REVIEW: Basecamp – In Stone

BASECAMP is a Nashville-bred trio of Aaron Miller, Aaron Harmon, and Jordan Reyes, three genius producers with a knack for making music that is better than bank lollipops. These guys know rhythm and melody inside and out, and they combine it in a multitude of ways on their latest album, In Stone. They’ll be hitting up Aisle 5 Wednesday night. If you’re in Atlanta, you should check them out.  Read Libro Musica’s interview with Aaron Miller, here.

“We just want to make good music and music that feels true to us and doesn’t feel fake.” – Aaron Miller

In Stone begins with “Lo,” a song whose beginning lies somewhere between the unsettling and calm. When the infinite pounding beat kicks in and the vocals come in, the track yields to a desperate serenity. Something that could last forever despite one’s yearning for it to end. With melodic variations “Lo” takes the listener along to ride the gamut from strings to bits.

“The Hunter” is an audible strobe light. It is a stop motion film that, given its level of electronic complexity, is smooth and even singable. Beats layer on beats like snow on frosty grass. After listening to electronic music ever since Napster hit New England, BASECAMP’s sound feels like the culmination of electronic music. Elements of 90s garage beats, 00s progressive trance, and the smooth modernity of a man singing his heart out impossibly combine, like a wooden puzzle purchased at a store for adults who believe their children are geniuses. It is the sort of track that loses no complexity after ten listens, with more layers than a napoleon made by an existentialist pastry chef.

The blanched and julienned emotions apparent in “On My Heels” are so true, so pure to the taste, that you may expect the lyrical delivery to have come from another genre. But the boys of BASECAMP do it, beginning with the sweetness of caramelized bananas, and ending with sax and strings that would make Alina Baraz shiver. “In Stone” depicts the arc of the sun as it rises, bringing light to everything it touches, and doing the opposite as it sets. There is even sun imagery in the lyrics. Something about the choral lyrics and wild percussion sets the stage for an unleashed frenzy, like a yoga class where you unknowingly end up upside down with your right foot behind your head. If only every day could be like that.

With vocals that go just far enough, BASECAMP does for “Ghostown” what erringly excitable artists do to other songs with metaphors to describe their hearts. “Reap” ends the album, with stronger vocals that mesh with the beats like cross stitching. The track raises the listener up on a wave of sound, only to hurtle him back down dangerously close to silence before continuing on. As the song nears its end, the beat sounds strangely old (Darude kind of old), but polished and buffed to a modern shine that is pure trance bliss. I would have been happy with just six minutes of this beat and the distant, pulsating vocals. I could drive all night in a mustard yellow Renault to that final minute.

BASECAMP is a group that proves that music is universal. Their brand of electronic sound combines novel contours with irresistible beats that won’t damage your cilia. Add them to your Music Library and be sure to check them out at Aisle 5 on January 18th.

Take a listen to BASECAMP on Spotify.


Gwendolyn Lewis Written by: