16 February 2016

Riddim Killers, II

(Bass & Infrastructure, Installment the Second - Mirrorball Edition)

I suppose it goes without saying that a strong bass line was central in the funk & disco eras, and there's a lot of tunes that make the cut. Far too many to include from the funk canon, so here's a few favorites of my own from the disco...

As 1978-9 rolled around, a lot of disco was becoming more and more generic, more pro-forma, part of which may've contributed to the inevitable backlash. Still, in those years there were still a few songs that featured hooky, poppin' bass lines. Here's a couple of other favorites, featuring (as above) another tune notable for being sampled by TCQ, and another jawn from the P&P label...

And then of course this big hit, in which the bass pretty much takes center stage:

In his first post on this topic, Simon mentions the Larry Graham-derived style of "slap" bass, which become so pervasive and overused by various post-punk and dance acts in the early 1980s. A Certain Ratio used it to good effect before things tipped past the point of maximum saturation:

Always deeply liked the way the bass glides over the surface of that latter tune. And of roughly the same vintage:

Another favorite bass line was from “Regiment”, from Byrne and Eno’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Not complex, but it had a smoldering darkness to it. The duties are attributed to one session musician going by the name of (ugh) Michael “Busta Cherry” Jones, who -- if dodgey search-engine results are to be believed -- had around the time had brief stints playing with Parliament and Gang of Four. I suppose I wasn't the only one, judging from the number of times (like the above) it was sampled a decade or so later.

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