By: Harry Coomer
We'd like to clear the air a little bit about where we stand on Psychedelic Bass. There was some feedback that we received on our recent Weird Bass article that seemed to contradict our very narrow definition of psy bass. If ever there's an opportunity for us to pontificate and beat a horse until it's beyond deceased, we will take it--and this seems like our chance.
While many psychedelic bass artists have influenced those who are now making the really wonky, glitchy, trappy, alien 808 sounds, we feel that the term "Psychedelic Bass" writ large only applies to artists who satisfy at least a few of the following criteria:
- historically, the artist dabbled in the early psytrance or glitch-hop scenes
- there is a great deal of dub or downtempo in the catalog
- eastern or tribal sounds are used liberally
- the imagery and mythology associated with the act is inherently psychedelic
Though this may further muddy the waters, and serve to create more controversy than it could ever seek to solve, one thing remains true above all: these are incredible artists. Many of these players are still in the game today, and continue to inspire, while others served as more of a launchpad of inspiration for many of our favorite artists today. There are associations with yoga, spirituality, neo-hippies, altered states--the whole shot--but as always, music is subjective, and it should be enjoyed however you best see fit.
What we've sought to identify here are the key players in the Psychedelic Bass game (as we see it), and if nothing else, we hope this list encourages fans of one or more to become more familiar with the entire list.
We open the list with a notable figure in the scene, whose other project Akasha Experience is also full of that dubby, psybient, downtempo goodness.
19. Love and Light
While this favorite of the Burning Man set may be more aligned with the sounds of glitch-hop, and have even gone so far as to show up on a Pretty Lights remix album, there is no doubt that Matt Madonna and Ryan Anderson get downright psychedelic with their bass.
18. Ion Driver
Selected as one of Tipper's support acts for his now legendary Red Rocks show, Dennis Bunton is a professional in the world of trippy ambient soundscapes. His influence reaches far and wide.
17. Banco De Gaia
Toby Marks is the epitome of a global bass producer, with the ability to cover a multitude of genres and flavors, all while delivering that fat bottom end that know and love.
Tyler Smith is oft overlooked, but his contribution to the psychedelic bass world is unarguably significant. He is a favorite of many veterans in this field.