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  • Stevo
    thought i d pass this on -from where i saw it on mikewatt list - pretty interesting and DR Das s thing seems to relate to the group dynamic thing i was trying
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 5, 2001
      thought i'd pass this on -from where i saw it on mikewatt list -
      pretty interesting and DR Das's thing seems to relate to the group
      dynamic thing i was trying to talk about

      this is pretty interesting too

      By Dr Das on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 06:39 pm:
      Hi Babar,
      To me, being a bassist is about expression. When I
      play, I'm trying to convey my love of music, people,
      my family, anger, joy, spirituality-a yearning to find
      God (believe it or not, frustration, etc. In fact, I
      think it's every player's responsibility to express
      and interpret the theme or meaning of a piece of
      music/song and not just be 'functional.' For this
      reason, notions of 'backing,' 'backing musicians,'
      'backing tape' etc are anathema to me. EVERYONE in ADF
      is the 'rhythm section.' Everyone is responsible for
      supporting and inspiring everyone else. Ornette
      Coleman tried to break down the distinction between
      rhythm section and soloists. 'Western pop' often has
      this musical hierarchy.
      In ADF, we've got dub mentality. Dub is a militant
      musical notion as it inverts this idea of 'backing'.
      The backing IS the music. The bass and drums are not
      reliant upon other sounds, like guitar or horns for
      instance, to justify their existence. When these other
      elements are present, they ENHANCE music that is
      already complete.
      Hip hop took it further- it's only the drums that are
      needed to get on with things, though there is still a
      one-note bass element in the bass drum (often with an
      808 bass drum.)
      (I think this idea is important for bassists and
      musicians in general, wishing to get on with music
      making independently, whilst still looking for that
      collective situation. When I heard what 23 Skidoo were
      doing in the 80s, I thought "I've got a pair of
      congas-I could form a band, rather than just look for
      'percussionist wanted' notices." But I digress.)
      The main emphasis in my playing is MELODY, especially
      cyclical melodies based in one key (modal playing.)
      I'm not very much into key changes. This comes from
      listening to Indian classical music and getting more
      into the instrument playing the cyclical scale
      defining the raga rather than the soloist. Again,
      expression is associated with mostly with soloing but
      to me, repetition can convey just as much meaning and
      Melody in bass playing is not often perceived or
      acknowledged unless the bass is playing in a higher
      register or is soloing. Some people have said
      Radiohead's "Kid A" is lacking in melody. But there
      are loads of bassline melodies there, most obviously
      on "The National Anthem" and "Morning Bell."
      In Dub, bass is more often than not the main melody
      from which even vocal ideas emerge. Lee Perry would
      have reels of drum patterns with bass melodies, ie.
      "riddims" to which vocalists would try out their
      lyrics. This is music making from the 'bottom
      upwards'- the bassline as 'hookline.' And talking of
      hooklines, Peter Hooks b'lines work exactly like this-
      defining often the melody of the song. My favourite is
      "She's Lost Control" of which there's an ADF version
      laying in wait.
      Emphasis on melody doesn't mean I relinquish
      traditional rock resposibilities of the bass like time
      keeping, liasing with the drummer and grooving- but
      these come as standard.
      If Chandrasonic has already got a strong melody on the
      guitar, I try and find what I call a 'counter-melody.'
      "Naxalite" has strong bass and guitar melodies that
      work together. Someone can hear them together or focus
      on them seperately depending upon what drug state
      they're in. Often, we play the same pattern- 'unison
      lines'as at the end of Naxalite and in "PKNB"
      (inspired by Bad Brains.) Aston Barrett was the master
      of counter melody. Bob Marley wrote strong vocal
      hooklines and harmonies often moving through chords
      and written on acoustic guitar. Barrett (also Marley's
      musical arranger) still managed to write catchy
      basslines that didn't detract from the other melodies.
      "Exodus" is a strong example and check out the whole
      "Uprising" album.
      Jah Wobble's great innovation was to take reggae bass
      and principles and execute them in other contexts. His
      recent work with musicians from Laos ("Molam Dub") and
      Temple of Sound ("Peoples'Colony No. 1") are
      There are many other bassists whose output reflect and
      have affected my attitude towards playing bass. And
      many bassists with different perspectives.I hope more
      people become inspired to adopt it as a tool of
      musical expressional.

      in response to;

      By babar on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 11:31 am:
      from japanese bass magazine

      "How do you consider the role of the bassist within a

      a bass -- always -- a shadow -- a musical instrument
      -- it is caught
      It is the light of the outfield when it says on
      However, I do not think so.
      When a bassist cheers up other men, he also shine.
      If the best performance of a member can be pulled out,

      it means that it had been successful with my
      The sound of a bass is felt rather than it hears it.
      A bass is not only a technique and it is important
      what phrase is performed.
      The physical law is controlling the performance.
      Sound becomes smaller as there are many notes.
      Therefore, if only a suitable note is chosen and
      performed, sound can be heard thickly.

      When working as a band member of J.Mascis,
      how is the role of the bass in his band caught?

      I am always going to become the existence like a jump
      A diver will carry out a splendid jump to a pool from
      a diving board (smile).
      I am going to make the firm foundation to which other
      musicians can fly, and shine.
      A bass is in a strange position.
      The element of a drum is also contained in the bass
      the element of a guitar is also contained in it.
      Although it is close to a bass drum,
      a fundamental place becomes the existence near a
      guitar, when flipping a high note.
      And this band begins from the idea of J fundamentally.

      Therefore, his talk is often heard and it is made to
      put it into execution.
      In giving a band, it is important to often hear a
      surrounding sound.
      It is the thing with every same band.
      It is important that just a bassist considers and
      hears it. "

      mike watt
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