A new found love for bass music

Categories:  Music    The Arts
Wednesday, February 5th, 2020 at 8:53 PM

Music has proven itself to be one of the most powerful and stimulating presences in my life. Not a day goes by where I don’t listen to music for at least some portion of my day; the more the better is always the case.

Being able to absorb the physical manifestation of one’s soul through waves of sound traveling through our body is absolutely baffling to me. I love that every moment I have with music is emotionally unique, while being vastly different than the sounds I hear in the usual processes of my life.

I gain so much from many different kinds of music — emotions, thoughts, visualization, the way it moves my body — all uniquely dependent on what I’m listening to.

Recently, I dove into the genre of bass music, a type of music I had little to no experience with except for the slight exploration of mainstream dubstep when I was in middle school.

For several weeks now, any chance I’ve had to listen to music, I’ve chosen bass music. I cannot stop listening. I wake up and I want to hear deep rolling vibrations of amphibious alien technology and sludge-like waves wobbling at deep frequencies. All day I crave the sound of rapid-fire space lasers and spastic drum beats, all coming together in different ways to create beautifully melodic bass-driven dance songs.

I can almost always find something I dig about any specific genre. A deep love for a genre, on the other hand, can take time. The discovery of specific sounds, sub-genres and artists you like are all a part of the magnificent and exciting journey of falling for a genre, however, you usually have to also go through the grueling exploration of sounds and artists you do not like.

Luckily, I had a bass guru equipped with an arsenal of top-tier artists and songs.

Six months ago, my cousin Trey came to visit from Maryland as he does at least once a year. This was the first time we saw each other since he started listening to bass music roughly six months prior. He told me how crazy some of the music was, and I was really excited to hear it; I had no idea what to expect.

The first time he played some songs, I thought the music was really interesting and creative. I enjoyed the way it sounded, but it also invoked a strong feeling of confusion. The sounds were so far from anything that I had ever heard before, let alone heard incorporated into music. I had trouble getting past my predispositions of what music was to me, and it hindered my ability to listen to this in the same way that I listen to other music.

Slowly over time since then, I found specific tracks that I really enjoyed, leading me to the artists that I began to follow. Still the genre did not have my full attention. I was only listening to several artists and a handful of songs from each of them, while many songs that I heard still confused me.

Last month, however, this drastically changed.

I attended my first bass show while in Washington, D.C., with Trey and some mutual friends I’ve been lucky enough to meet through him. I could have never expected the experience I had that night. For four hours nonstop, I felt the warm, heavy bass in the deepest pit of my chest; my whole body was vibrating along to the most absurd yet satisfying songs.

I had never heard a live musical performance where every song flows perfectly into the next. The artists’ ability to blend songs together was astonishing; the flow of the music sounded completely natural even with the sporadic changes of beat. I understood how bass music was meant to be played and heard, and it made perfect sense.

When one artist finished their performance, the next artist was on stage ready to start their set, mixing their opening song into the trailing off sound of the previous performer.

A large LED screen displayed 3-D visual art created by the artists to pair with their music. These images would have been stunning on their own, but considering they were specifically created to constantly change along with the songs, it was ridiculous in the best way. I was left with my jaw dropped for most of the night, and all I could manage to do was bop and dance, or stare at the screen in front of me, deeply tuned into the tremendous sound I was hearing.

When I finally stepped outside the venue, every noise of the bustling city sounded like something out of a bass song: cars driving by, the footsteps of people, the wind blowing through alleyways. With almost every sound around me, I could hear their soundwaves being manipulated to fit the needs of a bass track. I was in total disbelief of what I had just witnessed and heard, and I was left full of adrenaline for a great deal of time after the show. 

Since then I’ve been hooked, discovering and listening to new tracks every day. There are so many incredible artists creating wildly entertaining bass music. G Jones’s aggressive, face-smacking rhythms and breakdowns turn inside out within seconds, unfolding into tranquil yet robotic melodies. Mickman’s music brilliantly incorporates an array of EDM genres into his own eccentric style. His discography includes electrifying, upbeat dance hits; guttural, buzzing alien machines; colossal, down-tempo journeys; and all pumped full of bass.

I was lucky enough to see Mickman the night of my first show, and I partly attribute the love I now have for bass music to his set. I haven’t explored a completely new genre of music since discovering some of my favorites in high school, so I am ready for this exciting process to evolve. 

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