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

[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…

28 thoughts on “BASSLINE FLAVA”

  1. Here’s a Crookers tune on the DL:

    Called “Soca Ali Baba”:

    I think it’s (nicely) odd, to say the least, that this is on a Baile oriented label, out of Germany, by a couple Italian kids…and it’s basically on some electro ish, with the occasional Portuguese vocal stab. I likes.


  2. wordthecats mix : that’s funny, at APT last month I played both that T2 track (Salsa :”I’m so restless without you”) and dexplicit’s wicked mavado version. the T2 track was the one I was looking forward the whole night to dropping. it still kills me, its one of those tracks I play like 3 times a day for a week.

  3. man, bassline/niche is owning me right now. and exactly for the “post dubstep” reasons mentioned above. i look forward to the happy medium after the backlash to the backlash ends.

  4. After checking a lot of the mixes out there (for sale on Juno) (or through P2P), I say most of the stuff people are calling “bassline” on the E side of the drink amounts to little more than a speed(ier) garage sound. I think we have to be careful not to get it twisted with some of the ghetto-tech mentioned in previous posts… or the minimal techno stuff people are so fond of these days. I suppose it all has a 4/4 at the end of the day. Ain’t mixed a song in 6/8 for a while, nahmean? SOWHATISIT?

  5. Thank you so much for posting this stuff, those 6/8 polyrhythms are doing it for me right now. This music has something that I like from all of my favorite genres. Haven’t been convinced by crookers, yet though.

  6. Wanna make a comment here about your earlier entry titled “4×4 = Hood Polyrhythm” so that you don’t miss it.

    That quote by Matt Shadetek is very interesting. I could see why you quoted it in your blog. I plan on posting it on my blog,too, of course with a link to your blog. Thanks.

    Anyway, I’m gonna come through from time to time to see what direction you go with “Bassline Flava.” Also, check The SoulFunkLifestyles blog when you get a chance. Got feedback afterwards? We would most def like to hear it.

    SoulFunkLifestyles Universally Converging !!!
    Visit us anytime at

    Myspace quarters:

  7. Reading the description, it reminded me the scene around Switch-Sinden-Hervé in the UK (some call it Fidgy House).
    And by listening to the mixes it’s really clear for me that’s really close to it. For sure, the result is not exactly the same, but it’s close 🙂

  8. >>I say most of the stuff people are calling “bassline” on the E side of the drink amounts to little more than a speed(ier) garage sound.

  9. %#$! bug…
    anyway, here’s the end of my comment:
    agree! reminds me a lot of some 4/4 tracks from Si Begg, or what DJ Narrows has been doing since some years now… the Dexorcist from Dead Silence Syndicate’s Dexorcist latest releases are in that mood too, like his EP on VSTee’s FDB recordings, definitely party-moving…

  10. i absolutely agree about mixing it up.
    i guess it just felt fun to be so absolute about things, especially as niche 4×4 comes so fresh compared to a lot of recent dubstep output. When I dj solo at the moment I’m ALLLL about mixing up grime, dubstep, niche and bass-heavy housey stuff from non-garage background (exactly like Crookers)

  11. timeblind, where and when did you pick up that mavado bit, cant find it anywhere but would love a copy of that…

  12. dexplicit mavado: its funny, I couldn’t buy it digitally so I pinched the preview mp3 and it actually sounded crisp enough. now I have a proper (ahem) vinyl rip via (ahem) somewhere or another. and it sounds worse than the preview.

    I’m hoping that ends up being cool. i prefer to buy, and I prefer to shop with a big catalog.

  13. do you know of any good blogs or resources for bassline house other than the ones listed?

    i really want to get into some of this

  14. It’s garage. Everyone stop lying to yourselves – it’s just garage. It seems that the renaissance of garage requires a new label to overcome the image problem it acquired. After a move away from dubstep’s 2step elements over the past couple of years, it’s nice to see it coming back in that scene, as well as the emergence of (what I consider) fairly purist garage tunes like “Heartbroken” too….

  15. Don’t know where you been listening, but dubstep’s been producing some more 4×4 tunes for time. dubstep about a whole lot more than half step, bassline seems anti the mood of ds rather than just the rhythm.

  16. I really think you guys should check out just register and you can download this kinda music plus more. Maybe you’ll get a different understanding of it???

  17. yo you lot are funny..

    tell you what holla at my myspace.. and look thruu my friends you will find the true meaning of bassline ..

  18. im 14 n live in leeds in the uk wer bassline started i been hearin it since i was 10 lol but ye most djs are from the area T2 frm leeds ts7 & dj q liv down the road so theres bare bassline raves on every nyt the reason its better than grime is cos it makes u happy u crave it so it makes the nyts ud without any beef and seems less ppl takin drugs uno jus stickin to the alcohol which is gud but im glad u seem to be liking it over in the us (asuming ur 4rm us as u know bout dexplicit?)
    also u shud get dj ej’s cds u can download them free over the net there great

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