i first bumped into bassline via Dexplicit, a producer i knew from the grime scene who also creates powerful 4-on-the-floor tunes. If you’ve caught me playing in a club in the past year or so, chances are you heard at least one bassline track by Dexplicit.
i’m no genre cop, but i think of bassline as 4/4 housey stuff wrapped in (obviously) elephantine basslines with grime/dubstep synth programming, ravey fx & vocal cut-ups, some MCing, and, deliciously, those triplet breakdowns that Wiley throws into his riddims. (Check ‘Eskimo 4×4 on DJ Murkz MySpace to hear a grime anthem rebuilt by bassline logic)
Wordthecat’s new post on bassline sketches the genre’s UK geography & offers a bumpin’ Dexplicit-heavy mix. “It’s interesting to see a style that is popular all over the north of england making inroads into the capital,” writes Chris, “(Londoners like to think) the currents usually move in the opposite direction.”
the two mixtape excerpts below come from Bassline Flava vol. 6 by DJ Total (buyable). They contain a lot of what i find thrilling about bassline… The first flips a triplet time-shift (then the mix throws in a Jay-Z vocal on hyperspeed), the second hits that rare elegiac / unrequited love thing (the heart-stricken diva) which gets me every time…
DJ Q – Tea Bag (remix)
[DJ Q, myspace cellphone shot]
DJ Murkz – Dark & Grey (special)
[DJ Murkz, myspace cellphone shot]
the lactose intolerant may denigrate bassline as cheesy, but its dancefloor power is undeniable.
Low End Spasm ups a basslinely mix (which i havent heard yet), noting that, “our 4×4 obsession is a reaction to dubstep’s flatlining rhythm (not to make sweeping generalisations or anything – tunes like Night by Benga & Coki still totally destroy the dance and there’s more). But in many ways 4×4, especially niche bassline house, is the anti-dubstep. Huge banging blines that buzz and wobble like the best of em, but also no reserve on the drums, no holding back, just euphoric breakneck tempo all the way.”
The great part about having a thing & an anti-thing is that, if they have similar tempos (and they do), you can mix them together, bend ‘em into both and neither on the turntables…
But then you go to Italy, not a ‘nice’ city but Milan – expensive and user-unfriendly – and you find Crookers. Sound leaks, no matter how carefully you package it up. Bass travels through any wall. Although what you hear on the other side might not be…