Bass music. R&B. Dubstep. Hip hop. All these genres are in a state of flux right now thanks to the extremely lively electronic music scene. The volume of producers and singers and other extraordinarily talented people out there making music with a heavy low end is staggering. It’s a good time to be a bass head.
To that end, I’ve put together a few tracks to rattle your skull and give your woofers a bit of a workout. Forewarning, before you go around banging this shit at max volume, take care to alert small animals and any other folks nearby who might not take kindly to having their guts rattled at random. Or just wear headphones. Seriously, though, if you don’t have some kind of equipment to properly reflect low frequencies, you’re going to be missing out. So much of the detail for these tracks comes through in the low end — laptop speakers or cheap earbuds are not going to cut it.
Kiesza – “So Deep”
House is really Kiesza’s main thing, but there are moments on Hideaway where her sound slips on something a little bit silkier. “So Deep” isn’t kidding about going deep. The bass here buzzes and rumbles in contrast to Kiesza’s crooning. The production isn’t the star, which is fine considering that this is Kiesza’s track after all, but it does tickle the part of the brain that loves the low frequencies.
Dusky – “Expectations”
Then there’s Dusky. The genre of “deep house” didn’t get its name by featuring seven-minute-long dissertations on the nature of the human condition. That’s #PhilosophicalHouse. Dusky dives into the bass and stays there. His style is eerie, stark, dark, straight-ahead house. “Expectations” feels like getting sucked into a fog. A bubbling, purple mist. It’s like feeling the call of the void. Except for, like, dancing and stuff.
Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo – “You Love Me”
Apparently Hannah Wants has made quite the name for herself in the UK garage/bass/dubstep world. After HARD Summer, I’m convinced her conquest of the US has begun in earnest. I think we are finally ready to embrace this music whole hog. If Dusky lives in the low end, Hannah was born in it. She is the Bane of bass music, and I cannot stop listening.
Move That Dope (C. Justice Bootleg) – “Future” feat. Pusha T, Pharrell, & Casino
This one is another exercise for subwoofer flexing. The original track from Future is a clicking, whirring cacophony. Personally, I like it, but the fact is it’s an abrasive track. C. Justice has told the beat to sit down, take a breath, vape or something, and just generally get more swervy. Bump this one on a Sunday joyride.
Lil Silva – “Don’t You Love” (Feat. BANKS)
Fans of BANKS will likely recognize the name of Lil Silva from some of her production credits. The roles are reversed here, with Lil Silva’s production taking the forefront and BANKS providing support vocals. I know the roles are reveresed, but it does still sound like a BANKS track. Except way more aggressive. This one is a banger. The bass here isn’t a rumbling, roiling thing. It’s like a slap to the back the head to get that shit bobbing.
Mr. Carmack – “JAYZ”
Glitchy, complex, and always heavy on the low end. That’s Mr. Carmack. This isn’t even a real “single” in the sense of regular promotion or anything. It’s just a track he uploaded to Soundcloud. It changes “Holy Grail” from being a cautionary tale against the woes of fame to the soundtrack to Jay Z attempting to escape the Matrix — that’s what it sounds like, anyway. Also, it will melt your eardrums. Use caution and high-powered headphones.
Dpat & Atu – “Nothing Here”
Between Dpat and Atu you have the yin and yang of beatmaking. Dpat, the aggressive. Atu, the peaceful. That transition gives the track a kind of movement, something like a narrative of transformation. Honestly, I was surprised by how effective it was. I’d like to hear more combination work from these two. One crossover EP, please.
Hannah Wants – “Confess to Me” (Disclosure feat. Jessie Ware)
Confession: “Confess to Me” was my favorite track off of Disclosure’s Settle. I thought it was a perfect pop song. Never once did I think, “You know, those kids should’ve dropped the bottom out of the bass on this. You know. Stop fuckin’ around and just obliterate it.” Someone did though. Thanks for that, Hannah.
Yellow Claw, Diplo, & LNY TNZ – “Techno” (feat. Waka Flocka Flame)
Now this is interesting. Not only will this song likely offend your senses, your neighbors, and anyone who has never heard of “hardstyle,” it will also work very hard at shredding those foam and glue contraptions you call “speakers.” The track itself is weird. You have the dirty Dutch-style buildups, the horrorcore synth stabs, and Waka Flocka rapping over a trap rhythm before being dumped into…hardstyle?! It’s like Amsterdam and Los Angeles fist bumping each other in a song.
Rae Sremmurd – “No Flex Zone”
If the chorus embeds itself in your brain after first listen, I’m sorry, but I just can’t ignore Mike Will’s latest salvo of reckless party music. Pay no attention to the heedless bravado and intentionally rude lyrics. These guys have a great flow, a fun energy, and a killer producer. It’s explicit and catchy. That also means parents everywhere will soon be irked by their kids coming home from school shouting, “THEY KNOWWW BETTA. THEY KNOWWW BETTA.”