Buku has been pumping out forward-thinking, innovative bass music for years, and each time you think he has to be hitting a slump, he comes out with something that pushes his sound forward even further. A little over a month ago, he dropped the title track of his new EP, What You See, which we likened to the “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” mantra of Muhammad Ali. Now, the full EP is out, including new tracks “Uh Huh” and “Pinky Fingaz.” Along the same sonic line as “What You See,” Buku pushes insanely intricate and heavy bass with impeccable songwriting and composition, creating complete songs in a bass world where, at times, a single bass patch is all the makes a track.
“Uh Huh” is sandpaper gritty and dog-rolling-in-the-mud filthy, but presented with the panache and style of a seasoned production veteran. You can bet that on an IRL sound system, this would have faces in the crowd melting by the dozens. Better yet, he mixes up the rhythm in the second drop — a copy paste drop is fine if the drop is that good, but most aren’t. Buku’s is, and he still takes it that much further to warp listeners’ minds.
Wrapping up the EP, “Pinky Fingaz” starts out with some dreamy arpeggios but quickly transitions into a more ominous melody. As the main bass melody comes into focus, it erupts into a supremely heavy drop. Think about how full you are after a Thanksgiving meal and convert that to heavy bass, and it maybe, just maybe comes close. As an eerie synth comes in toward the end of the first drop, it ties in the ominous melody beautifully and connects the song front to back. Here, the second drop is nearly copy paste, but it’s like he’s taking the darker parts of the first and the eerie synth from the pre-bridge and brings everything together to wild effect. Without a doubt, as revered as Buku is by those who know him, more should get to that point. Since he released “Front To Back” on Spinnin’, of all places, in 2016, his career has been on an upward trajectory. And even though there have been few shows to showcase his talent this year, as cliche as it is, we don’t see him slowing down anytime soon.
Check out What You See below, out now on Wakaan.