Melodic Bass producer MIZE delivers his debut EP, Thought Process, an original full-length release via WAKAAN. The project reflects his complex sound design and capacity for dynamic creation, showcasing a range from Downtempo to Glitch to modern, wonky Bass.
Dothan, Alabama-raised Ian Evans began producing on FL Studio back in 2012. After switching over to a Mac and Ableton in 2017, he began performing under his current moniker, MIZE. Evans quickly earned a reputation in the dubstep community as a talented producer and expert mixer, displaying a penchant for rinsing a wide range of bass music and a plethora of 2000s hip-hop/trap. His profile has grown significantly via popular bookings (WAKAAN Music Festival, Bonnaroo) and his increasingly viral Twitter page, which has inflated to 12k+ followers. The EP follows the single release of “Thought Process,” his first effort with WAKAAN and first solo release of 2020.
“Thought Process” finds MIZE further along in his production journey, this time dipping fans even further into his professed love for downtempo adventures. The track begins with spaced out synths and bird songs dancing off in a veiled sonic distance. 25 seconds in, a swelling bassline creeps in as pungent synths begin to ring out more tangibly. These begin to sputter faster until the first build, when the synths begin to take off in a similar way to a trance track, an early genre influence on Evans. At :50 we find the first drop, a coalescing crash of synths, basslines and hefty production.
“Shake Off” begins with the same ethos of synths, before plunging into a soft escalating 808. With echoed vocals as a forewarning, the track snaps into a warping progression for its drop. Here we see the blend of moder sonics with Evans evolving style. “Mind Filth,” a collaboration with Space Wizard, dips further into the modern bass genre with a flabbergasted bass drop, a grimey sound that’s further flourished on “Laser Focus.” While both tracks give fans the “wonky” sound they’ve come to expect from WAKAAN releases, each are backed with the wondrous and aerial production style of Mize. Thought Process wraps up with “Pipeline,” a futuristic, dark track that flaunts flavors of DnB and heavy dub.
“Thought Process is somewhat of a response or follow up to my very first EP ‘Imagery.’ This body of work builds on some of the mysterious and dark soundscapes I had bouncing around in my head before, during, and after the Imagery era in tracks such as Pipeline & Laser Focus. Following Imagery, I began to really blossom as an artist and lay the groundwork to pursue a legitimate career and that really helped break me free of the mental health shackles that held me down for years. I finally started living life with a purpose and looking forward to waking up daily and tracks like Thought Process and Shake Off really reflect that change in mindset.”
Thought Process takes bass music fans back to Wakaan’s early days; deep, melodic dubstep that shakes the listener physically and spiritually. During a year like 2020, art that moves audiences is held at a high premium and this project charts its way into that territory.