Bassless bass music?

Sup. Recently I’m listening to more bass/techno mutations and started discovering a lot of (awesome) bassless tracks. Sometimes they are described as “stripped-back”. I’m wondering is this done consciously for mixing or is this just style? They definitely sound great in mixes, but is this coincidence, or are they bassless from the beginning for this specific purpose? Is this new trend or I’m just newfag to this, lol.

Here are some examples:

And now same tracks in mixes:

All those tracks you’ve posted seem to have bass in them though.

Ofc there is some bass, but it’s nearly nonexistant. For “bass music” you generally expect the opposite - lot of heavyweight sub and lower mid. Also tracks feel much more empty comparing with many other tracks from this musical culture.

Check this out:

It has pads, sub, mid bass, etc.
There is always something on background behind the beats, it doesn’t sound empty at all.

im listening through my laptop and can hear the bass.


I prefer music that challenges expectations, rather than sticks rigidly to a template of what a certain genre should sound like.

If your point is that this music (particularly the tunes you posted in the first post) doesn’t necessarily have a sub bassline, then I’d agree with you.

But saying a tune has to have subbass in order to be called “Bass Music” is a bit silly, IMO.

not sure what you mean those tracks have quite a lot of bass

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Ok, I should have titled this “Non-extreme-bassheavy bass music?” Ofc there is some bass, but do you frequently hear tracks like “Sensei - Reed” where all the bass is from kick exclusively, and there are no even pads on background at the same time? This is what this thread about.

I like those tracks a lot, I just want to understand what is this, and why it is done this way, is it for mixing or just style. Because in mixes, when those tracks have some bass or pads or any other sort of “background” from neighbor tracks they sound even better.

I’m still not sure what you’re asking in all of this.

Some tracks sound different because different producers approach things in different ways and they have their own individual sound.

If you feel a track doesn’t have enough “bass” for you (whatever your interpretation of that may be) then don’t play it.

Not everything has to fit into a rigid set of guidelines. One of the things that drew me to Dubstep in the early days is that it was (relatively) formless. You had the weighty tunes, you had the dark garage stuff, you had the techy rollers, breakstep, whatever.

i think we’re seeing the effect of us genres like jersey club, ballroom and footwork, where the bass is coming from the 808 kicks, that are also generally following the kick pattern of the drums

and not like a more melodic traditional subbass line like u might know from dubstep

hearing this in a lot of stuff in the uk these days, particularly the stuff called club that i most associate with night slugs/uk funky influenced, kick heavy tunes, and also a lot of uk bass techno people, and keysound 130 people

so it’s just the style atm cos a lot of people are making stripped drum work outs

was talking with @Johoosh about this recently and he made the really good point that the predominance of that style in london is likely a result of the inability to find a proper soundsystem that can hack a real sub line


This is great answer, thank you!
Tbh I’m surprised that even in London there are problems like “inability to find a proper soundsystem”.

Following on what RKM said:

Historically there are two considerations I think are relevant here - first was the advent of hip hop and the substitution of bass guitar for the low end with the 808 kick, and second was the ability of consumer audio playback to be physically able to handle anything below 80hz. The latter didn’t even happen until the mid 90’s.

Even 303 “basslines” aren’t particularly bassy, they just center around mid-low octaves (C2-C3).

It was (IMO) jungle that got us hooked with proper musical sub-bass, borrowed from soundclash culture, and from which almost all modern bass music or WEYWCI borrows it.


both wrong, bass was invent by mala after the inventor of united kingdom’s garage overdoesd on champain


Rongs & Rakem gave the definitive answers.
just wanna agree with the impact of footwork & wonky before that
to speculate that part of the heritage of trip-hop, breakbeat, jungle & dubstep
is the creation of space (emptiness) within the rhythm
A step or backbeat hesitation is effectively a space.
In contrast to other forms, like rock, where compositional spaces are made
by modulations in tempo, melody & lyrics.

1 BigUp