A defiant stench of low end naughtiness has been hovering over UKF HQ this week. More so than usual.
UKF Bass Culture 3 has seen us smashing all manner of domestic objects (melons, monitors, vases, vinyl) in the name of bass, while our in-house studio guru has compiled the ultimate dictionary of low-end terminology.
But what are the DJs saying? What’s their all-time favourite bassline?
We called up a bunch of them to find out…
Favourite Bassline: Dub Child – Deal Wid It
“Storming Productions was my label before Dub Police, and Dub Child was the original dirty bassline creator in my eyes. What he was making was way before its time. This tune was made in 2003. He definitely influenced my sound.”
Favourite Bassline: Ram trilogy – No Reality
“This was the first time I’d heard bass sound like this. It was the beginning of resampling. The bass was distorted but then fed back into the sampler to be filtered and controlled again. The sound was raw and gnarly but somehow tight, controlled and harmonically pleasing all at the same time. Of course everyone’s still using those same techniques today and building on that groundwork. Credit on this method might be due to Optical…. Wormhole came out the same year and it’s an album full of some of the best basslines of all time!”
Favourite Bassline: Noisia – Stigma
“My favourite bassline HAS to go to the dons themselves: Noisia. For me, there are very few who can come close when it comes to bass. They’ve been the kings of middy growls and shouts for so long! All the way back from Deception to the more recent Stamp Out, they’re unrelenting. This track is literally drums and bass. It takes incredible engineering for that to sound as full as the guys from Groningen do. I’ve chosen Stigma as it’s one I’ve been playing out since my very first show; the moments it breaks down into the plucky build up you know you’re in for something truly ridiculous!
The way the drop keeps changing up bassline while still feeling like it has a planned out structure is so perfect for double dropping, mixing and mashing up. It keeps the audience interested, even without doing any of that tricky shit! My personal favourite bass sound from this track is the one that comes in four bars after the drop (at about 1.34); the modulation and melody of it is just so memorable and unique. And don’t even get me started on how the hell they’re getting their flangers and filters to even sound like that! This is a serious weapons grade bass smasher!”
Favourite Bassline: Outfit – New York
“Outfit was Optical, Fierce and Dom & Roland. I remember hearing this first on an Andy C set which was, I believe, recorded in New York. He opened his set with it, and the bassline just floored me – even through my headphones. The sound of producers like Optical, Dom & Roland and Fierce was instrumental in my love affair with D&B. This track is still today one of my favourites, it’s just so raw and the bassline sounds like it shouldn’t work but it does. That’s something I love in my drum & bass – that experimentation but with punch.”
Legion & Logam
Favourite Bassline: Wilkinson – Moonwalker
“The one track that sticks out to us in the past few years is Wilkinson’s Moonwalker. That bassline is undeniably one of the meanest in the game. Any seasoned bass music enthusiast can appreciate the low end on that one. Certified rudeboi business.”
Favourite Bassline: Guti & Anthea – Option One
“There are too many basslines I’d love to hype but this stands out. This takes me back to Ibiza a few years ago… The second I heard it I was like ‘wow, what the hell is this?’ It took me a long time to find out what this record was and who it was by. I was over the moon when I finally tracked it down. So groovy!”
Favourite Bassline: Ed Rush, Optical & Fierce – Alien Girl
“So ahead of its time and still one of the most sampled and imitated basslines in dance music. It was one of the first D&B tunes that I can remember really nailing the false drop – leaving the bassline clean before the beats kicked in for every sample-hungry thief to get their hands on that disgusting womp!”
Favourite Bassline: Hashim – Al-Nayfish (The Soul)
“One of the first tracks I’d ever heard that really bought the bassline to the forefront of the track. The concept was totally groundbreaking to me.”
Favourite Bassline: Disclosure – Grab Her
“This perfectly shaped bass-pluck comes with a precise dose of reverb and plays a melody that stays in your head for days even though it’s quite a challenge to hum, or even whistle, along to it! It’s the central element of the track and I think it works so well because all of its notes are placed around the kick and snare hits except for the last note of the pattern.”
Favourite Bassline: Camo & Krooked – Sacrilege
“It’s a deadlock between Camo & Krooked – Sacrilege, and Noisia’s Contact remix. I’m happy to give it to Sacrilege though, as I think it is a bassline in its purest sense. It’s so smooth yet still has so much presence; an emphatic low end on any decent system. Often these days people refer to a complex mid-range synth pattern as a bassline. But when I think of the term in its purest and simplest sense, Sacrilege is one of the first tracks to come to mind. Outside of dance music I’d give Kicking Your Crosses Down by Circa Survive an honorable mention too.”