Having appeared seemingly out of nowhere in late 2015 with his thundering strain of 90s flavoured club production, Belgian based club-mentalist Bulma has been taking the darkened underworld of the club music spectrum by storm.
Bulma’s sound is a maddening, clattering fusion of disparate influence, which has taken him to releases on WDIS and most recently, US avant-bass label Symbols for his Crime Scene EP. On paper, his formidable synergy of sound, encompassing bass, trap, thundering along at 10,000mph and channeled through a videogame inspired vaporwave aesthetic might seem a little generic, but on record, it’s anything but.
In the wake of the release of Crime Scene, we chatted to Bulma about genre hybridization, Dark Souls and his upcoming projects in 2017.
What’s the reception to the crime scene EP been like?
Really good, lots of feedback from people listening to my music and from some of my favorite producers.
Where’d you get the name Bulma from?
I took it from Dragonball, as Bulma is a cute character, I wanted the name to be the opposite of my music.
When and how did you start producing?
I was playing in a band and my drummer introduced me to Fruity Loops, I never played the guitar again. When I discovered I could do all the instruments and rhythms by myself, it changed everything. Then 4 years ago I downloaded Ableton and started to produce seriously.
You have a unique sound that to us, sounds like WWWINGS doing videogame OSTs on steroids, how would you define your sound?
I see it as if the characters from Dark Souls were producing club music. It’s violent music but in a club way, using horror/nightmarish samples. I define it as suicide club.
What influences, musical or otherwise, drive your productions?
My influences are mainly in metalcore, deathcore, dark drum n bass (like Therapy Session), club music in general, and US rap/trap. Then I mix the whole things together.
For the moment most of my music is dark and industrial, it’s what inspires right now.
How did you link up with the Schism guys?
I met them when I played in Leipzig, in a WDIS party. We had a good contact, and I thought of them to remix one of the tracks of my first ep. They are my top producers right now.
Belgium isn’t somewhere you’d instantly think of when you think of forward thinking club music – What’s the forward thinking club music scene like in Belgium? Has the internet helped you out in terms of collaboration?
Actually, there are quite a lot of great producers and party crews implied in the Belgian scene, like Heartbroken, Midlife, and Slagwerk.
When I started to live in Belgium I was following Evaa, Buga and Beejah Bob on Soundcloud, then I realized we were all living in Brussels so we linked up and started to hang out.
How does working and collaborating via the internet work for you? Is it something you’ve always done?
I prefer to meet people in real life so I can learn things directly from watching them using the daw and plugins and see their workflow. I like to collab because there will be more ideas, more influences and details on the track, but it’s also a difficult job because you have to do concessions on behalf to make everybody happy.
You recently remixed some deathcore, what are your thoughts on the prevalence of metal influence in hip hop/electronic music today?
Nothing like this has been done before, so it is really exciting. Since I’ve been into electronic music, it’s what I wanted to do. The only problem is that Metal influenced electronic music doesn’t have yet so much space in the club. On the one hand I think it is mainly because screaming voices are really difficult to get into if your ears are not used to it, but on the other hand, there are also a lot of people in this scene that were really into heavy music when they were teenagers. I think this style will be more popular in the future, screams in rap are also on the rise, it will help.
What have you got coming across the second half of 2017?
I’m working on a lot of things right now. I have some collabs with Evaa and Buga that will be released on Genome, some tracks I’m working on with Merca Bae, and Kurama, a track on the Beatgathers compilation, and some remixes on the way.
Bulma’s Suicide Club release is out now on Symbols, get it here.
Words: Richard Lowe