Cameron Ingraham, better known as Mickman to the underground bass community, is one of the few producers that truly embodies a passionate, all-consuming independent approach to music that is hard to come by these days. What used to be this mysterious, elusive artist has now blossomed into this positive force that is truly making an impact on not only his fans but his peers as well. This past Friday, Mickman released his first, full-length album in five years: Reclaimed, a touching tribute dedicated to his late mother and family.

In the last year, Mickman has performed at some of the most unique settings in the country alongside artists like Tipper, Jade Cicada, Detox Unit, Resonant Language, and several other otherworldly, boundary-pushing talents. Some of these settings include Red Rocks, Kings Theatre in Brooklyn, Tipper N Friends at Suwannee, the Brooklyn Mirage, and even a UFO most recently at Sound Haven. Normally paired up with some of the top VJs in the game, Mickman’s performances take people on a journey through the inner and outer regions of space and time, always leaving a lasting impression on those who are lucky enough to witness him flex his craft.

Reclaimed has us feeling like a kid on Christmas morning. This ten-track album is filled with highly-anticipated gems that fans have been wishing to see the light of day for quite some time. It is a true demonstration of just how diverse Mickman’s sound can go, ranging from blissful downtempo to more high-energy uptempo stuff, to everything else in between. To see the response it has received thus far shows what an impact these songs made when they were dropped as IDs at those aforementioned special events and settings.

The album starts with “The Trail That Never Ends”, a welcoming downtempo escapade that gently lifts us to begin our journey. The way each sound hits us creates this soft, trustworthy feeling inside that assures we are well on our way to something magical. The second-longest track on the album, it helps ease us in with a main guitar melody, moving bass lines and clean drums.

This leads us into “Fitting In”, which starts out with a somber, atmospheric intro before blasting off into this almost Lo-Fi, downtempo masterpiece. The way Mickman designed these elegant synths, it’s almost as if they are speaking to us as we move through the cosmic textures. The second half of the track brings the blissful guitars back along with soft, future bass-sounding synths.

The third track, “Lushed Away”, continues our deep dive into beautiful vibrations, releasing all tension and stress with a more uptempo, angelic bop. This reminds me of floating through an underwater oasis, where we are greeted by all of the creatures that exist in that space. These creatures take the form of Mickman’s well-crafted textures and fills, which add a brilliant flow to this song.

The fourth track, “The Discovery”, is a beautiful transition into yet another downtempo heartwarmer. The first four tracks stay in the same key, allowing for a true story to be told with seamless transitions between different styles.

These multiple stages of emotions that are felt throughout these songs highlight how the process of healing is never linear, but rather a continuous, ever-changing journey filled with beautiful moments of self-exploration, reflection, and discovery.

This sets us up perfectly for “Triumphed”, a bridge that allows us to take the next step in this journey by offering an optimistic, hopeful tone. The faster tempo, vibrant chords, and suspenseful elements create a feeling that we are headed towards something big on the horizon. As a matter of fact, many attendees of Tipper N Friends remember Mickman closing with this track this past Spring and feeling overcome with gratitude. It truly is one of those songs that can bring the best out of you.

Halfway through and things start to get VERY interesting. Here’s The Kicker” indeed kicks us into the next gear with a drum n bass heater, throwing everything we thought we knew about Mickman out the window. This reminds me of a noir-style, crime thriller with all of the elements that are thrown into it, accompanied by these acid-sounding builds, gliding bass lines, and crisp, punchy drums. This then brings us to “Lobe”, one of the grooviest tracks of the album. “Lobe” cranks up the energy in a big way, using a genius glitch-hoppy call and response accompanied by yet another fantastic drum pattern.

“Tension”, a fan favorite from recent live sets, takes things even further by speeding up into an even crazier, multi-layered groove sauce. The bass lines and ascending plucks will have you shaking your ass in ways you did not think were even possible. But then the second drop happens and suddenly we have made the jump to hyperspace, racing through the multi-dimensional depths of Mickman’s well-polished sound design, until we come to a hovering standstill.

The outro of “Tension” leads us into my personal favorite, “Fibble”. This is everything we love about bass music packed into one song. Piercing wobbles and bass lines that keep our attention with rapidly-moving, ascending, and descending sixteenth notes are then met with another display of Mickman’s deep arsenal of sounds, fitting whatever open spaces they can find, yet still meshing together so well.

We have now arrived at the final track, “Controlled”, a bass-heavy, head-bopper that grabs the attention of listeners as they come to the realization that where we ended this journey is so far from where we had started. Mickman lets it all out with this one, smacking us in the face with yet another dazzling call and response flow as we are tossed around a few more times. The end of the album almost gives off a “to be continued” tone. Having touched on so many different regions in sound, time, and space, we are left wondering where this brilliant production mind will take us next. Until then, we have a chance to catch our breath and admire what we have just experienced.

Reclaimed will certainly make a strong case for album of the year when we look back on 2022.

This album is a poignantly rare display of expression that allows every listener to genuinely feel something. The themes and emotions explored here, ranging from grief, sadness, the unknown, healing, hope, all truly capture the many stages of loss that we all will experience at one point in our lives. The story that is told throughout this album allows us to appreciate the moments we’ve shared with the people who mean most to us and is another solid reminder to always reach out to those loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you.

What did you think of Reclaimed by Mickman? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media!

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