Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bass Bits, Guest(s) Post #8


Carl at Impostume/Neither here keeps it hardcore (not ardkore)

Action Time Vision  on some classy operators


Matt Moore  brings alarming news about the postpunk legacy of bands with two bassists:

"I regret to inform you that Ned's Atomic Dustbin had 2 bass players"


CJ is the first to bring up the Reese Bass, as it came to be known in drum & bass circles

A/k/a Kevin Saunderson

One of the first house tracks I picked up, that one! On a trip to NYC in very early '88.  I thought of it as acid house; Detroit techno didn't exist then as a category. Also acquired in the same batch was "Strings of Life". I preferred the B-side "Move It":

Back to CJ's picks:

"Was Mick Karn the Jaco Pastorius of the New Romantics? Live version attached so you can see him sideways moonwalk across the stage, plus David Syvian's hair does not move at all. Nice bass work also on "The Art of Parties""

"Chicago civic pride working for these next two, the second representing acid TB 303 madness"

Another acid house fave of mine - I did love the classic 303-bas(s)ed stuff - but tended to love even more the acid-not-acid ones like "Control" and "Your Only Friend". Didn't get Sleezy D on vinyl then, though -  had it on one of the many acieeed-X-ploitation comps of '88. On cassette, in fact, would you believe it! 

Moving on to bleep - a whole can of writhing low-end worms that I had clean forgotten needed opening - CJ nominates: 

Nightmares on Wax



mentions Unique 3, leaving it up to me to get specific: 

Annoyingly YouTube does not have the most immense mix of "Weight for the Bass", the Original Soundyard Dubplate Mix.... 

This one is incredible - album track off Jus Unique

Prefer this flipside to "The Theme" to be honest

Two layers of bass there - sub-lo and xylo-bass (first time appearance in UK music?)

Back to CJ's copious suggestions-bag:

Jungle - "too many I could put down" - co-sign that.

Fluoro-wobbler, that one

"I could go on all day with this genre"

Same here - and probably will do, when I get a chance to



Eddie Masher

"O'Jays definitely is iconic, as your correspondent points out.  Here's something else from Philly Int'l":

"I wonder where this archetypal disco bass groove originates? I'm not musically-minded enough to be able to describe what exactly is happening - I seem to remember Peter Shapiro describes it in his Disco book."

You mean the walking bassline? Couldn't tell you, but an archetypal example occurs in this next, which neither your serious disco headz nor serious Rod bods will give any credit at all, but it's fab and the bassman - Philip Chen -  is a big part of that - his sheer joie-de-groovre. Just wait for that breakdown from 2.23... and then, the drop, ooh gosh, 2.40 

Back to Eddie....

"This guy Monk Montgomery released one album on Philly in 1974; was perhaps the first jazzer to use electric bass in the 1960s"

Never 'eard of him! Digging deep, digging wide!

Tasty lickmanship though. Sweet tone... 

"Thinks: "When's that guy with the generator going to turn up?""

"Stanley Clarke has already featured - I reckon this is the greatest riff of all time, on whatever instrument"

"And there's Louis Johnson. This is brutal":

"In Blighty, a wine bar anthem circa '81"

We need a whole installment on Mark King really. 

"FINALLY : It's not all jazz funk n soul.  Never thought I'd like this lot, but Chris Squire's bass here is ruff"

Dunno bout "ruff" but certainly gnarled and scrofulous and exuberantly wriggly - and as Phil Knight observed, texturally pointing the way ahead to J.J. Burnel. 

I was surprised - given the very negative reputation Yes would have been laden with for anyone who grew up indoctrinated by punk + popstunk -  that when I finally listened to the band that quite a few of their tunes are really rather groove-oriented, and generally aggressively played. Not as stilted-stately or pompous or indeed preposterous as I'd been led to believe. 

"I wonder if someone at Motown liked their British prog? The Miracles' 'Love Machine' bears some resemblance . . ."


Regular Andrew Parker returns with some Macca appreciation:

"Paul McCartney's bass lines were remarkably creative and sympathetic, and always in service to the song. These qualities were especially evident in the bass parts he wrote for songs by John and George, and his contribution to the development of bass playing in popular music cannot be overstated"

Excuse the odd or naff versions of these I'm posting - some of the ones Andrew himself provided appear to be blocked in the US

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" does not seem to be up there at all.

Andrew also offers some Tina Weymouth appreciation via The Heads - a band that does not figure in many conversations, ever, I'd wager. A move that effectively Byrne-d their bridges with their erstwhile leader/frontman.

That sounds a bit Cure-y, and feeds nicely into this morsel of data Andrew found about Simon Gallup in re. my earlier tribute to "A Forest" and how it's a novice-level bassline: 

"Simon Gallup is admirably (appropriately?) modest about his abilities on bass:

To be honest with you, every night I see all the other bands, all
these great musicians, and then when I’m up there I look down at my
bass and the minimalist stuff I’m playing and think, I’m just getting away with murder here.” And then, a shuffling sound over the phone as Gallup begins laughing. “In fact, and I swear I’m not lying to you, in my bag right now I have a book for beginning bass players called You Can Do It . . . Play Bass Dammit!. It’s great—it’s got all these different bass lines to practice. You can even learn to play Latin rock at the end, so maybe one day when this is all over I’ll be joining Enrique Iglesias’s band.
”  - 
Baltimore City Paper, 8/4/2004


Marco brings more Jaco love, starting with two I was going to post myself: 

"Teen Town" - "here played with Weather Report - Fretless Bass doubled on ARP quadra by Zawinul"

"River People" off my personal fave Mr. Gone, the one the serious jazz headz disparage

"Pentatonic riff again doubled by Zawinul. Strange album for  Weather Report. A melting pot of fusion, with disco, technology, soul music, timpani and crazyness all around. Zawinul trying to outmacho Pastorius all over the track."

So rubbery and mechanistic, that one, at first - almost sequenced. Like Kraftwerk if Zawinul had displaced Ralph Hutter somehow.  Or if Jaco had formed a group with Moroder after his strange 

Einzelgänger solo album of '75.

And then it lets rip into the mutha of all grooves - like an elephant at a rollerdisco. 

And they could do it live too

Keeping it proggy 'n' fusionoid with some Primus, lord 'elp us: 

"The creepy Les Claypool - weird voice weird bass. the 90's"

And more Chris Squire (r.i.p.)  love:

"This man literally took months to arrange his bass parts and made the drummer (bill bruford) go crazy. this tune is literally layers of bass on top of each other. it is going nowhere."