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Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet: Global Bass

by Rachel Devitt

Cheat Sheet: Global Bass


"Global bass" is the excessively literal and yet extremely vague name currently being slapped onto a whole world of sounds created by pairing traditional and "world" music (hence, the "global") with electronic dance beats (and therein lies the "bass"). On the ground in various hip international locales, the result encompasses electro-cumbia, techno-Gypsy grooves and dubby Turkish jams. That postmodern pastiche formula has also spawned entire movements and genres itself, such as Asian Underground, in which South Asian beatmakers harnessed Indian folk and pop to icy drum 'n' bass and house beats; Brazil's baile funk DIY dance scene; or contemporary scene-makers like moombahton or tribal guarachero.

Despite the exciting diversity offered under the "global bass" umbrella, however, some common elements do pervade: 1) the emphasis on exploring a world of sounds listeners might not know much about, and 2) the impetus to make the kids want to dance their pants off. Get started now with our Global Bass Cheat Sheet.