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DJ Zinc picks the 10 best basslines ever

Banging basslines

  • Intro: James Ball | Track descriptions: DJ Zinc
  • 10 May 2019

In the early '90s, DJ Zinc was making a name for himself on the pirate radio circuit, most notably hosting a show with his running mate DJ Swift on Impact FM.

It wasn’t until 1995, however, that the DJ and producer really broke through with ‘Super Sharp Shooter’, a killer jungle track that helped to lay the foundations for the nascent d’n’b scene and establish himself as a vital player in UK dance music.

Since then, he has dabbled in various sounds and styles, including 2-step, breaks (under his Jammin alias) and his self-coined ‘crack house’.

However, Zinc has recently gone full circle and returned with his first drum ‘n’ bass production in over a decade, ‘Something New’ featuring Reigns on Bingo Bass.

To mark this occasion, we linked up with the big man who has provided up with some of his favourite basslines of all time. Take it away, Zinc.

Debbie Malone
'Rescue Me'

"This era is when I first realised the bassline could be the main melody. This one paved the way for countless others like George Morel’s 'Let's Groove’ and many other rollers."

Studio 2
'Dirty Games'

"There were lots of bangers released around this time but this one still smashes it to this day! The beats were speeding up and the whole jungle vibe was more instrumental and moody. Vibes!"

Hyper-On Experience
'Lords Of The Null Lines' (Foul Play Remix)

"A seminal track at an important time for jungle/dnb. Clean production with a killer bassline."

Roni Size & Reprazent
'Watching Windows' (DJ Die Gnarly Mix)

"This one was on dub plate for around 18 months before it was released, and was an anthem for all that time. The same situation couldn’t happen now, but it was pretty standard back then. I was lucky enough to have a plate of it, another track that’s stood the test of time - the switch between the high square bass to the low sine bass kills it every time."

Shimon & Andy C
'Quest'

"Play 2 sine waves on consecutive keys and you get a lovely wobble - then pitch bend some of the notes and you get quest, ground breaking at the time, sounding fresh still."

R.I.P. Productions
'The Rub'

"It’s the M1 organ bass, but lower down the keyboard than a lot of tracks which gave it a darker more driving feel. Banger."

Wiley
'Eskimo'

"This bassline is the ’sliding squares’ preset on the Triton keyboards - I had that keyboard for years, which is a good reminder that its not so much what tools you have, but more what you do with em. Instantly recognisable, an early grime anthem."

Roots Manuva
'Witness' (1 Hope)

"The vocals are on point but it’s the bassline that kills it for me. Squelchy as fuck - the squelch is provided by the resonance knob on whichever synth made this one. Sounds quite Moog-y."

Leftfield
'Phat Planet'

"Deceptively simple - but there’s a lot going on in this one, built around a moody driving bassline."

D Bridge & Vegas
'True Romance'

"dBridge has described his music as ‘beautifully aggressive’ or something along those lines, and that explains it perfectly, with this track as a great example. Deep rolling reece style bass made this a drum and bass classic."

DJ Zinc ‘Something New’ featuring Reigns is out now on Bingo Bass

Read this next!

Spotify playlist: 25 classic bassline tracks
The 15 best speed garage records released in '97 and '98
DJ Zinc: "I love technology but I wonder if we've lost something along the way" something along the way"

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