Posts Tagged ‘Bass’

Surprise, a list! Who doesn’t love to list things they love and present them to the public? I’m sure the good people on Facebook land and beyond have seen the “10 Best Stuffs to Stuff” list, the “Top 5 Best Stuffs” and so on. So allow me introduce you to my pretentious little exhibition. Below are 4 albums I enjoy listening to from jump to splat. Yes you read that right, only 4…because fuck lists in which the total number of items are divisible by 5 and/or 10. Also, don’t try to look for a pattern here. This list is in no particular order, and has very little rhyme or reason attached to it.

Ihsahn's 'After' was released January 26th, 2010 via Candlelight Records Genre: Progressive Black Metal

Ihsahn’s ‘After” was released January 26th, 2010 via Candlelight Records
Genre: Progressive Black Metal

First off is After by Ihsahn. If you’re a Black Metal enthusiast, you know this name and the gr1m fr0stbitten cache of epicness that accompanies it and you can skip the next sentence. Ihsahn, as the front man for Black Metal band Emperor, helped pioneer the genre and shape it throughout its satanic birth and infancy. This album was the thematic end to a conceptual trilogy that began with ‘Adversary’ and ‘angL’. After is big sonically, and what I mean by that is that there is a lot of space that you can just feel at times. Sure, Jens Bogren (Mix/Mastering Engineer) added weight where previous album ‘angl’ lacked it, but combined with Ihsahn’s superb riffing and “guitar orchestration”, combined with his knack for always writing the quintessential ‘complete song’, no track on this album is a skipper. As far as I’m concerned it can go down as one as the best metal albums of all time, and can easily top multiple albums across a multitude of extreme metal sub-genres.

Enya's 'A Day Without Rain' was released November 21st, 2000 via Reprise. Genre: New Age

Enya’s ‘A Day Without Rain’ was released November 21st, 2000 via Reprise.
Genre: New Age

Next up is A Day Without Rain by Enya. No, let me stop you here, Sail Away, Sail Away is not on this album, and it isn’t even the actual name of the song. This album is magnificent as that song was. If you are not into New Age music, you may not know what I’m babbling on about…pfft, there aren’t even any guitars on this record, or breakdowns for that matter. Good point, believe me, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Enya had put together an almost flawless body of work again. In the United States along ADWR went 7x platinum, that’s 7,000,000 copies! It helps that ‘Only Time’ was played repeatedly in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Enya effortlessly navigates chord progressions that were arranged seemingly with a patented technique that dates back to the 1980’s. Enya’s works have garnered international praise and accolades, to which I say…no shit.

Daylight Dies' 'Dismantling Devotion' was released March 7th, 2006 via Candlelight Records Genre: Doom Metal

Daylight Dies’ ‘Dismantling Devotion’ was released March 7th, 2006 via Candlelight Records
Genre: Doom Metal

Replace the stringed instruments with guitars, 80% of the singing with guttural death growls, make the lyrical themes darker and you get Daylight Dies’ 2006 effort ‘Dismantling Devotion. No, I did not mean Killswitch Engage, I mean the North Carolina Doom Metal group Daylight Dies. From top to bottom, there is enough meat here to feed every starving organism on the planet. Hyperbole aside, for a sophomore effort DD took no prisoners with these songs. There is emotion, intensity, and aggression within each song. The melodic content from song to song is rich and ripe with purpose behind the brutal death metal vocals of front man Nathan Ellis. I first ran into this band listening to a My Dying Bride station on Last FM. This band’s strength lays in their composition. Once you get past the slower pace inherent in the Doom Metal genre, you will be able to appreciate this record.

Doomtree independently  released this self titled album July 29th, 2008 Genre: Hip Hop

Doomtree independently released this self titled album July 29th, 2008
Genre: Hip Hop

Last, but surely not least, Doomtree’s self titled effort from 2008, Doomtree. I know what you were thinking, but this is not a metal band…sorry. Doomtree is a hip-hop group from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before you go and dismiss these guys, give this album a listen…and I mean really listen. From top to bottom this album, features thought provoking, and introspective lyrics that come across as genuine as all hell. The instrumentals are raw, and gritty but create a 90’s feel that suites Doomtree’s aura. The rappers that make up this group pride themselves on their individuality, and this group of songs captures that thought process completely.

It’s puddin’ time children.

Primus is the avant-garde comedy prog band from California. Born of the psychotic ramblings of Les Claypool, the eccentric bassist who wrote the theme songs to popular late-night animated TV shows, South Park  and Robot Chicken. Although their sound is heavily influenced by Claypool’s unique playing style and cartoony voice; the band’s sound is held together by Larry LaLonde, former guitarist of the 80’s death metal band, Possessed.  Their drummer Jay Lane has an interesting style that fuses funk, hard-rock, and punk which ties the trio into a neat little pile of oddities.

Claypool, having grown up with Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett had tried out for the band after the passing of bass virtuoso, Cliff Burton. They passed him up, James Hetfield explaining that Claypool was “too good” and should do his own thing instead. Claypool went on to form Primus and has played an understated role in music since the 90’s.

