The electronic dance music subgenre Bass House is becoming increasingly popular. It strongly emphasizes basses and is inspired by Dubstep, Drum and Bass, and UK Garage. Over the last several years, musicians like Jauz, Tchami, and Ephwurd have been at the forefront of this trend.
History of the Bass House Genre
The origins of Bass House begins in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Then, emerging bass-heavy genres like Drum and Bass, UK Garage, and Dubstep began to influence House music. These genres were all at the forefront of the electronic music scene. As house music producers started incorporating parts of these genres into their work, a new subgenre of House music emerged.
Alongside UKG and Speed Garage, the burgeoning UK breaks scene reached its zenith around the turn of the century. It frequently crossed paths with more House-oriented music. This intersection is evident in Timo Maas’ remix of Azzido Da Bass’ Dooms Night or tracks like Zinc’s 138 Trek. Everyone in the house, garage, and Breaks scenes played the song. There was also what one UK dance magazine called “Hooligan House” around this period. Under the leadership of the Audio Bullys, a more natural, attitude-edged, chunky, bass-heavy sound displaced the dominating sound of Funky House, which Labels such as Defected and Subliminal dominated on both sides of the Atlantic.
Characteristics of the Genre
The defining elements of Bass House are chiefly the four-on-the-floor pace, syncopated basslines, offbeat hi-hat, and percussion patterns. Producers extensively use distorted bass mixed with various sounds as one of the most distinguishing characteristics. Bass House often has a pace that ranges from 110 to 130 beats per minute (BPM). Fairly frequently, musicians such as Cause&Affect, Chris Lorenzo, Taiki Nulight, Jaded, or Low Steppa are responsible for the darker and deeper UKG-influenced Bass House in the United Kingdom.
Mainland The Hi-Lo project that Tchami and Oliver Helden are working on is at the forefront of Europe’s approach. This version is far more electro than the American one. The United States has also been a significant source of inspiration for full-frontal, much heavier dubstep music. Few genres have managed to avoid Dubstep’s immense, at times overpowering, impact. Yet, Bass House, at least those elements originating in the US, is a genre that still openly displays its influence.
The Dubstep JVST SAY YES creator, who also goes by another moniker, revealed last year how the turbo-charged 4/4 and massive drops perfectly accompanied American ‘anger’ culture. The bass house mashup includes the 808 snaps that are characteristic of trap music, the aggressive synth hooks that are characteristic of EDM/big room music, the production methods that are characteristic of drum & bass music, and even the spiky licks that are characteristic of moombahton music (as well its previous dads UKG, breaks, electro, fidget, speed garage, etc.). Rock The Party almost morphed into a trap song, even though its creators had big room production in mind when they started working on it.
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