Milo_Busty

Busty and the Bass is a Canadian 8-piece soul-jazz collective who has a fan, mentor, and collaborator in the great Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire. At the helm of the rhythm of BATB is Milo Johnson, a tasteful and groove-minded bassist who serves as the glue keeping the other seven parts of the band together. His playing and writing can be heard on the group's latest album, Eddie, which was released in August of 2020. The album was executive produced by Verdine himself, helping to further the role of the bass in their music. 

We recently caught up with Milo to discuss his 10 favorite bass lines of all time and how they've influenced his own playing.

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“I Want Your Love” - Chic (Bernard Edwards)

One of the best disco bass lines from the king, Bernard Edwards. The tone of his bass and the tightness of the line –specifically the right hand, man. It's so punchy but it feels very playful and light at the same time.

“Flash Light” - Parliament (Bootsy Collins) 

The P-Funk answer to disco. One of the first synth bass parts in the P-Funk universe that became incredibly iconic and probably one of the most sampled parts of their catalogue. This line really defines simplicity, danceability, impeccable groove. 

“Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” - McFadden & Whitehead (Jimmy Williams)

Another gem from the disco era. This line is so melodic and really fills an important role in the sonic palette of this track. The way that it plays off the vocal melody is an important benchmark for bass writing for me.

“Sunshine” - Earth, Wind & Fire (Verdine White) 

A great example of melodic bass writing from the legend Verdine White. I had to include him in this list since he is on our new EP. I love how the bass outlines the Maj7 arpeggio and hits many other color tones. Not something that we often hear from the low end, mostly being confined to roots, fifths and octaves.

“Am I Wrong?” - Anderson .Paak (Ivan "Pomo" Rosenberg)

A great example of driving synth bass production from Ivan "Pomo" Rosenberg on this Anderson Paak track. The tone feels very close to an electric bass and the melody in this line plays against the rest of the groove so beautifully. Great part development as well, from the more staccato line at the beginning to really opening on on the sustained section behind the bridge.

“What’s the Use?” - Mac Miller (Thundercat)

I've always wondered if this bass line was written before or after the vocal melody. I love how the vocal line really feels like a bass part in its rhythmic variation and development. Also, the fact that the bass part is composed for the entire harmonic loop progression.

“Superfly” - Curtis Mayfield (Joseph "Lucky" Scott)

Straight groove. Definitely the simplest line on this list, but so deep and influential in its simplicity. The lock with the percussion and drums on the verses and then the energy lift with the more driving section is a great example of part development.

“Strings of Light” - Yussef Kamaal (Kareem Dayes)

Needed to throw something off this record on here. The chops and melodies and maturity of the playing is an inspiration. The link with a drum vibe that is very explorative shows the different ways of staying grounded while also venturing into more nebulous rhythmic territory.

“Smoke to This” - Iamnobodi

One of my favorite synth bass sounds ever. The way that it takes up so much of the sonic space is a great example to me of a more minimal production style.

“Delight” - Evil Needle

I love how this line explores so many different ranges of the bass, and holds the melody space in the track.

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