EDM Explorer: Why You Should be Listening to Future Bass

EDM Explorer: Why You Should be Listening to Future Bass

EDM Explorer: Why You Should be Listening to Future Bass

EDM Explorer is an on-going series in which I am exploring the characteristics of different subgenres of electronic music, in layman’s terms. I’ll be outlining what makes them unique, as well as which types of music I love and which I loathe. In this EDM Explorer, we will be exploring an electronic music subgenre called future bass.

EDM music is a vast genre, full of distinct styles of music. Each elicits very different emotions, which is what initially drew me to it. I’ve always struggled when asked the question “What is your favorite type of music?”, mainly because I love them all (except country). What type of music I am listening to at any given point is heavily influenced by my mood and activity. That’s why I have been gravitating so heavily towards electronic music.

There are so many ‘moods’ of music that are comprised under the umbrella of EDM music. From extremely upbeat songs that will get you out of a rut, to simplistic tunes that can help you focus, electronic music seems to have it all. There are forms that are extremely lyrics and beat heavy, with plenty of variety and unexpected changes. Then there are other forms that are built on looping and predictability for the sole purpose of keeping you in a groove. One of the subgenres that tends more towards the unpredictable, high energy side of EDM is one of my favorites, future bass.

If I had to describe Future Bass in 20 words or less, I would say that it’s like…

A DJ threw some trap music, a synthesizer, your original Nintendo, and the Billboards Top 40 into a blender.

What is the Future Bass style of EDM and what makes it unique?

Even if you’re not into EDM music, you’ve probably heard at least one or two future bass songs on the radio. Spawned in the mid-2000s, future bass is a synthesizer-based style of electronic music that borrows heavily from dubstep and trap. It was originally started as a direct offshoot of another subgenre known as ‘chill trap’. That’s why so many people commonly mix together future bass with chill trap music in popular playlists. Both are highly energetic without being overly obnoxious with their beats and drops.

From what I can tell, not being an expert in the EDM field, a normal person like myself can identify the following unique characteristics of a future bass song:

  • Heavy use of snare drums (trap snare) and what sounds like that 8-bit music you loved when playing Nintendo (supersaw) leading up to the drop. See if you can pick these things out in the track below.
  • Resampling of short bits and pieces of vocal tracks at various pitches (vocal chops). Kind of sounds like when you used to play your old Casio keyboard using the setting that made the keys sound like voices. This track makes heavy use of vocal samples played at various pitches to create melodies.
  • Signature EDM-type wobbles, distortions, and driving bass. If you have listened to dubstep or trap music before, you will definitely see the influence here. This track walks that thin line between future bass and trap music.

Who are some Future Bass artists I should check out?

There are quite a few extremely well known future bass artists who you have heard on the radio. Flume, Marshmello, and The Chainsmokers have all had hit songs that have found larger success outside EDM circles. On top of these artists, if you’re wanting to check out future bass, you need to find music by:

Cashmere Cat
DJ Snake
Louis the Child
Martin Garrix
Porter Robinson
San Holo
Wave Racer

What I love about Future Bass

I was never a big fan of dubstep artists like Skrillex or Flux Pavillion, it just seemed like a little too much for me. Future bass fixes for me all the things that I didn’t love about dubstep. The drops are less ‘in your face’, the music is more chilled out and less bro-tastically obnoxious in my opinion. I love that I can turn on one of the many amazing future bass playlists on Spotify and get a ton of work done around the house. It is perfect working out music, working around the house music, or just music to get you pumped up and ready for the day. It’s also just really easy to get into a groove while listening to future bass music, which makes it perfect for extended listening. I typically turn on some future bass when I’m just wanting to ‘get stuff done’.

I’d recommend Future Bass if you’re into…

music that makes you feel like you can double your output with half the effort.

Future Bass in under 60 minutes

To close out each of these EDM Explorer posts, I’ve decided to post a short playlist that typifies the genre in my mind. I wanted to make it short enough that any reader not familiar with the genre could listen to it in one sitting. Something where you could easily make a judgment whether to explore the genre more, or not.

Love it or hate it, let me know what you think of these tracks, or the genre as a whole. Maybe you need something a bit more like lofi hip hop, which is perfect for getting in the zone to study or just relax. I’m going to be continuing to explore more subgenres of EDM music for these posts. I’m curious to hear back from the community what I should listen to next. So be sure to leave a comment about which subgenre of EDM music is your favorite.

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