Slappin’ The Bass! Great Basslines In Dance: Chemical Brothers/Under The Influence

Not so much a bass as an experience, Under The Influence has one of the most devastating basslines in all of dance music! Taken off the 1999 masterpiece Surrender (where the Brothers went ‘house’), what we have here is an almost demonic presence in the low end that is felt as much as its heard. It’s not musical, it’s not even all that complex (then again, as the old maxim goes, simplicity is holy!), but it does the job with all the grace and ferocity of a killer whale biting the ass of an arctic seal!

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Electro Of The Week: ‘You Think’ by Chuck Deezil

This tune is like an attention-starved ‘Flat Beat’ on steroids, complete with farting bassline, loopy sirens and chopped up breaks. It’s simply deranged. In the best possible way!

There are two more tracks on the All Meat No Cheese EP, but this gets my pick. It’s quite a grower, ladies!

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Phatso Brown Goes To London!

A lot of people have been asking me about my trip to London. ‘What happened Phatso’, they ask, often with concern, sometimes curiosity. Well, the following documentary accurately describes the experience, and summarizes my state of mind upon returning to the glorious US of A:

I hope that explains everything?

Synth Odyssey: Intermission Wavestation and Synplant teaser!

This week, I thought I was going to cover Korg’s venerable vector Wavestation soft synth, but the sheer size and scope of the instrument has left me in awe. In order to do complete justice to the monstrous machine, I will have to dig deep and explore its mysterious innards, which will take a bit longer than usual.

Additionally, because it’s an emulation of the wave sequencing synth of the 90s, it’s extremely loyal to its father in sound, functionality and user interface. Of course, the VSTi version is a dream to use thanks to the fact that you don’t have to click click click dang old clickity click to get to each page and then click some more (ah the joys of hardware), but  it still adheres to its daddy’s wave sequencing conventions and as such, is a bit of a head scratcher if you want to make your own sounds. And that’s really the point of this whole Synth Odyssey innit? To really get my hands dirty and explore my tool?

Anyway, vector synthesis seems to be a perfect fit for the software environment, but I have not seen too many VST instruments that have taken the concept and made it both fun and inspirational.

While not a vector synthesizer by any means, Sonic Charge’s Synplant is just that: fun in a way that will have days melting into nights, and inspirational in a way that will have you creating the sounds of your dreams (or nightmares) in a heartbeat. It’s so lush, so divine, so organic, and so truly ground breaking, that if there were a Nobel prize for synthesizers, it’s creator Magnus Lidstrom would be sleeping with one right now. Here’s the official demonstration video:

Get the idea? You grow your sounds, seed by seed, branch by branch! Ah, how eco friendly! Each branch can then be planted into a new seed, regrown, replanted and regrown till your hair fall out. It’s just begging to be tweaked, madam.

There is an additional tool that allows you to get anal with your sounds (cheekily entitled ‘Gene Manipulation’-wonder how ‘Gene’ feels about it), that has your standard synth parameters like LFOs, filters, FM, envelopes etc. making this no mere ‘green gimmick’ but a full fledged bio botanical swamp synth thing.

I almost don’t want people to know about it!

I don’t think I need to do audio demos this time. Those tunes on Synplant Radio are adequate 😉 !

So that’s Part 1: Genesis out of the way! Next up: Synth Monsters!

Here is the story so far:

What is the point of this ‘Synth Odyssey’?

Admiral Quality Poly-Ana

ReFX PlastiCZ

Novation BassStation

Fabfilter One

Muon Tau

Thank you for reading.

Forgotten Classic: Dropping Hard by Elektroluxx!

I am willing to put money on the fact that not even the most ardent House/Electro addict is familiar with this week’s choice cut. I think I had close to a religious experience when I first heard this bad boy pumping out of the speakers of my Japanese sub compact.

How is it that this tune didn’t change the world? It certainly changed mine! That kick, that bass, that devastating breakdown, that climactic ending? Mercy!

Happy 2010!

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