Bassline: Not Just An England Thing?
The job of the Fat Planet blog is to expose music from outside of the Anglo / American axis, and whilst that’s served us well over the years, it does mean that we intentionally turn a blind eye to sounds, styles and movements that are hyper-localised in those regions. Bassline (or ‘niche‘) is one such genre – like Dubstep before it, Bassline has (until now) essentially been “an England thing”, birthed via an unholy carnal union of 2-step, dubstep, grime, house and speed garage.
And, again, like so many young movements before it, the transition from underground to overground has not been without its share of authoritarian disapproval and police interference – Sheffield’s ‘Niche’ club, seen by many as the spiritual home of Bassline, was shut down in November 2005 following a heavy-handed police raid, and many mainstream journalists have been digging around to further promote alleged ‘dangers of the scene’ (a tactic that will sound tiresome to anyone living through the music revolutions of disco, punk, rave etc etc). Bassline jumped into the global psyche with the release of ‘Heartbroken’ by Leeds’ producer, T2 – hitting #2 on the UK charts and now slowly conquering the rest of the planet, sales chart by sales chart.
And so to the international perspective – we’re having to make do with remixes for the time being, rather than original productions, but nonetheless it offers a glimpse at some possible futures for the globalisation of the sound:
T2 drops a remix for Leicester’s DJ Cheeksta, with a grab of Jamaica’s Sizzla from his ‘Rise To The Occasion’ album.
Steak House (aka Monekysteak featuring Bristol’s dubstep / grime producer Atki2) blends T2’s anthem with an acapella from Panama’s Zulu. The MC has been a long-time collaborator of U.S. producer DJ C and next month they drop a new mixtape titled ‘Gods & Robots’ which will feature a new production from Atki2, along with contributions from a swathe of global heads from Argentina, Belgium, Canada, England, Israel, Portugal and the U.S.
Denmark’s Fagget Fairies (pictured), described as a “burka-wearing lesbian ghetto-funk MC/DJ duo”, get a bassline makeover from A1. The Fairies have released an EP via Palms Out Sounds, the results of which have been dropped on the Fat Planet radio show and come highly recommended.
For some top shelf full-length bassline mixes, check the latest instalment of the Mad Decent Worldwide Radio Podcast with a mix from Faggatronix, or this excellent ‘Bassline House Mix‘ from WordTheCat.