2020 has been a roller coaster of a ride - there were both strenuous and joyful moments that collectively pieced together this complicated year. With that being said, the music supplied from the bass community continued to drop jaws. The versatility that the genre has sparked during this year alone is beyond impressive. With that being said, this chart showcases the best songs from prevalent and experimental bass genres. You'll discover tracks from some of your favorite artists and some new ones that have made a name for themselves over these past 52 weeks. So without further ado, here are the 15 best bass music tracks of 2020.
1. MOORE KISMET FEAT. PAULINE HERR - 'YOU SHOULD RUN' [NIGHT MODE]
Moore Kismet's "You Should Run" went through a lot of trial and error in the DAW, with many iterations being scrapped and reimagined until they were able to create the track you hear now. Vocalist Pauline Herr adds a majestical topline, while Kismet puts their otherworldly sound design to work. This track has the perfect contrast of dreamy, heavily reverberated elements, and eery sounds to mesh an incredibly versatile record. You may initially think that through the incorporation of these softer sounds that they appear to be moving away from the Moore Kismet sound we know them for, but the second drop goes back to their roots and ties everything together, making this record the 16-year-old producer's most ambitious release to date.
2. GREAT DANE FEAT. SUMTHIN SUMTHIN - 'FREE MONEY, FREE TIMES' [ADBC RECORDS]
"Free Money, Free Times" comes off of bass producer Great Dane's album Delta Fly that was released back in March. Consistently releasing tracks off of his imprint ADBC Records, the LA-based, Orange County native has crafted his incredible niche sound that has evolved continuously over time since he started touring back in 2013. In collaboration with Sumthin Sumthin, the pair have come together to combine their wonky sound design, unorthodox song structuring, and groovy beats. The minimalist approach taken on this track is what makes it such an appealing listen and will be something new for your ears in the incredibly oversaturated genre of trap.
3. PLUKO FEAT. NATE TRAVELLER - 'BLESSINGS' [SPLENDID SOCIETY]
Pennsylvania native pluko has completely conquered 2020 as a producer, designer, and entrepreneur. With an impressive resume and upward trending numbers, pluko has paved his way through the industry in an innovative way, as he chooses to stay independent. "Blessings" was the track that started off his year strong. After a studio session in Los Angeles with Nate Traveller, there was a natural chemistry between the two artists, which subsequently led to the record being the leading asset for the promotion of his album COLOR BLIND. With a catchy rhythm, arpeggiated bass patches, and refreshing vocal chops, this is a track you can't miss.
4. GRIZ - 'COULD U' [NIGHT BASS]
Grant Kwiecinski, better known as GRiZ, gives us a bass house track that will definitely get played out as clubs reopen. "Could U" is a groovy and dynamic track that has some impressive basslines and vocal chops. Out via AC Slater's imprint Night Bass, the producer has amassed an overwhelming amount of support from the community. After a hefty amount of music released in 2019, with classics such as "Griztronics" with Subtronics, the producer is proving his ability to produce across many dance music sub-genres.
5. REAPER - 'HEADHUNTER' [MONSTERCAT]
Returning to the chart is masked producer REAPER. His track "HEADHUNTER" is certainly taking all the marbles for being one of the best drumstep tracks we've heard in 2020. With sinister vocals, heavy percussion, and extremely distorted basslines, it's almost impossible to not include this track. With over 5 million streams in 2019 and certainly 5 million more in 2020, the REAPER project continues to disrupt the bass music community.
6. ZEDS DEAD - 'VOLTAGE' [DEADBEATS]
With the release of their 10-track album The Lost Tapes, Vol. 1, "Voltage" is the lead-off track that captivates all of Zeds Dead's diehard fanbase. This whole album includes tracks that go back to the duo's roots, which induces a sense of nostalgia for their listeners. The collection of songs were handpicked from IDs between the years of 2008 and 2009, which will subsequently take you back into a whole different sounding period of bass music.
7. DON TOLIVER - 'NO IDEA (CRANKDAT RE-CRANK)' [TRAP NATION]
Making another return to the chart is Crankdat with his remix of Don Toliver's "No Idea." There is so much variety to this track that sculpts out the signature sound we know the Ohio-based producer for. Covered in melodic arpeggios, heavily compressed drums, and wavy saw waves, this track flawlessly showcases Crankdat's capability of remixing hip-hop and making it unique to bass. Other rap remixes he did include three re-imaginations of tracks off of Travis Scott's grammy-nominated album Astroworld and Post Malone's "Rockstar."
