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Bass Is the Name of the Game

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Album Review

For most, DJ Magic Mike's 1988 album Bass Is the Name of the Game is remembered for its speaker-ruining low-end and the fact that it went gold, which is some feat for a mostly instrumental Miami bass record. Ask someone who is a bona fide crate crawler and he'll tell you the album is much more, partly responsible for the turntablism explosion along with being a huge influence on cut-up funk folks like Fatboy Slim and most acts signed to the Ninja Tune label. The samples (many of which are lifted off Beastie Boys records) sound nostalgically cheap and the rappers — MC Madness and T-Isaam — are old-school party types who are entirely pre-2Pac, but it's all charming and "dated" in the best sense of the word. What isn't dated at all is Mike's hectic scratching, which uses the turntable as an instrument, adding the human element as robotic drum machines and sequencers hypnotically loop away. The album is also surprisingly diverse for a bass record, ranging from the almost Technotronic, hectic dance of "M&M's Gettin' Off" to the slow bedroom roll of "For the Easy Listeners," which borrows a healthy portion of the Isley Brothers' "Between the Sheets." Topping it all off is the classic "Lower the Dynamite," a track as important to the big beat genre as it is to the second wave of turntable terrorists (Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Rob Swift, the X-Ecutioners, etc.).

Biography

Born: 1967 in Orlando, FL

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

DJ Magic Mike, the breakthrough bass producer after 2 Live Crew, was the music's most crucial recording artist. An underground label impresario on the order of Master P, Mike's productions were much rougher than the slick Miami bass sound and pursued a gritty old-school vibe — more akin to Ultramagnetic...
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Bass Is the Name of the Game, DJ Magic Mike
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