Glibs: “Basshead” – somehow finds a warm hip-hop heart at the center of an electronic production

Matthew Bagnall aka Glibs is from Sheboygan, WI. He is a 16 year-old producer who has been playing the piano since he was 11. Recently he also began using his vocals, which can be heard on one of his latest tracks, “Basshead”. The track is laidback, luminous, and gorgeous from start to finish. It has an intricate and beautiful arrangement, with the delicate (but surprisingly interesting) vocals rapping verses around the icy synths and percussion. The lyrics can be opaque, and a little explicit but even when the meaning isn’t apparent they’re well-crafted.

The single cover
The single cover

The way Glibs’ style is maturing seems like it’s going in a great direction that said, this seems like it’s a fermentation track – the final outcome of his current explorations is still on its way on the following releases. Overall Glibs’ is trying new sounds, emptying the soundscape of some of the thicker pads to have room for other elements, the synths sounds like they’re pulling back and chambering the punches a bit more to explore more angles and options, and I also noticed some things happening in a melodic sense that I thought was clever in the chorus sections.

The track has a real emotional punch in spots where Glibs has a lot more cockiness in his lyrical stride that really riveted me in. Very airy, soothing, it’s extremely refreshing and new-feeling music. All-round the music and lyrics are both inventive and great to listen to. I always enjoy hearing new takes on electronic music production, no matter how tiny the innovation is.

The track never strays from simply synths and drum machines, but Glibs manages to create lots of great, listenable sounds and rhythms. Glibs somehow finds a warm hip-hop heart at the center of his electronic production – it is incredible to imagine that these two opposite ends can have been sought from the same instrumental building blocks. You can’t help but bob your head to “Basshead” as you turn the volume knob far to the right.


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