Bass and... hip-hop DJs?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by wulf, Jul 3, 2003.

  1. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I'm trying a new thing tonight - taking my bass along to a club in East London to create some live music with a DJ and his deck setup. My intention is to just relax and go with the flow - I'm also taking my DL-4 along so will probably set up some live loops over the beats played by the DJ and then build around that.

    Has anyone got experience of doing this kind of gig? Any ideas you might want to share about how you approach things, what works and what doesn't?

    BTW, the event is at:

    Anda De Bridge
    42-44 Kingsland Road
    London, E2
    Tel: (020) 7684 1305

    Entry is free, and I'm told that Afro-Caribbean food is on the menu.

  2. Wulf

    Who is the DJ. I saw one of my friends do a similar thing recently.

    Will pm you on the details

  3. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I've done this a few times before and it is definitely fun!

    A lot of the time, there was already some bass present in the DJ's tracks, so I could double it or do a lead around it. There's usually plenty of sonic room!

    One thing to be prepared for is to keep playing over the same (usually simple) progression for several minutes at a time - at least, that's what happened with me. However, there's usually so much room to work with that this won't be a problem.

    Another thing is that since the DJ's loops are preconceived, he can't react to what you are doing as well as you can to him, so be prepared to have him lead the jam for much of the time.

    I've never tried it with a looper - wouldn't synching the loops perfectly be kinda hard?
  4. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Mixed results...

    The evening had two acts, both of which I accompanied:

    Budgie One-String: a Jamaican singer who accompanies himself on a one-stringed guitar. No, seriously!! The accompaniment consists of simple riffs repeated through most of the song, and most of the time I just doubled the riff, every now and then sticking it in a loop and playing another line over the top (although he wanted me to keep it quite simple). To be honest, it sounded surprisingly good, especially the second short set (which, I think, was pretty much the same as the first) when his string was much nearer to being in tune than 3/4 semitone flat ;)

    Yeshen: A DJ who runs the Rawbeats website. I was just jamming away as I wanted - sometimes doubling the bassline, sometimes playing melodies and sound FX over the top. The monitor system wasn't brilliant, so I'm not sure exactly what it sounded like out front, but nobody asked me to stop. Getting my loops to lock in wasn't too hard, although I don't think anyone was paying too much attention.

    So, quite good fun and I got a little bit of money for it (enough for a set of strings). On the other hand, it wasn't the most musically stimulating evening I've had; I didn't come away massively inspired by what I'd heard and I don't know if I really added much to the overall sound. On a scale from noodling to creativity, it was nearer the former than the latter for most of the evening... and for some reason my MD recording didn't come out (did I forget to take it off pause... maybe :confused: ), so I can't even trawl back through my improvisations to pick out the good bits.

    Still, I know more about how the evening works... maybe next time I'll see if I can do a solo bass spot somewhere in the set?


    ps. on a technical note, I was very glad to have the expression pedal attached to the DL-4. Even though I was seated, it gave me a lot more creative freedom to be able to mutate the FX settings without having to bend down and twist the knobs... definitely a worthwhile addition.
  5. Wulf

    Glad it went well and you had a good time.


  6. sounds cool.

    I've got a DJ breakbeat record entitled "Raw Beats- wicked mix", on grey vinyl, which has no other markings apart from the track listing (illegal?).
    I wonder if it was done by those guys?
  7. It sounds like a very cool thing to do - I know if I had the chance to do something like that, I'd jump at it.
  8. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Wulf - Hope you keep at it!

    I don't play with a stacker/DJ in my rave band, but the synthesist/keyboarder does pretty much the same thing.....laying down incredibly low frequencies/samples that are pretty much just accenting the beat.

    I love it because it allows me to lay out all these trippy, melodic, swirling, lines because my bass is pretty much free from locking onto the beat, (albeit- I use an Akai Deep Impact, and a couple of EBS effects).

    I think the only limitation is one's imagination.
  9. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I don't think they (well... just 'he', as far as I'm aware) have released anything - if I find out anything, I'll let you know. I guess rawbeats is a cool name for that kind of thing, and probably one that's been used multiple times.

    BTW, I just found out that the guy with the one string guitar was Brushie One-String, not Budgie One-String. Either way, he still hasn't got a big web presence that I can find for your delectation! The other thing I found out was that the DJ still seemed pretty happy with the whole thing, so I can see it happening again before too long.