Aqua Bassino makes funk-laden house on the F Com label. F Com is French. Therefore Aqua Bassino is French. Or so I thought. Turns out that Aqua Bassino is Jason Robertson, who is as Scottish as his name implies.

Aqua Bassino’s sound is described as “a collaboration between Roy Ayers, Barry White, Jamie Lidell, Air and any number of rubber-hipped house lotharios”. His sound definitely has a whiff of Barry White. If that isn’t enough, the bass lines have strong connections to 1980s jazz funk. All a bit white fluffy socks and fluffy dice in a red Escort XR3i.

Jason played bass for numerous jazz-funk bands before establishing Aqua Bassino. He released his ’96 debut EP, Swirl, on France’s foremost electronic imprint, F Communications. Three more EPs followed (Deeper, Pools, and Waves) before Robertson released his 2001 debut album, Beats ‘n’ Bobs. The album features Scottish saxophonist Martin Kershaw, U.K. jazz singer of the year Niki King, and African diva Nahawa Doumbia, who has worked extensively with Frederic Galliano. “Baby C’Mon” was released as single in early ’02 with remixes by deep house don Ron Trent and Detroit electro pioneer Soul Designer (Fabrice Lig). In his spare time, Robertson produces laid-back house and downtempo for Statra under his Jay Salino alias.

But there is an ache and a loss to Aqua Bassino that lifts it away from the trite. As his F Com profile says:

“Within a few hours I understood where the melancholy running through his own music had originated. The grey skies, the poverty, the heavy industry left to rot during the Thatcher years, the empty shop windows, the faded curtains? And then there was Jason, who in between drinking pints, spoke about his life: about his father who had just disappeared, about his grandmother to whom he had dedicated « Nana’s Waltz», of the tendonitis that had developed in his left hand as a result of days and nights passed at the keyboard. All that, however, was punctuated by smiles, cool vibes and the very personal vocabulary that Jason has created.

Blues was in his music as much as in his daily life. Never far away. A burst water pipe, a collapsed ceiling and his collection of vinyl disappears. No more DJ dates. Then the downward spiral started again: the arrival of an unexpected tax bill, a girlfriend who leaves. The start of a long journey across a wasteland littered with court appearances and shitty jobs taken up to pay off debts: gravedigger, postman. At the same time, the hassle of trying to get back computers and keyboards impounded against the debts. “

Despite this, he delivered an album, “Rue De Paris” in 2006. This was a more positive set of tracks, with titles like “Into the sun” and “Jay’s vibes”. He has produced nothing since, but hardly surprising given his slow pace of working.

Aqua Bassino – We Could Be Friends

Aqua Bassino – Love Is Here To Stay

Aqua Bassino – Wanna Dance

Aqua Bassino’s section on F Com

Aqua Bassino MySpace

Buy product from F Com

~ by acidted on April 29, 2008.

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