Bugs In The Basement
Bugs In The Basement is a collaboration between two people who create spontaneous music in weekly sessions and post recordings on their site and a podcast of the same name.
More than five years into the project, they’ve amassed a repertoire of that could fill several hundred vinyl albums. This ongoing sonic art installation turns many of the “rules” of music production upside down.
Rather than try to describe the music itself – which varies widely from week to week and within episodes – I’ll tell you about my experience of it (read a full blog entry): A typical episode hypnotically eases into a groove. I find myself relaxing and losing the impatience and need for constant stimulation that characterizes my daily life… gradually the music melds with my consciousness in the moment. Within repeating themes I start to notice layers and subtle changes in the soundscape. At some point I register that the piece has evolved into something entirely different… with no idea how we got there. My sense of the passage of time is turned inside out.
As Bugs describe it, they “experiment in the process of making exploratory music and soundscapes.” I hear many musical influences, but BITB doesn’t fit the categories. We do know that the collaborators are multi-instrumentalists with over 40 years’ performance and production experience between them. They employ many tools, “from an array vintage and handmade instruments to modern technologies.” “Bugs” refers not to creatures inhabiting dark corners of their studio, but rather to ongoing technical details of a complex live recording set-up.
Volume 1 is a curated program composed from selections of a time period’s sessions. As the “curator,” I chose portions of episodes recorded in the first half of 2018 and assembled them into a sequence that, I believe, reflects the ethereal, evolving quality of BITB’s work in an integrated travelogue through lands discovered on their journey.