The UKF bass theme continues…
Last week we provided the essential guides on how certain basslines have been made and how to describe them. We also found out 10 of our favourite DJs’ basslines. This week we’ve put in extra hours at the low-end library and unearthed 10 facts about bass and basslines that you might not know.
Sit back, relax, and prepare to be bombarded by bass knowledge:
A disaster movie paved the way for subwoofers
Earthquake, the 1974 movie based on, err, an earthquake, was one of the first ever films to use Sensurround, a technique which created the feeling of actually being in the middle of an earthquake. Large subwoofers were required in order to achieve this desired realism, and they sure worked; one cinema’s roof cracked under the bassy pressure; enough evidence to show that subwoofers could have the desired effect, and enough evidence to put people off going back to that particular cinema.
Dillinja & Lemon D didn’t sleep for a week when creating the Valve Sound System
Easily one of the most revered D&B soundsystems: the mighty Valve! Created by Dillinja and Lemon D after years of meticulous planning and research, the two legendary producers didn’t sleep for a whole week during its initial creation; they made the components completely from scratch! The end result? Battered hands, serious sleep deprivation, oh, and three 7.5 tonne lorries filled to the brim with deadly sound system. Check the whole story:
Danny Byrd created the bassline to Ill Behaviour on Christmas Day
Standard Christmas Day procedure: wake up hungover, have an industrial-sized lunch, watch a shit film, fall asleep. Things go a little differently for drum & bass producers though, as Danny Byrd once revealed in an old K-Mag interview. Not content with watching Home Alone for the 65th time, the Hospital mainstay decided to create the bassline for Ill Behaviour instead! If you listen really carefully, you can hear a snippet of the Queen’s speech in there…
You can make a decent bassline from pretty much anything
A synthesiser might be the weapon of choice for most producers when it comes to producing a chunky bassline, but they’re not always completely necessary as Wilkinson demonstrates in this video. A high-end synthesiser will probably set you back a fair whack whereas you can pick up a pretty nifty blender for around £20… do the maths.
The bassline in Super Sharp Shooter allowed Zinc to quit his day job
We all love Zinc. One of bass music’s most influential artists, he’s a big reason why many of today’s most loved producers are doing what they do. But, we learnt in an ancient RA interview, if it wasn’t for the seminal bassline in Super Sharp Shooter he might still be stuck in a nine-five job. Halleluiah!
The bassline on Flux Pavilion’s I Can’t Stop was inspired by a phonecall
They say the best basslines come from places you’re not expecting to find them (probably) and dubstep don Flux Pavilion discovered this for himself when the bassline for I Can’t Stop came to him thanks to a phone conversation with his mate… who was in the adjacent room. Want to read the full story? It was revealed to us directly a few months back. See here.
Noisia inspired Skrillex’s bassline on Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites
Easily one of Skrilly’s most pivotal tunes, it turns out Scary Monsters & Nice Spirits, was actually inspired by Noisia. As Sonny reveals in this interview stating he’d hear their music and say “fuck! How the fuck did they do that?” We still do that with every new Noisia track we hear! Here’s the Dirtyphonics remix. Just because…
Some of the basslines S.P.Y creates are entirely random
In the eyes of many producers, the most alluring aspect of a synthesiser is that the sounds it can create are completely unpredictable, meaning all kinds of crazy sounds can be produced with enough time. S.P.Y is a producer who especially loves this unpredictability – especially when he’s jamming on his Korg Z1, as he revealed in this interview with us.
The bassline in Rapper’s Delight nearly caused a fight between Nile Rodgers and The Sugarhill Gang
Funky, uplifting, infectious and iconic, The Sugarhill Gang caused bassline history when they sampled Chic’s Good Times. Legend has it Chic frontman Nile Rodgers wasn’t very happy about this to begin with… He was busy partying when the DJ played a familiar sounding track, on asking the DJ for the name of the track and was told it was in fact Rapper’s Delight. A court case nearly ensued, but Rodgers grew to love the new era-defining moment in sample culture and has since gone on to state it as one of his all time favourite records. Here they all are performing it together…
One of Roni Size’s all-time favourite basslines is Seven Nation Army
Roni Size is an undisputed drum & bass legend. His huge Brown Paper Bag tune set the benchmark for many producers in his wake, mainly thanks to its incredibly catchy bassline. In an interview with Nottingham magazine Leftlion, Size picks Under Me Sleng Teng by Wayne Smith and Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes as his favourite basslines of all time. Great choices from a great producer.