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Alex Rita and Errol from Touching Bass spin soulful sounds, spiritual jazz and warm house grooves in Whitechapel Gallery’s foyer for the later part of the evening, centering around the real-life human and spiritual ability of music to bring people together — music to make you think and feel.
Touching Bass is a South London-based musical movement and curatorial platform, monthly dance, concert series, record label and NTS residency celebrating London native’s passion for promoting the eclecticism of soulful music and the culture behind it. Led by Errol and Alex Rita but sustained by a wider community of friends, Touching Bass has connected with various cultural and community institutions, from the British Council and Venice Biennale, to Tate Britain and Modern.
Touching Bass is the South London-based musical movement/curatorial platform, monthly dance, concert series, record label and biweekly NTS Radio residency lead by Errol and Alex Rita but sustained by a wider community of friends. Our ethos centres around the real-life human and spiritual ability of music to bring people together — music to make you think and feel. At the root lies the TB Dance — a club night communicated via text and heavily influenced by the openness of musical institutions like Plastic People — which has become a playground for sonic exploration and hosted talented local selectors and globally-respected heavyweights in equal measure since late 2014.
From this foundation grew two of our ongoing series: Speaking In Sound — our intimate, non-alcoholic discussion-based series previously held at Brilliant Corners — and the TB Live concert series, housed at one of our favourite spaces, Unit 31. In 2019, Touching Bass became a record label, releasing the highly-respected debut album from self-taught, multi-instrumentalist producer and Hiatus Kaiyote drummer, Clever Austin. Over the years, connecting with cultural/community-driven institutions — including the British Council/Venice Biennale, 198 Gallery, Tate Britain/Modern and young people network, Create Jobs — has remained a priority. Most recently, we have delved deeper into the role of curator, hosting stages at the inaugural We Out Here and Turning Tides festivals.
“Alongside his personal pursuits, Errol and an array of close friends have slow-cooked Touching Bass — the community-come-club night, concert series/curatorial platform, record label and staple NTS Radio show — to become a contemporary musical movement”
Already dubbed as one of the UK’s key forces ‘pushing the culture forward’ by Complex, Errol is steadily carving out a unique, multifaceted space for himself as a DJ/broadcaster, curator/host, writer and founder of Touching Bass.
Underpinning it all is the London native’s passion for promoting the eclecticism of soulful music and the culture behind it which, among other things, has led to a varied local and increasingly international DJ schedule.
From supporting esteemed genre-hoppers like Theo Parrish, Josey Rebelle and Gilles Peterson and multiple tours across Australia/Japan to blessing dancehall legend King Tubby’s soundsystem in Jamaica, numerous festival appearances and warming up for Erykah Badu, Tony Allen and Yussef Dayes to name a few.
Alongside his personal pursuits, Errol and an array of close friends have slow-cooked Touching Bass — the community-come-club night, concert series/curatorial platform, record label and staple NTS Radio show — to become a contemporary musical movement; recognised as a “burgeoning South London institution“ by Mixmag, hosting events across three continents (stretching to festival stage curation and hosted discussions) and quietly gaining respect both at home and beyond.
Beyond the decks, Errol continues to contribute to the fabric of underground music through journalism (The Guardian, The Fader, Resident Advisor, The Independent) and eclectic curation. Between 2015-2018, he hosted and programmed pivotal moments for Boiler Room including much of the recent UK jazz explosion (Yussef Kamaal’s debut show, Nubya Garcia, Ezra Collective), Mala’s unforgettable Deep Medi session, collaborating with Saul Williams in London, New York and Miami (including an appearance from Mos Def) plus crucial appearances from Anderson Paak, Khruangbin and Alice Coltrane’s Ashram to name a few.
Most recently, he has expanded to film music supervision, co-curating the soundtrack for Black To Techno; the experimental documentary by multi-award winning director, Jenn Nkiru, which premiered at Frieze Los Angeles and was nominated for ‘Best Short’ at the IDA Awards.
Alex Rita (Touching Bass) — the Copenhagen-born, London-based selector, illustrator, singer and designer — is a talented seamstress in more ways than one. Her passion for stitching together patchworks of percussive grooves and organic sounds stemmed from her regular. Listeners can be blessed with everything from spiritual jazz and soul to broken beat and warm house grooves in one sitting.
Since 2019, Touching Bass has also steadily established itself as a cult record label representing leftfield and electronic soulful music and releasing critically acclaimed projects from the likes of Demae, cktrl and Hiatus Kaiyote’s Clever Austin.