Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Homage to Bass

 (image is mine - my brother Alex Hall used it as the cover for his EP of the same name)

The chances of me waking up, getting out of the shower, coming home and hearing Bass are very strong. If Dylan's in a good music mood and willing to chug out the beats, this is what will greet me. The funny part is that this has been a likely opportunity since I was thirteen, not just in the last five years.

Dylan, like my brother Alex, is a DJ and also electronic music composer. In fact, Dylan DJ'd Alex and his wife Patty's wedding. I talk often with the both of them about art, composition and creativity - they the musicians and me the writer/photographer. It's a nice connection for them to have, too.

When Alex came home from college, I was in my early teens and eager to have a brother back. For a bit, he lived with my mom and me, and as soon as she left the house, the bass would come up from through the floorboards (he was in the proverbial moving-back-home-to-the-basement) and fill my feet with sound and feeling. Although he must have only lived with us for a couple of years (he could verify this better than I, I suspect) it feels to me like he lived with us all throughout my teens, for the sense of music literally pervading my life is continuous (we listened to jazz and classical constantly as kids, and public talk radio; this distinctly changes to techno in my teens).

Alex would say that in order to practice DJ'ing he HAD to turn it up LOUD.
"You have to be able to FEEL the beat," he'd say, likely still says when his now-wife asks if he can turn it down a bit. Mostly I liked it as a teen - far more exciting than Shostakovich, for sure - but even I needed a break sometimes, especially after a loud and long house party the night before. But Alex never tired of it. Neither does Dylan.

Alex and Dylan definitely have different styles and tastes in what they like to both mix and make. But a bass beat is basic to Electronic music, and it's ever-present in my life, thanks to both these beautiful musicians.

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