at all. The track is a sound bath of different textures, utilizing both natural and synthesized notes as well as distant, airy vocals. This tune allows the listener to get lost in their own thoughts, escaping the chaos of life. “Equilibria” culminates with a single chime, almost as if releasing the listener from a trance.
The EP culminates with “Radical Acceptance.” This song invokes a feeling of gratitude unlike any other. The gentle piano melody in the intro, coupled with the acoustic guitar, makes the song feel incredibly familiar. The piano melody gives way to synthesis as the song is moved along by its gentle guitar riffs and light percussive beat, representing the calm of reaching the destination of a tumultuous journey. There’s hope in the melody of this track, foreshadowing better events to come in the future.
Super Future has captivated me for years as an artist to watch. His recent dive into downtempo music shows just how talented and versatile the Michigan producer is. He is a must-see artist on the festival circuit this year and will be gracing major festival stages for years to come.
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