BASSLINES AND BREAKBEATS


As I’ve gotten older, I’ve appreciated the complex brilliance of complicated arrangements and layers of melodies and rhythms. But hey, sometimes you just like getting back to the basics: a good bassline and a breakbeat. It’s certainly one of the solid foundations of hip-hop beats in the vaunted Golden Era and I still can’t help but gravitate towards them.

Think of Clyde Stubblefield and Bootsy Collins double-teaming the breakdown on James Brown’s “Give It Up or Turn It Loose” or Afro-Latin groove on Dennis Coffey’s “Scorpio.” And let’s not even talk about the redonkulous combo of George Porter Jr. and Zigaboo Modeliste. (I should also specify; the main criteria is not just the presence of a good bassline with a serviceable drum track behind. Ideally, you want a break that can do both well).

The following is an informal, slapping together of a few of my favorite bassline n’ break moments from a number of songs, some of which you’ll probably recognize, some you may not (and yeah, there’s no tracklisting because I’m on that tip today, ha!)

V/A: Basslines + Breakbeats (Soul-Sides.com, 2009)

Feel free to take stabs at the tracklist PLUS add your own favorites in the comments.

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