For Steve Goodman (aka Kode9), the idea of Bass connects with childhood memories triggered by the sound and the accompanying scent he remembers of a broken, burning vacuum cleaner. Geza Schoen translated this to a scent which opens with woodsmoke and rum notes, developing into leather, mastic, and tea notes, and finishing with castoreum and moss, among other scents.
Steve Goodman on Bass
- I don’t really take synesthesia to be just a clinical, exceptional or pathological condition of perception, but rather as the norm, that perhaps lies just beneath consciousness usually with most people. In this way, the senses should instead be understood as primarily overlapping, and only secondarily distinct from each other. It is therefore not a surprise that there are certain qualities such as rhythm and affective tone that are transensory.
- My piece ‘Vacuum Burn’ is based on the earliest sound/smell overlap that I can remember as a child. We had a dysfunctional vacuum cleaner that gave off a scent of burning dust, so whenever I hear the sound of hoover basslines, or those kind of crackling low frequency, fog-horn type bass drones, then I always get this burning smell which is not actually present, but rather is a virtual byproduct of this memory in which the smell and sound have become cross-associated. The sound follows this dust on a journey through the intenstines of the machine, and its colouring of the olfactory atmosphere. This would not be considered synesthesia in a proper, clinical sense as it is merely based on a childhood association, but the sound produces such a vivid smell to me, that it made me notice the whole spectrum of micro-perceptions in which notes, tones, rhythms, colours, aromas, tastes and tactile impressions map onto to each other constantly. I think its misleading to think we only have 5 senses which are com- pletely separate. There is constant interrelation - one sense contracts as another dilates, or they resonate with each other, interfering which each others domain, intensifying the sensation across the sensorium generally.
Listen to Bass here