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Subset BC - Album Review: Subset BC

16 Dec 2023 // A review by roger.bowie

Here’s an interesting little thing from Gisborne. A funky little band with three bass players. Why?

That’s why and because. Because they get Lost On The Corner in a groove-soaked funk with delicate keyboard surround. Because they asked themselves a question, back in 2016, what does a band with three bass players sound like? 

They are called Subset BC, which adds to the enigma.

Guess what, track 2 starts with a bass riff, and veers away into a psych dream but still funk. KOB. What does that mean? I should have asked.

Subset BC comprises of Lincoln Wright, Matt Tong, Ryan Raggett, Paulus McKinnon and Charles Barrie, and three of them play bass. They used to be a bass club and things went on from there. To drums and keys. More than just drum ‘n bass.

This is music for the dance floor, a place I rarely visit, but even at home there’s a hypnotic feel and a Hazy Beis which might be code for something synthetic. 

Plains has a simple rhythmic underpin and dreamy chord sequences. Yes, I can imagine the Dome Bar humming down in Gizzy on launch night a couple of weeks ago. Heaving masses of colourful people sucking on Jubes, which is also a song with words and has a reprise. Kind of Dunedin sound, Gizzy without Chills (it’s cold down there in Dunedin).

A pause, and a drone of expectation as if they are Luring The Badger of which there are none down there in Gizzy. This is their debut album, and it was mastered by Bob Macc of Subvert Central Mastering in Suffolk, England, which suggests a conspiracy theory about the jealousy of a DJ. But I bet they have badgers in Suffolk. 

I’ll be frank (not Francis), this is not really my scene, yet I find myself tapping foot and nodding head, Entrain-ed in thought and trancing, certainly not dancing, but if it were it would be prancing. I do like 5innahalf , it’s fractional innit? 

And then it’s Time For A Peachange.

Probably best served live, but then again if you’re shy about your moves just put the headphones on and tune out. 

Keep an eye out for when Subset BC get permission to leave home and hit Auckland.

Or just buy the vinyl.

Oh, did I mention that the artwork which goes with this band is awesome? No?

The artwork which goes with this band is awesome!!! 


About Subset BC

Psychedelic-groove quintet Subset BC (Turanganui-a-Kiwa Gisborne) formed in 2016 from a bass players practice group - known as the Bass Club - hosted at the studio of drummer Lincoln Wright.

After much creative exploration, bassists Charles Barrie, Paulus Mckinnon and Ryan Raggett, together with Lincoln Wright and keyboard/synth player Matt Tong realised that the tones and grooves they could create with three basses, a plethora of effects, drums and keys was a truly unique sound - the sound of Subset BC.

Collectively brewed and birthed over the last 7 years, the songs and soundscapes of Subset BC cover terrain from soulful grooves and psychedelia to moody drum and bass and stoner rock.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Subset BC


Subset BC
Year: 2023
Type: Album

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