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Bass Generation - Basshunter
Member Name: yackers1
Bass Generation - Basshunter
Advantages: It's great - If you're a Saxo driving boy racer
Disadvantages: Poor lyrics, repetitive, boring
Ever since my teenage years dance/trance and music that is described to be "big in bass" has appeared at various times throughout my life. During the third year of senior school, just before the large Indie scene kicked off (remember the Blur V Oasis battle for supremacy along with many other top bands?), the only thing playing on my walkman was Dreamscape 19 Drum 'n' Bass. Whilst CDs were around back then the Dreamscape music was only available in cassette boxes consisting of many tapes and whilst the overall sound quality wasn't that great the bass lines were kickin'.
Once the Indie scene appeared I followed suit, like every other 'sheep' in my year and my beloved DJ Dougal, and many other Dreamscape DJ's were put on the shelf to collect dust. Whilst at college my love for the dance/trance and drum 'n' bass scene developed once more and this was fuelled through many great nights at Zoom in Norwich (a 'famous' drum 'n' bass club that closed down in 1999) and owning a Ford Orion Ghia with twin 12 inch kicker subwoofers that were amped up to the max. Max Power magazine regularly 'gave' away bass CDs with their publication and these were perfect fodder for our ICE ("in car entertainment") systems.
In a few short months I found that decent stereo equipment was not only expensive (and just asking for some low life scum to pinch it) but it also put a serious drain on your cars electrical system and was very heavy, hence affecting performance of my pride and joy so the decision was made to get out of the ICE scene and more in to the performance scene, where hip hop and rap became the order of the day. Once again the bass was put aside, although my love for bass was frequently re-ignited by the release of specific tracks and artists (Oxide and Neutrino to name but one) it was always short lived and nothing more than a fad.
I find dance/trance and similar bass music a strange genre and one that I only listen to in specific circumstances and at specific times. There is definitely a niche market for this genre and there are many people who will not appreciate this type of music.
****So, what is this "Basshunter" all about then?****
Basshunter real name is Jonas Alterberg and he is a Swedish producer who has actually been around for quite a long time and releasing four albums prior to his Bass Generation offering. This double CD album was released to mark his tenth year in the industry. Despite being around for such a long time Basshunter was pretty much unheard of in the UK until his 1998 smash of "Now You're Gone" made it to number one in the UK charts for a few weeks and became mainstream, and I have to admit that it was "Now You're Gone" that introduced me to Basshunter. Whilst I found this track very addictive to begin with I soon found it became quite tiring as the amount of airplay increased.
****Give us a low down on the tunes then****
This album consists of two discs, the first containing 15 tracks and the second 9, including;
1. Every Morning
2. I Promised Myself
4. I Will Learn To Love Again (Feat. Stunt)
5. Don't Walk Away
6. I Still Love
7. Day & Night
8. I Can't Deny
9. Far From Home
10. I Know U Know
11. On Our Side
12. Can You
13. Plane To Spain
14. Every Morning (Michael Mind Remix Edit)
1. Now You're Gone (Feat. DJ Mental Theo's Bazzheadz) (DJ Alex Extended Mix)
2. All I Ever Wanted (Ultra DJs Remix)
3. Angel In The Night (Headhunters Remix)
4. I Miss You (Hyperzone Remix)
5. Please Don't Go (Bad Behaviour Remix)
6. Walk On Water (Ultra DJs Remix)
7. Every Morning (Raindropz! Remix)
8. Camilla (Swedish Version)
9. Without Stars (Swedish Version)
The second disc is more of a bonus disc and includes remixes of his previous stuff, all of which I had never previously heard.
In my experience with dance/trance music, there are often albums that use a sample of a song (be it rock, pop or whatever) that is mainstream and that many people instantly recognise. The producers may play around with the melody a bit, or play around with the voices but the sample is still recognisable. I didn't find this the case with this album as there was absolutely nothing I recognised, other than Now You're Gone of course.