8. ROOTKIT - 'CHRONICLES' [BITBIRD]
With the release of his debut studio album, Recursion, Norwegian producer Rootkit sets the tone with "Chronicles." This rhythmic, future bass inspired track brings forward the producers evolved sound and eclectic mix of influences across many genres. This particular track gave me a sense of nostalgia and took me back to the Rootkit era of 2014-2016 when he was releasing a mixture of drumstep, drum and bass, and experimental music.
9. HUDSON MOHAWKE - 'CHIMES (MSFT REMIX)' [INDEPENDENT RELEASE]
Out of all of the msft we were given with this year, I believe his "Chimes" remix originally by Hudson Mohawke is superior. This track has so much explosiveness and energy that you won't be able to find from many other bass tracks released this year. The timbre that his recent discography gives off is a very raw and rugged sound that ultimately stands out amongst other tracks that try to go for a very polished, sonically pleasing sound. The intricacies of this complex track are fascinating, as there are always a lot of elements that piece together a big puzzle you won't be able to solve on your first listen.
10. HEIMANU - 'SAVIOUR' [LOWLY.]
Returning to the chart with "Saviour" is Australian-based producer Heimanu who has dominated this year by pumping out a new style of bass music called NuRave. The producer does an excellent job of combining dark and melodic elements to bring out undiscovered emotions from the listener. There is a dark, yet beautifully harmonic angle taken from his tracks that have attracted a whole new wave of listeners. "Saviour" really puts out all of that emotion with majestical vocals, punishing drums, larger than life saw waves.
11. GRAVEDGR & YEHME2 - 'BEAM' [THRIVE MUSIC]
After the successful release of a massive album 6 FEET UNDER, GRAVEDGR pairs up with fellow producer Yehme2 who has also been releasing a number of singles and collaborations throughout the year. "BEAM" starts off with a dark, ambient vibe that eventually progresses to a terrorizing drop that is full of a fully chaotic lead that changes its rhythm halfway to a more arpeggiated sound. With riser effects going on in the background, the track almost creates the illusion of a Shepard tone.
12. ARRESTED YOUTH - 'MIRRORS (JUELZ REMIX)' [LOWLY.]
Trap producer Juelz has had a gargantuan 2020, to say the least. This time around, he is remixing artist Arrested Youth's "Mirrors". The original is an alternative rock track that has amassed millions of plays on YouTube since its initial release back in 2018. Juelz puts his trademarked touch to bring a new kind of energy to the track. The vocal chops, synth stabs, and low end create such a powerful liveliness to this interpretation of the original. The addicting nature of this song will certainly keep you coming back for multiple listens.
13. KAYZO & DELTA HEAVY - 'TORMENTA' [MONSTERCAT]
Kayzo has been on a roll this year with a consistent release schedule, along with excellent music being pumped out of his powerhouse imprint Welcome Records. Joining the Houston-born artist is Delta Heavy, who are recognized as drum and bass heavy hitters and add even more character to this malevolent track. With brutal builds and violent drops, "Tormenta" is one of the best heavy-hitting records to close out the year to.
14. REZZ - 'ORBIT' [INDEPENDENT RELEASE]
REZZ returns to earth with a special track "ORBIT." After the release of her Beyond The Senses EP in 2019, the mid-tempo bass producer has kept the ball rolling into 2020. The track starts off on an ambient tone, with heavily reverberated vocal samples, but before you know it you are taken into a mid-tempo drop with hollow percussive sounding synths, blistering effects, and various bass sounds. The bridge maintains the track's ominous vibe that eventually pulls us right back into the next drop that is full of deep bass sounds that are unique to REZZ. There is a minimalistic feel to this track, which puts emphasis on every sound throughout the three-minute playtime.
15. ALISON WONDERLAND - 'BAD THINGS' [UNIVERSAL MUSIC AUSTRALIA]
Finishing off this chart is Alison Wonderland with "Bad Things." This is yet another exceptional release coming from her discography this year. With a lot of emotion and personal meaning devoted to the track, this song is a journey of frustration and angst. Her emotional lyrics are perfectly complemented by a high-octane drop that is both exhilarating and refreshing. The balance of light and dark elements in this record is what makes it so dynamic and unique.
Stream the whole chart below on Spotify and SoundCloud: