Last year, Handiclap Records released the first volume of Tasty Bass, a collection of tracks by members of the eponymous collective. It brings together like-minded producers from all over the Mexican territory. The first edition included people like Mexican Dubwiser, Ezekiel, and Pedro Infame, alongside eight lesser-known artists. Propelled by its success, the crew has released Tasty Bass Vol. 2, opening doors for new producers in an attempt to broaden their horizons.
Again, it feels like an “attempt,” because it sounds like there’s a genre towards which the tracks gravitate: hip-hop. Pretty much all of them – with only a couple of exceptions – reference hip-hop in some way or another, and that’s alright when it’s done in a creative way. That’s the case on “Get On,” the collaboration between Alan Rosales and Monster Party, which is a schizophrenic track that jumps back and forth between tribal, baile funk, and trap. Unexpectedly, Trillones also jumps into hip-hop territory with his dubby remix of Caro Limón’s “D,” but with a slightly more trip-hop focus. It sounds heavy and cacophonous, and shows versatility from the Tijuana producer.
Jacksson & Bandido don’t drop the hip-hop ball, but their take is a dirtier one, full of glitches and pitched-down rap samples. Balancing between cloud rap and trap, BrunOG & T.Y. drop it hard with “3 Puntos,” incessantly repeating the phrase “lo mío son los billetes/drogas, alcohol, mujeres/bañado entre colores de trippies alucinantes” as if it were a mantra. Closing this volume is Pa Kongal‘s “Arrastrada,” a moombahton-meets-cumbia party-ready song that samples hilarious spoken vocals while fog horns blast in the distance.
As for the repeating producers, El Gran Silencio’s Tony Hernández contributes with “Cumbia Bboys” under his DJ Macojazz alias. The track is a Beastie Boys-like beat blended with cumbia, and it sounds like it’s straight from the 90s. But one of the best songs here comes courtesy of Robots Don’t Have Sisters, who also made the artwork. “Smash Bros” stands out because it breaks the common thread, since it’s a sugary and plastic electro-house tune that, as the name suggests, is plagued with 8-bit Nintendo synth lines. It’s playful and unpredictable, sometimes sounding like everything is collapsing.
Granted, there are a couple of songs on Tasty Bass Vol. 2 that don’t match the quality or ideas shown on tracks by Robots Don’t Have Sisters or Alan Rosales and Monster Party, but it’s a decent compilation with some bright moments – a compelling listen, to say the least.