I would have thought out of so many tracks there would be at least one sample I recognised but this was not the case, which surprised me somewhat.
****So these Tunes, a dance floor filler or a dance floor killer?****
As I liked "Now You're Gone" I thought there would be other tracks I liked but this was not the case. I guess I was far too bored of "Now You're Gone" by the time I actually got round to listening to this album. Shame really, but C'est la vie.
Where classic dance/trance bass type tunes like "Bound For Da Reload" and "Operation Blade" were dance floor fillers and got clubbers shaking their thing and "waving their hands in the air like they didn't care" this Eurotrash excuse for dance/trance music is more likely to send clubbers to the bar for a stiff drink. In my opinion all tracks are definite dance floor killers, unless there are some deaf and extremely incoherent clubbers on the floor during these tracks that is.
The repetitive "doof-doof-doof" that follows some unimaginative and weak lyrics, such as "pump up the volume" is just dire. It lacks depth, it lacks originality and most of all it lacks that 'something'. One positive about the vocals is they are at normal pitch, as they should be. Remember Scooter's "Logical Song"? The high pitched and squeaky vocals were like that of a squirrel on acid and, in my opinion, were just awful. I am pleased to confirm there are no such issues with this album.
Personally, I haven't heard any Basshunter track other than "Now You're Gone" in a club, although I admit I don't go clubbing that much anymore. If you're going to hear this album anywhere than your own home, or a mates' house then it is likely to be blasted out of a Citroen Saxo or some other typical boy racer car in the car park of your local supermarket.
****Surely it can't be all bad?****
If you like one track on this album then there is a good chance you will like the rest of the tracks as they are all so similar. The only thing that really sets them apart is the guest vocals from the likes of Stunt (I believe he featured on Sash's " Encore Un Fois") and Lauren (whom I cannot place and I am unsure if I have ever heard anything this artist has done before) on a couple of tracks. Despite these additional vocal appearances the tracks are still pretty much the same.
One thing this album would be good for, other than bird scarers, cup coasters or mini Frisbees, is a gym session. The repetitive beat is spot on for running or cross training but then so is the beat of many up tempo dance/trance tracks and I would chose something else over and above any track on Basshunter's album.
***So how much if I want to experience the Basshunter's melodies?***
If you want to waste your time and money listening to this garbage then the CD will set you back a little under £5 from most retailers (at the time of writing this album could be bought for under a fiver from HMV online, Amazon and Ebay) and getting hold of a copy should not pose too many problems.
If you prefer to have an electronic copy then this album can be downloaded from a number of different sites for around the same as the CD version.
****Overall thoughts and opinion****
As you've probably guessed I am not a great fan of this album. I am the first to admit I am not a hardcore fan of dance/trance and bass music, nor do I like wearing luminous garments whilst spinning glow sticks between my fingers and blowing in to a whistle. That said, I do appreciate the genre and it is one that keeps making its way back on to my various music machines at different times.
In my opinion a good dance/trance album needs great acoustics, a deep and chest breaking bass line combined with some emotive lyrics. The lyrics don't have to be particularly deep or meaningful but they have to make the hairs on the back of your neck raise, a prime example would be Alice Deejay "Better Off Alone", ATB "9pm Till I Come" or Chicane's "Salt Water", and I get goose pimples every time I hear these tracks as the lyrics are just so haunting. Unfortunately, BassHunter doesn't have the same effect on me and this attempt falls flat on all levels. I can't see any of his musical pieces becoming future dance/trance classics.
In my opinion Basshunter is so far off the mark I wouldn't even contemplate listening to his offerings, besides there are far too many other and, in my opinion, much better artists out there and I would recommend seeking out one of these for your dance/trance fix, or regress back to classic artists and DJs.
(This review was originally posted on Ciao under the name of Yackers1)
Summary: A poor offereing of Swedish Eurotrash