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Underwaterfall: The Immersive Electronica of Bearcubs

SEEN has recently become addicted to the hypnotic, layered music of Bearcubs (the alter-ego of 25-year-old London producer DJ Jack Ritchie).
To coincide with the release of his new ‘Underwaterfall’ EP], Bearcubs will bring his immersive electronica to London Birthdays on 28th March.

Bearcubs - Underwaterfall EP

SEEN has heard the EP and is pleased to tell you that it is both haunting and hypnotic. ‘False Mirrors’ and ‘SLOO1’ defy you not to get up and dance, whilst ‘Burning Up’ and ‘Underwaterfall’ create a more intimate vibe. These two tracks particularly reminded me of the work of Laurie Anderson and Anna Meredith in the way the sounds built up.

Bearcubs has been rightly praised by the likes of Huw Stephens, Annie Mac, Monki and more. With a diverse sonic palette that boasts introspective soulful electronica to intelligent club-ready cuts, Bearcubs comes recommended for fans of James Blake, Jamie XX and SBTRKT.

Bearcubs has been putting out material for the past 2 years, and has honed in on a distinctly unique blend of emotive electronic, future garage and lo-fi house music, which has seen him heavily championed across the radio airwaves, with last year’s EP release ‘Chroma’ added to the BBC Radio 1 Introducing Playlist and getting spun by the likes of Annie Mac, Zane Lowe, Danny Howard and Monki. Further support has come from FADER, i-D, Noisey, Mixmag, Majestic Casual, The Line of Best Fit and more. The ‘Underwaterfall’ four-track collection showcases the diversity of Bearcubs’ sound, from melancholic, introspective gems to intelligent, club-ready cuts. 

Pre-order ‘Underwaterfalls’ on 10th March.

SEEN: Congratulations on the EP. SEEN found it to be hypnotic in its effects! Could you tell us about your process?

BEARCUBS: Well the EP started with the title track Underwaterfall, I imagined the song visually first, almost thinking what it would look like visually. Having that image helped me choose the sounds/atmosphere and kind of words I thought the song and eventually the EP as a whole should have.

S: SEEN was reminded of Laurie Anderson and Anna Meredith, particularly on Underwaterfall and Burning Up. Do you count them as influences?

B: Yeah, especially Laurie Anderson, I take the comparison as a big compliment as she is such a forward thinking/influential electronic artist.

S: You seem to use your voice as another sonic effect. Do you see yourself as a singer?

B: I’ve definitely come from more of an instrumental background, but i always wanted to include my own voice in my music. The voice is the most relatable instrument in my opinion, I can feel mine developing more and more as I go on.

S: You’re a DJ, producer and musician. Will the lines always be blurred or are you concentrating on one aspect of your creativity?

B: I think this blurring is becoming more common with electronic artists. For myself I feel like all these different things feed into each other, I like to think of my producing as just a tool for expressing the ideas I want to express. But my focus will always be on writing my own music and performing live as I get the most fulfilment out of those things.

S: You’re based in London. Which part of the city is your favourite and why?

B: Well I’ve mostly lived in East London so it has as a special place in my heart. A lot of memories attached to different places here, and it’s been a good place for music, artists and creative people for a while now. Also good for kebabs.