Basshunter Bass Generation Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

Music of a staggeringly low quality.

Al Fox 2009

Perhaps surprisingly to some, Bass Generation marks ten years in the career of Swedish producer Jonas Altberg, whose arduous brand of house under the Basshunter moniker has only fallen on mainstream UK ears since early 2008. Yet he’s risen through the ranks to stand alongside Eurodance bastions Scooter in championing the genre, and, in keeping with this, a calculated – even celebrated – absence of anything resembling heart and soul is a key component of Bass Generation.

The desperate, wheedling electronic hooks that permeate each and every track; the sub-average vocals which rewrite the very concept of autotune; the beyond-cliché cries of “pump up the volume”: you’re left wondering whether this is an authentic musical project from a genuinely-passionate DJ, or a shrewdly-executed parody from the team behind Saturday Night Live.

Why, featuring an agonisingly high-pitched electronic drone, like some sort of Casio tapeworm doing laps of the inside of your skull, is the archetypal example of Basshunter’s formulaic house torment. And the more creative moments, such as Plane to Spain with its Vengaboys stylings, vocoder maltreatment and heavy sampling of the Tetris theme, have to at least be commended for sheer audacity, even if the end result is, plainly, unlistenable.

Bass Generation is not so much something you’d expect to fill the dancefloor of an out-of-town nightclub; more something that’d come muffled through the walls of the club toilets, whilst a disgruntled woman in a tabard guards the sinks, demanding £2 for a lollipop and a squirt of Curious by Britney Spears.

Dance artists find it enough of a hurdle being taken seriously as musicians by wood ‘n’ strings purists, and their cause is only hindered by the mechanical, banal, lifeless atrocities on display here. But fundamentally, Basshunter – along with a sizeable portion of his candyfloss Eurohouse contemporaries – is very much a species far removed from anything else. And while this sub-genre may fall victim to prejudgment perhaps more than is fair, it’s safe to say that on this occasion, without any degree of the aforementioned predisposition, the music in question is of a staggeringly low quality.

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