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No Disgrace In The Bass by T.E.S.T. & Excel

Posted by Cameron Vanderzanden on in articles. Updated . Tags: , , , , , , , .

No Disgrace In The Bass by T.E.S.T. & Excel. Written and produced by Tim McDaniel (T.E.S.T.) & Jason Reep (Excel), engineered by Larry McCormick (Exzakt), design by AS1. Released on Exceleration Records in 2006. Vinyl, 12", 33 RPM. Flac, 16bit/44.1khz, ~140M. Tracklist and credits from the label artwork. Track durations, file size, bit depth, and bitrate are of my stored recordings of the vinyl.

No.Artist / Title BPMDur.
A1.T.E.S.T. & Excel / No Disgrace In The Bass 13506:13
A2.T.E.S.T. & Excel / Database Code Encryption 13506:27
B1.T.E.S.T. & Excel / Don't Try This At Home 13506:01
B2.T.E.S.T. & Excel / It Seems To Me 13506:56

Smooth, clean, bass-heavy Florida electro, all with a pretty similar sound set and production. This 12" was released alongside records by Supreme.ja and Exzakt, and the style is comparable if you're familiar with those artists.

I know I say this all the time but this is one of my favorite records. The whole thing feels open, spacious. The instruments are well-defined and there's a good contrast between long and short sounds (something common to a lot of records I love). The drums are loud and snap just right. And - very important - all four tracks know when to be quiet, when to rest. "Minimal" is the wrong word for this, maybe "elemental" or "fundamental", "boiled-down" or "reduced". (Edit 2021/12/15: I think the work I was looking for is restrained).

The first track No Disgrace In The Bass is bouncy and rides a steady groove for its duration. Database Code Encryption has a kind of rising or uplifting feel. Don't Try This At Home is the heaviest, the thickest on the record. The final track, It Seems To Me, is the smoothest of the four, the most lush.

I believe this was only released once, the original 12" XCL005 on Exceleration Records. None of the tracks have been uploaded to youtube or made available on any streaming service that I can find. I've played this for mixes recently, however, and so part of track B1 can be heard on MTT233 and part of track A2 can be heard on MTT245.

I've always really enjoyed playing this one in sets, it's easy to mix and sounds great. If you see a copy of it out in the wild at your local record shop I say pick it up. (And yeah I know there's a reflection in two of those photos above, sorry about that).

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