8 Tracks: A Baptism in Bass with Joe Muggs

With the release of Bass Mids Tops we felt like now was the perfect moment to pick Joe’s brain and get him to serve up 8 tracks of bass madness, drawn from his early days as a raver and record buyer.

8 Tracks: A Baptism in Bass with Joe Muggs

With the release of Bass Mids Tops we felt like now was the perfect moment to pick Joe’s brain and get him to serve up 8 tracks of bass madness, drawn from his early days as a raver and record buyer.

The term dance music history is as slippery and vexatious as they come, but it is an important one. Time and again writers and critics line up to comb over the fractured past of club music and culture, each bringing their own genius, bias, love, and omissions to the party. They can cast their net wide, and give broad brush impressions of the evolution of sound, or they can zero in on the minutiae like taxonomists. But for every new publication, another story gets left untold. In his excellent book Bass Mids Tops, the veteran journalist Joe Muggs brings one largely overlooked narrative to the fore – that of UK soundsystem culture, and the cascading influence it has had on electronic music around the world.

This fascinating oral history is told through voices young and old, including UK founding fathers such as Norman Jay and Dennis Bovell, and the likes of Samrai and Shy One who are well and truly on the cutting edge of the scene. With the release of Bass Mids Tops we felt like now was the perfect moment to pick Joe’s brain and get him to serve up 8 tracks of bass madness, drawn from his early days as a raver and record buyer.


Buy the book HERE

Rum & Black - Tablet Man (1991)

Just an absolute beast. The way those subs unceremoniously hit at 30 seconds. The devil-may-care sample pile-up. The way the beat somehow sounds out of breath but furiously determined. At 16 I was a pretty rubbish raver compared to some of my schoolmates, certainly not out every weekend or anything close, but this – and everything Shut Up & Dance (for it is they) did – was everything to me. The familiar samples (De La Soul! WHITESNAKE!) gave anchor points, as did my basic understanding of rave and techno (the flipside to this, “This is the Way” was the perfect mid point between UK bass and Underground Resistance), but it was clear, too, that this was something new being born. What I didn't realise at the time was how much the breakbeat and bass science was rooted in deep, pre-rave UK soundsystem history.

COMMENTS