Tarot Chords lay before you to conjure more than what we currently have. They tell of a future unlike our own. A future we're in dire need of. The tale of renaissance and the cold rediscovery of the creative spirit. Witch house, drag, ghost drone, dark wave, dark snyth, witch bass, zombie rave and sometimes even seapunk will find their way into the notes of this feature. These sounds are brought to "life" by composers who not only to test the boundaries of music today, but most importantly the paradigms that envelope it.
In this week's ritual, we bring you an Earmilk Exclusive EP from the San Francisco king of witch bass—M¥rrĦ Ka Ba. Mer means light, Ka means spirit and Ba means body, this act takes the more holy approach to witch house, calling himself the Divine Light Vehicle. He's well know for M¥rrĦ Ka Ba – G666 (ìηdíca☤d℄℄per edit) and also his production with seapunk pop star Zombelle. I'd put his sound in the same category as some of the Purple producers in the Bay area like Minnesota and Marty Party. M¥rrĦ Ka Ba takes a much more unique approach to bass music— paranormal influences.
Art courtesy of Max Spears Design
His new EP, titled Manna, featuring "Ormus", a side-chained pumping track with a mysterious and eerie vocal. The snyth arrangement is everything but repetitive and the progression into M¥rrĦ Ka Ba's Divine Light Vehicle becomes clear and more holy. He asked me on what he should make, I said "Make me something paranormal." He did just that with his track "Manna", Reverbed, ominous and slow grave-like drums and of course that eerie choir in the back makes this the most paranormal I've heard. Last but not least, "Black and Blue" is back again for free download. This was the first track that I was in love with from M¥rrĦ Ka Ba. So bass-y and so witch. Enjoy the free EP and his answers to our questions below! Follow M¥rrĦ Ka Ba on Soundcloud or Twitter.
EARMILK: Explain your name and the symbols that are in it.
M¥rrĦ Ka Ba: Myrrh Ka Ba is a play on "Merkaba," which is a very old concept. In Egypt "Ka" means spirit, "Ba" means body, and "mer" means spiraling light. Basically it is "divine light body" and a vehicle for both soul-travel and ascension. I tied this into the flower of life symbol that you see all over my art and branding. They're intricately connected if you look into sacred geometry. The Merkaba looks like a hexagram in sacred geometry, and in the flower of life one can trace out the hexagram as a complete symbol found within the pattern.
When I started Myrrh Ka Ba I was seeing all kinds of music online where the band names had nothing but symbols, mostly triangles. It seemed like the triangle was so common that I wanted to encourage people to look further into magic and sacred geometry. There is an entire system of knowledge once you get into it. So I obfuscated "merkaba" and made it M¥rrĦ Ka Ba – Myrrh simply because I like Myrrh. I've had it in teas and vaporized it in a 'Volcano' vape. It smells great and has healing properties.
EM: Why haven't you been making tunes until now?
I've been making tunes and putting them online since I was 14 years old. I'm 25 now. The aliases always change. I like creating new aliases as it always opens new doors. When you have a trademark name, expectations arise in your audience. They begin to expect a certain sound, or solidified image. While that's useful for building fame and career momentum, it's not always interesting to me as an artist. So I'm always tearing down my own legacy and starting fresh. I find the most inspiration in total creative freedom. People who follow me and my work closely know of my multiple projects.
I had an experimental electronic project called Ecophagy from age 14-18 that maybe 50 people have heard. One of the few who actually got a CD was music blogger Vijay Prozak, who I handed it to personally when I went to see Averse Sefira in Texas. I was making slimy synth-punk under the name Jellowaste in 2006 and also was part of an art-noise-punk outfit Din Glorious with Daniel of Gucci Goth around the same time. After that from 2007-2008 I had a dubstep project called Blazen and after that •UrthshiFt•. Dubstep hadn't yet become the "brostep" legions full of Skrillex copycats that most of us know today, and once that became the norm I quickly lost interest in pursuing the genre.
EM: Explain the bass part of your music. Seems to be one of the skills you have to set you aside from others.
MKB: I've always been drawn to full-frequency range music. I like music that makes me feel like I'm in an IMAX theatre, fully immersive, like I'm submerged in sound. I learned how to mix sub-bass into music when I was living in my car. I spent months in LA carsurfing, just going to raves and after parties for free because I knew the right people. I'd be coming down off of XTC in the bassy backseat, snuggling up (sometimes with a she-raver) and analyzing the bass in a hypnotic state. I learned how to pick apart the different frequency ranges at that time. From drum and bass, house, dubstep… all those producers know how to isolate frequencies. I was actually seeing how to do it with my eyes closed. Hallucinating the instructions — in detail. Maybe aliens were teaching me? Who knows.
EM: You made Zombelle an album? Tell me more?
MKB: I came across Zombelle on Soundcloud. I was hanging out with Calla D at the time and when she told me she joined Black Bvs records. I scoped out some of their artists and made buddies – netwerkin'. I started frequenting tinychat parties and there was good chemistry there. Shan Beaste is spontaneous and likes to work on the fly… I'm drawn to artists like that. Tropicult is kind of a bastard freak I guess. It doesn't seem like people consider it "seapunk" and it's obviously not "witch house" either. It does have a "splash" sound at the end!
"Beach Blanket" was my way of taking the 1/2 step of Dubstep, and making it even more fractionated – 1/4 step time. Then I put a moombathon lead synth in it and of course okkvlt vocal manipulations. The end of the track "switchup" is actually inspired by black metal. "Bad Creation" is based on a classic reggae riddim "Playground Rhythm" which has been made famous by Sean Paul and Beanie Man. Look up "Who am I" and "Infiltrate".
Tropicult is a Myrrh Ka Ba collaboration with Zombelle. The album initially came out on Tundra Dubs as "Zombelle & Myrrh Ka Ba" to indicate it as a joint effort. Then some rumors were started saying that all the money was being stolen and the album was taken down off the label. I made about $30 off the release as I'm sure did everyone else concerned. It was $3.33 split 3 ways. Receipts prove this. Now the release is being paraded as a "Zombelle" album. I guess some people need the spotlight so bad that being dishonest is OK.