By Anil Prasad | Bass Player. June, 2007
Dub bass, according to Das, represents “the sound of people trying to bring down Babylon.”
Describe the politics you feel are inherent in dub bass.
It relates to the general attitude in music that bassists are just there to hold down the rhythm, whereas vocalists and guitarists are the ones responsible for serious expression. Dub music represents an inversion of clichéd perspectives about bass. With dub, the bass line is the hook of the song and the guitar is often there backing it up. The bass line offers a low-frequency melody that carries the key emotional content. Your job is the same as it is for any other instrument—ensuring how you feel about the world is reflected back into your playing. The challenge is you’ve got to do all of that using as few notes as possible.
There are several criteria the bass line has to meet for me: Does it break your heart? Will it make your body move? Is it militant? Can you make love to it? In a way, it’s a search for the one bass line that exists at the center of the universe.