Bass house is a relatively new genre that first appeared in the mid 2010s, with roots tracing back to 1999’s Remedy album by Basement Jaxx. The British duo, which started off blending funky house with UK garage, was part of a larger movement of DJs exercising their shared love for bass. The result was a more refined lower-end sound palette that developed across the house and EDM spectrum of genres throughout the 2000s. In the early 2010s, bass-heavy ghetto house and EDM-infused future house came to prominence. Artists like Basement Jaxx and Joyryde seem to have taken inspiration from these two genres in particular to create a new, distinct style that would come to be known as bass house.
Like tribal house, defined simply by the presence of percussive rhythm patterns, bass house is aptly defined as house music where bass is front and center, specifically in the drop. Some parallels can be drawn between bass house and acid house, particularly from their shared use of experimental synths. The genre also builds on the wonky synths and rhythm patterns of fidget house but, when it comes to bass, the most audible influence is dubstep’s wobble and growl.
Reggaeton-inspired fidget rhythms played between 120 and 130 bpm lay the foundation for hard and sometimes obnoxious synth riffs. Early bass house filled the entire frequency spectrum with a single bass pattern during the drop. More recently, however, the genre has taken a queue from tech-house by separating the bass pattern from the melody. Notable examples of this shift can be heard from the likes of Tchami, Joyryde, Habstrakt, Jace Mek, ID46, MEKII, Badjokes, and LOUD ABOUT US!
Joyryde – “Flo”
Joyryde reintroduces the wobbly bass synths and experimental glitches of yesteryear with his 2015 release “Flo”.
Jace Mek – “Understand”
Los Angeles, 2016
Jace Mek releases his quirky, trippy and haunting track, “Understand” on record label Good Enuff.
Joyryde – “Hot Drum”
Joyryde taps deeper into acid house and sampled noise influences in creating the screechy and catchy track “Hot Drum”.
Habstrakt & Jace Mek – “I Wanna”
Los Angeles, 2017
Habstrakt & Jace Mek collaborate on the track “I Wanna” by delivering a wildly abstract and uniquely groovy sound.
Skrillex & Habstrakt – “Chicken Soup”
Los Angeles, 2017
Skrillex & Habstrakt concoct the headbanging cringing bass house track, “Chicken Soup”.
Tchami & Malaa – “Summer 99”
Tchami broadens his horizons by collaborating with Malaa in recreating the sounds of 90s rave with a modern twist with the release of “Summer 99”.
ZHU & partywithray – “Came For The Low”
San Francisco, 2019
ZHU and partywithray drop the low end mixed and drone heavy track “Came For The Low” featuring American entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
DJ Snake & Tchami, Malaa & Mercer – “Made In France”
French DJs DJ Snake, Tchami, Malaa & Mercer (collectively known as Pardon My French) release the bass house track “Made In France” to mark their 2019 tour.