HOTGOTHIC Presents: Dr Jacket’s TOP 5 BASS LINES OF 2016.
“Now listen up, I ain’t got time to be making lists. That’s a job for the Spanish Inquisition. Or clickbait websites. Or Santa fucking Claus. No sireebob, no time for looking backwards, no time to rest, always moving forward, forward, forward into a future where bass is recognised as the only instrument a band truly needs.
But Malibu and Katy said to me, “Jacket” they said, “Jacket you must have enjoyed a couple of songs this year that you didn’t write?” And this got me thinking. Maybe there were a handful of cracking tunes that featured bass lines almost as gifted as my own that had somehow permeated through the lead lined walls of the Jacket Bunker. And I owed it to the world to let you all know which ones they were.
So to kick things off, first comes this snaky little number. A funky bass line that just grabs a hold of your hips and won’t let em stop moving. The fossilised spine of a big, bad, dangerous t-rex. But one from the future.”
“My grand uncle Colonel Blanket was a cruel man. Fought in the Malaria Wars, shot a postman once, he told me once it was cause he’d never killed a man in uniform. But say what you like about him, he played jazz bass like a man possessed. Me, I could never follow it – just random noise, bleeping and blooping – no groove, certainly nothing you could get your freak on to. But his influence no doubt paved the way for this jazzy little number, coming in at number four of my top bass lines of the year.
It’s Christmas eve. You’re probably with your family. I’m playing strip poker by myself in the Jacket Bunker, treating myself to a bottle of expensive bourbon. The last words to the world of a great man are blasting out, that sax is wailing, the volume’s at 11, a tear rolls down my leathery chin. Raise a glass to what is surely the only bass line that can do justice to such a moment.
Raise a glass my children.”
“Righto, looks like we’ve come to the half way point of this list of mine. I hope you’re sitting comfortably, with a glass of port and some patriotic British cheeses within comfortable reaching distance. Ready? Good. Tell the family to gather around, tell those kids to SHUT THE FUCK UP! JESUS! And now click the link below.
You know what, I think this just might be the perfect bass line. At first glance it’s nothing too flashy, but when you really listen to it like I do (on repeat in an isolation tank, forty five minutes after eating two and a half blotters of the finest acid on the dark web), little sparks of brilliance flash from every note. Every slide perfectly placed, every chord change underlined in unexpected splendour.
And that tone – where to begin? Well, I began by creating a fake facebook persona to ask the bassist how he did it. Even after I’d bought all the same gear, and set it all up exactly the same, I’m still only about 75% of the way towards that majestic tone. I feel like the alchemists of old, spending a lifetime poring over arcane scrolls, attempting to uncover a formula to transmute plentiful lead into glittering gold. The quest for tone goes ever on my friends, when I have this formula then maybe, just maybe, I’ll share it with the world, and we will have peace on earth.
Merry Christmas y’all.”
“We’re a day on from my last missive, and you’ve probably all still got Desperate Journalist on repeat since yesterday, so how are we feeling my pretties? Are your tummies stretched? Was Santa good to you this year? She sure sorted me out – a pack of solid gold bass strings, a festive hummer sans-johnnie, and an antique nazi pistol to help me defend the Jacket Bunker for the coming year of chaos.
But enough about me. I guess we better examine another bass line from the year that almost was?
At number two on my list, the mighty Swans. But Jacket, I hear you say, I thought you were all about short snappy little bass lines, bass lines that make you wanna get your genitals out? Well, there’s more than one way to skin a cat, my darlings. Sure, a HOTGOTHIC bass line is like a quicky in a pub toilet. Short, messy, and involving a couple of rapidly shifting yet ultimately uncomfortable positions. But sometimes, you need a little more. Something longer and muscular. A bass line that you can take your time with, start out all slow and loving, really let it simmer, then build it up to an explosive climax, with strands of white hot jizz arcing across the back seat of your Volvo V40 hatchback.
Plus, I love the look of pain on Chris Pravdica’s face when he really gets going. This is a man who clearly suffers for his bass lines, and he wants you to suffer too.
“I think we can all agree that no examination of the top bass lines of the year could be complete without one of my own little gems featuring in there somewhere. Not because my ego is almost as big as my chin, but just because it’s a proven scientific fact. This list originally ended differently, but Malibu and Katy made me change it because, basically, they’re a couple of humourless pricks.
But you know what, I think this choice is a happy medium (wave). This bass line is so good it really deserves to be number one of next years top five bass lines as well, and you know what, if I’ve still got a keyboard and a working internet connection in a years time, you’ll probably be reading something similar to this, stroking your beard and thinking “Damn it, Jacket *was* right.” It is, if I’m honest, the bass line I always wish I’d written.
This is only a fraction of the whole remix suite (which quite coincidentally you can purchase for yourself if you visit our bandcamp), but I think we chose this section for widest possible release because it has, hands down, the best bass line ever written by god or man. I once thought you could never improve on perfection, but our pals in Medium Wave proved me wrong, again.
Don’t get me started on all the synth noodling though, that’s all totally OTT.
Peace and love, Dr Jacket.”