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.