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A Magazine for Sheffield

Niche Market.

The supposed 'demise' of bassline house often sparks up as a hot topic of debate on Twitter and Facebook as well as elsewhere. Some arguing that it's 'dead,' with a slew of producers deserting to start making grime or some electro hybrid and the police in Sheffield taking a remarkable stance against bassline events, there's obviously a case to say it's taken a hit. It's fair to say bassline is effectively banned in Sheffield. Past events have made the word 'bassline' synonymous with violence to the authorities. If you want to put on a night of it, you can't before the police cancel it. It's a shame that the authorities now regard a scene that originated and blossomed in Sheffield as a nuisance. I never actually went to Niche, nor was I old enough to witness bassline explode first hand. I can only go off what I've seen, which is that whenever I play it in Sheffield, people love it. When I play it in London, people love it. Wherever it's played, it's a hit. It's the same story everywhere. When there aren't dickheads moshing about and alpha-maling themselves, it's one of the greatest genres for a club. T2's 'Heartbroken', for instance, probably the most commercially successful bassline tune ever, peaked at number 2 in the UK charts and was a clear example of what a great piece of dance music should be; perfectly rowdy and bass heavy while retaining that female friendliness that made it enjoyable for everyone. During its 'hibernation', bassline has evolved. It was once the domain of the bedroom producer using toy synth-presets, but the production values of bassline have now gained an air of professionalism. While still often produced in bedrooms, the standard of bassline releases in the past few months doesn't look out of place with the various other bass-related genres being released. It's no longer about getting a copy of Burgaboy's bass patch and being content with sounding the same - it's become an innovative and fresh scene. This is especially helped when the labels themselves are well practiced, like Numbers, Local Action and Sheffield's own Project All Out. By no means is the genre 'dead.' The volume of responses online shows the opposite - it is alive and well. A lot of the 'old guard' may have vanished, but let's not forget there's a bassline focused show on 1 Xtra every week in the form of DJ Q's UKG show. One place, every Tuesday night/Wednesday morning for anyone interested in getting a really good look at what I'm talking about. As well as this, Mosca's 'Bax' was one of the biggest underground hits of 2011 and there's a whole heap of great new producers that make it regardless of the fashions music inevitably goes through. A big underlying question over it all is, why does it matter if bassline has died down? Music has, and no doubt always will, move in cycles, trends and fashions. The very fact that people dismiss or stop making a genre simply because it's not 'in' probably says more about some of the people that were into it. If I was making what was fashionable I'd be putting out that nasty mid-range brostep rubbish. Maybe a little refreshing was what bassline needed, so that all that remains are people who genuinely love the music regardless of it being the current trend or not. )

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