5 – No Bass

Sometimes you don’t even need a bassline…or you just let something else do the low-frequency work for you (usually the kick drum).

Check out Tiga’s recent ‘Bugatti’:

The power kick drum carries the track here, with a simple, almost token bassline coming in near the end. As the kick is not competing with anything else it can be lower and longer. We can adjust a simple kick sound to create something that fills in more of the low frequencies:

A classic example of this approach – albeit somewhat underpowered in comparison to ‘Bugatti’ – is the timeless ‘French Kiss’ by Lil’ Louis:

Maurizio’s more recent ‘Eleye’ uses different flavours of kick to fill up the low end:

Here it’s the rhythmic interplay between kicks and the 909 toms that keep things moving.

Drum and bass played a significant role in reinventing the Roland TR-808 as the source of both kick drums and basslines. In order to re-pitch the 808 kick and play it as a bassline a sampler has to be used. A good example of this can be found on Deep Blue & Blame’s ‘Re-Transitions’:

This blurring of the relationship between bass and kick has its natural extension in those tracks which appear to have no bassline at all on home speakers, yet reveal themselves in all their low-end glory only when played on a club system.

25th July, 2015

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