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Weekly Music Picks Part 1: Sampled Bass Cuts and Driving Punk Bass

After listening to a very new Needle Drop review of the noise rock duo, Melt-Banana’s, new album Fetch, and hearing the raving review he gave it (a rare 9/10!) I knew I needed to check it out. I was not disappointed at all!

Melt-Banana is a duo from Tokyo, Japan consisting of guitar player, Ichirou Agata and vocalist, Yasuko Onuki known for their fast, upbeat noise-punk-avant garde style of music. After listening to the album, I was very surprised to hear some very clear, very cutting bass lines shine through in certain tracks on this album! Amidst the shredding guitars, blasting drums and screeching vocals of Yasuko, there are some very punk-rooted bass lines driving underneath this song ala Karl Alvarez from The Decendents or Matt Freeman from Rancid.

If you’re a fan of punk bass playing and faster, more cutting music in the same vein as Fantomas, Melvins or Mr. Bungle then this is for you!

Madlib is the stage moniker for Otis Jackson, a hip hop producer, DJ and MC from California. He is currently signed to the label, Stones Throw Records. His catalog is extensive and prolific with over 20 studio album releases and DJ mixes and production work done for MCs including MF Doom, Freddie Gibbs and the 90s hip hop act, Lootpack.

In 2003, Madlib was invited to the vaults of the famous Blue Note Records. The results of his collecting and listening to Blue Note’s secret stash of records resulted in arguably his most commercial release, Shades of Blue, a collection of jazz remixes.

The 16-track album has many excellent cuts of samples and remixed bass lines but the track above, Stepping into Tomorrow has been a personal favorite of mine for a long time. The bass cut on the track is a very fitting 16th note pulsing bass line across a very laid back, grooving drum pattern. If you’re looking for a bass line to try to learn by ear, then this is definitely a track to consider doing it with.