In terms of obscure music, Vaporwave and Future Funk are the genres that may be the almost universally overlooked. Pulling from samples of disco and city pop and then playing with pitch and reverb in order to craft new loops and songs, the music has mostly been created on computers and home recording gear for the decade or so of its relatively young existence.
But with 2022’s release of “Groove Continental: A Sides,” producer Yung Bae is pushing beyond the boundaries that have been set. Putting out music since 2014, Yung Bae has not only evolved his own sound and goals as an artist but is also crossing the country on a national tour and making a point of to bring some of the other names that have helped define the genre with him throughout his shows.
“I honestly was never much of an attendee at shows,” Bae said. “I was just digging at local record stores – between that and YouTube – and meeting several other people from that scene. I was just doing my own thing, digging up all these disco and exotica samples.”
Having spent some of his youth in the sleepy college town of Eugene, Oregon, Bae described his family’s move a couple hours north to Portland as what really began allowing him to see and explore music that intentionally leans much more toward the obscure and musically esoteric than a radio-friendly sound – like the sonic equivalent of a visual artist creating collages from the pulp magazine content that was dated and forgotten about almost immediately after its release.
“At the time, I was more tapped into the alternative stuff like MGMT,” he said. “It wasn’t until I got to Portland, I think it was 2015, that I dove in. Thankfully, Portland is just so left field, everything goes over there. That’s when I realized, ‘I really love this, I really love funk.’ That’s when I really honed in on disco.”
Having released seven albums in that time, along with performing at festivals like SnowGlobe (for this show, Bae, who has lived in Los Angeles for the last several years confessed to arriving for the South Lake Tahoe festival in the frequently sub-freezing late December weekend and having to race to the store in Reno after he realized that he hadn’t taken the weather outside of LA into consideration and had only packed shorts for the trip) and Coachella, Yung Bae’s sound has jumped from sample based funk loops to his newest release – this year’s “Groove Continental: Side A” – where he’s dropped the samples in favor of creating his own sounds and building those into the meat of his songs.
“There used to be some days where I felt like I couldn’t find that last perfect drop. To now where the thought is, ‘we can just make that.’ “
Another notable facet of the new recording is that Bae, who is now on Arista Records, has been able to bring on other performers to feature on his tracks.
“It was fun pulling people who wouldn’t normally tap into my style. It’s fun seeing where their head goes with all this stuff.”
The result are artists who typically put out rap like Pink Sweat$ and AWOLNATION throwing vocals with more of a musical cadence over Bae’s catchy electronic grooves.
Sunday night will bring Yung Bae, along with other electronic producers Flamingosis and Vantage to downtown Reno’s Cargo Concert Hall for what Bae promises will be a party atmosphere for summery beats and upbeat grooves.
On the unabashed Future Funk lineup for show, Bae said, “I like bringing other artists from the genre and really showcasing how sick this genre is, how fun it is.”
Yung Bae: ‘The Continental Groove Tour’
Openers: Flamingosis, Vantage
When: 7 p.m. -1 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 11
Where: The Bluebird, 555 E 4th Street, Reno