He did record with Metallica eventually, performing the banjo solo on Metallica’s cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Tuesday’s GoneHe’s also performed with Tom Waits, Alex Lifeson (Rush), Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains), Gov’t Mule, and Adrian Belew (Zappa and King Crimson).

This prolific musician who has performed with some of the biggest names in the industry loves to flaunt his “artist” side, which in his case, is stranger than fiction.

A perfect song for this beautiful day we’re having. Relaxing in the sun beams, smelling the pre-autumn air, enveloped by Robert Fripp’s swooning voice. Bliss people. Bliss.

“Matte Kudasi” means “please wait” in Japanese which sounds to me like a plea to the end of this summer. Please wait.

King Crimson released Discipline in 1981. This was the first album to feature one of my favorite bassists, the wildly prolific Tony Levin. The album also contains the tune, “Elephant Talk”, which was the first to feature Levin jamming on his famed Chapman stick.

King Crimson has gone through many line-up changes but has always featured Mr. Robert Fripp and Bill Bruford. Adrian Belew, a member of Frank Zappa’s band joined with Levin on Discipline and became a permanent member of the rotation.  The band has always been a beautiful combination of genres and easily one of the most quintessential addition to any prog fans’ collection. I know I have.

Enjoy the atmosphere of this song and be sure to check out all of King Crimson’s collection. Despite being infamously absent from Spotify’s library, their music is available on Amazon and many songs and live performances are ready to hear on Youtube.

Sorry internet! It has been a while since I have posted anything, I’ve been distracted with life and writing a full feature article on Spotify, it should be done in about a week or so.

This woman came into my ears a few months ago and seriously shook things up. Not only is she a gorgeous Belgian white girl who can sing soul and reggae like the greats but she is also an extremely talented songwriter. Her self-titled debut album features all music that she has written herself as a teenager. At just sixteen she produced a demo and was offered a recording deal with Universal Records but declined citing that she only wanted to record her own music, giving up immense fame for her passion of expression. Luckily she didn’t have to give it up for too long thanks to the wonders of the internet! Selah, or Sanne Putsey, had always uploaded her music to her Myspace account and with the help of some devoted fans created a huge amount of buzz which attracted the attention of Euro R&B artists Patrice and Nneka on the independent Because Music label.

During the recording process Cee-Lo Green was asked to do a duet with her on the song “Please” and also featured it on his own album (but then later removed). She got the chance to perform in front of thousands when Prince (or whatever he refers to himself these days) asked Selah to be a supporting act for his tour in Belgium. In just a few years she went from being a quiet bedroom singer to an international phenomenon.

“This World” is my favorite track on the album. That smooth bass line matched with her airy singing… whew… I’m getting hot and heavy just thinking about it! But, I’m obviously not the only one because the single went platinum this year. Her song “Ragamuffin” is her earliest work, writing it in high school, was her first single and has been viewed over 12  million times on Youtube. Selah explains that the song symbolizes her and all of her sides. “It shows my soulful and singing side, but also my hard side, between rap and ragga”. You can hear her doing some “toasting” (dancehall/reggae style of singing) which most people -mainly… white people- would never attempt, let alone record it, and she’s damn good at it I must say. Much better than Jamaican Eek-a-mouse…..

Looking like the more petite and curvier Amy Winehouse (no doubt healthier and more sober as well) and having a similarly impressive vocal prowess she shatters the rigid pop barriers like no one has done before. She’s even performed with punk rock band Triggerfinger and rocked the house with her unique voice. She’s proven many times over that she shines no matter what stage, genre, or band she is in.

You can listen to her entire album on Spotify but she also has her music available on Soundcloud and

Like many metalheads their first introduction to metal is the mighty Metallica. And Justice for All was my first taste. It was a great album but what a shame it being the first to be produced after the tragic loss of bassist Cliff Burton. This would have been the first album to feature Jason Newsted but a bass track is mysteriously missing from the album…

But fear not! There are people who love music so much they are willing to improve on music that isn’t theirs. The Metalheads page on facebook posted this earlier and I just had to share it. This album was meant to have some kickass bass! maybe they were still grieving over Cliff’s passing and just couldn’t deal with “replacing” him on this album. But in my opinion it has some of their best tunes.

In an interview with James Hetfield at the 10 year anniversary after the album had come out he said “songwriting-wise, it was just us really showing off and trying to show what we could do. ‘We’ve jammed six riffs into one song? Let’s make it eight. Let’s go crazy with it.’ I listened to some of that stuff, and it’s pretty progressive”. They certainly pushed an envelop and made a fine piece of work, even if it was missing the most important part of a band…..

“Blackened” is the first track on the album and a fantastic lead into a whirlwind of epic riffs. I may have to do a sit down with this album soon, it has been too long. Enjoy and check out the other videos on the page. You can find almost the whole album with added bass tracks. All really quality stuff as well.