30 minutes of Silkie - A Bass Education

30 minutes of Silkie

A Bass Education

Silkie and smooth are two words that have always gone well together. It’s a natural pairing.

For most of his fanbase, Solomon ‘Silkie‘ Rose effortlessly embodies the smooth musical Beauty in dubstep.

30 minutes of Bass education #9

Silkie’s start followed the path of many early dubstep producers, trying his hand at making garage. His 2005 release on Antisocial Entertainment highlights the many parallels between the music Silkie and others – like the Digital Mystikz, Skream and so on – were producing. While the sound evolved with a switch from two step to the kick-snare pattern we’re now used to in 140, the added influence of dub gave (what become) dubstep a more laid-back feel. This ‘breathing space’ eventually resulted in the more melodic music producers like Silkie have become known for. Tracing the progression through the Silkie sound, you can hear the dubstep genre evolve over time – slowly becoming more musical and melodic.

Silkie’s productions have always been fuelled with a healthy amount of melodic elements, alongside both jazzy and funky influences. The musician’s prominent use of instruments (rather than their digital counterparts) like the saxophone or piano contribute an almost ‘live’ feeling to his music – which can often confuse those looking to categorise Silkie’s sound under a single title.

Silkie’s sound (especially in the early days of 2008’s I Sed and Poltigiest) is recognisable for the warm dubby piano hits on the 2nd and 4th, giving the music tracks an almost skanky feel. Another element that adds to the unique Silkie ‘feel’ is the acoustic drum kit, or the acoustic instruments like the (bass) guitar or long melodic lines made with a well-phased Rhodes the producer uses.

The quality in Silkie’s tunes lies in the fact he succeeds in retaining the energy that is expected in a dubstep tune. A perfect example of this is Test, from the 2009 MEDi018 release. Silkie’s innate skill as a producer means his music will never feel slow or laborious – it’ll always motivate you to dance. In his later releases, the producer creates a noticeable effort to make more acidic basslines – his last release on Deep Medi highlights this while still retaining the signature Silkie (smooth) sound.

As you may notice from the track list, Silkie has been signed to Deep Medi since the early days, and half of the producer’s back catalogue appear on Mala’s imprint. His two albums (the two volumes of City Limits appeared in 2008 and 2011 respectively) are filled with examples of his brilliant music, as is his more recent releases. We’ve been crying out for a new long player from the producer for a good few years now, and as he told us earlier this summer, Silkie’s working on an 2015 album.

Thankfully, it appears there’s a lot more Silkie smooth music coming our way. It is a sound that demonstrates dubstep at its most inventive, most musical and most melodic – a worthy addition, therefore, to our Bass Education archive…

Click to DOWNLOAD (72MB)

Track list:

  1. Silkie & Harry Craze – French Knickers [Break The Habit, 2008]
  2. Silkie – Preacher’s Pain [Deep Medi, 2013]
  3. Silkie – Neckback [Deep Medi, 2013]
  4. Silkie – Slow Jam [Deep Medi, 2010]
  5. Silkie – Test [Deep Medi, 2009]
  6. Silkie – Boogs Noogs [Deep Medi, 2013]
  7. Silkie & Skream – Untitled [Deep Medi, 2011]
  8. Silkie – Anymuzik [Deep Medi, 2013]
  9. Silkie – Tribal [Deep Medi, 2013]
  10. Silkie – I Sed [Deep Medi, 2008]
  11. Silkie – Planet X [Deep Medi, 2009]
  12. Silkie – Jazz Dub [Deep Medi, 2013]

Silkie – Discogs

Big love to Dubbacle for putting this together
30 minutes of Bass education #10 will follow in two weeks – find the previous mixes here.