It’s been a quite the year for bass music, and we’ve gone through our favorites to bring them to you.
From the tracks you heard in every set, to the tracks that flew under the radar, these 20 songs span the bass music palette. Reflecting on 2022, there are some key trends across riddim, trap, wave, and chill bass that carried throughout the year. Heavy metal collaborations only grew, glitched-out cyberpunk vocals and atmospheres found their way into a lot of songs, and flirtations with techno themes became commonplace.
There are artists who don’t miss each release of theirs, making it difficult to select only one or two of their tracks. Simultaneously, there are countless artists who expanded their discography immensely in 2022, but might have not cracked the top 20 songs list this year. It is those artists that I’m the most excited about for 2023, the ones who’ve consistently proven their talent and are poised for their career-defining songs next year.
Looking back on 2022, we have tracks from Rossy, Lizdek, Sullivan King, Ray Volpe, ISOxo, Eptic, Knock2, Crankdat, and more.
1) Sullivan King x Ray Volpe – The Dead March
This track absolutely rips. The quintessential Sullivan King sound married with Ray Volpe‘s, who had an explosive 2022 year with his flagship track Laserbeam (more on that soon). The Dead March kicks off as head banging metal tracks do, but quickly traversing into a sonic slaying chorus delivering bludgeoning sound design and synth work. This song is unrelenting and is not for the faint of heart, strap in.
2) Moore Kismet – Wasteland
First things first, Moore Kismet has had a huge year with the release of their UNIVERSE album, in addition to the singles dropped across 2022. Wasteland is my personal favorite of this year’s releases, but its splitting hairs given the depth and breadth of the 2022 discography from Kismet. Wasteland does a phenomenal job operating in a pop music arrangement while constructing a song with sounds found across the heavier electronic genres. The song is softened with ethereal and atmospheric pads and synth flutters that collectively create a track that is approachable, heavy, and euphorically melancholy.
3) ISOxo – REDloop
ISOxo, an artist whose 2022 has taken them into new heights, was defined in part by songs like REDloop. The songs brings a blistering lead on top of a beating bassline that will set any dancefloor on fire. It’s a song that integrates many flavors from across the electronic sound spectrum, having the simplicity of trap, bass depth of dubstep, and touches on some light techno influence during the song’s bridge.
4) Ray Volpe – Laserbeam
Well, this song ripped across clubs and festivals around the world. Ripe with remixes and DJ edits, Ray Volpe‘s Laserbeam was a 2022 defining song and not much else needs to be said. It speaks for itself.
5) Vastive – Clench
Clench is one of my favorite tracks of the year. It perfectly spans genres, including some subtle acid and wave influences, not too common for the heavy metal-riddim crossover realm of bass music. In addition to that, the song pushes it to the absolute limit.
6) Eptic x Marauda – Wall of Death
Wall of Death, another track that found itself in bass sets time and time again. The track is ruthlessly simple, which is a core reason it stands on its own. In a genre where full walls of sound are the status quo, the song’s first drop introduces itself with a stripped back yet simple song. Of course, that quickly changes as the song progresses but at that point, you’re in too deep. Eptic and Marauda‘s anthem was a set staple in 2022.
7) Bear Grillz x Kompany – Red Alert
Red Alert, by Bear Grillz and Kompany, is a track that can’t avoid a proper headbanging. It brings the bop and wonk, and its rhythm is quite fun. As the track progresses into its squealing lead in the second chorus, it doubles down on its strengths while exploring new sounds that fit nicely into the arrangement.
8) ROSSY – DEITY
Rossy’s Deity is perhaps the most recently released song on this chart, only coming out four days ago. It’s hot off the press, but right into this list as its a heater of a song. It taps into the Wall of Death recipe, being pleasantly simple its arrangement and sound selection – which is exactly why it goes off. Everything in the song is all killer, no filler, and Rossy is poised to have a 2023 with the same description.
9) Luca Lush x Oski – Gangsta
Gangsta by Luca Lush and Oski goes in from the jump, and never dulls. My favorite part of the song is the last chorus section, as it brings together techno energy with bass sound design, and surely destroys in a live setting. The track also taps into crowd favorite vocal samples, making it subtly catchy but sonically punishing.
10) Juelz x Hex Cougar – Ur Body
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Two titans of this sound, Juelz and Hex Cougar, come together to make one of the best tracks of the year in Ur Body. Each of their styles blur so well together, it makes you yearn for more collaborations from the two artists. The song’s energy dynamics are rather impressive, carrying you from soaring choruses to simmeringly chill interludes.
11) Peekaboo x Xaelo – When I’m Gone
In “When I’m Gone” we have heavy hitter Peekaboo bringing us a pop flare track that still delivers his signature sound. The melancholy track has R&B styling and sad boi sounds, but fits remarkably well into a DJ set if only for the vocals. It’s always refreshing to see artists continually expand their vision, especially as they’re able to maintain what they’re known for, while showcasing more of their capabilities.
12) FrostTop – ASTER
FrostTop brings us, ASTER, whose cold and crisp sounds soothe us during a chorus full of dissonance. The song’s drum work really brings the larger than life chords into context, as the sidechained kick greatly contributes to the song’s movement and groove.
13) Zeds Dead x Blanke – The Machines
Two titans of dance music, Zeds Dead and Blanke, showcase a masterclass in collaboration. The two artists truly join forces on their track, The Machines, a song that perfectly elevates each artist’s signature sound into a new realm by way of collaboration. The dystopian guitar bridges are reminiscent of what a modern Linkin Park might sound like.
14) NGHTMRE, Virtual Rio, Marlhy – Teardrop
Another collaboration on our chart, Teardrop is a tightly arranged song offering us what we love in both NGHTMRE and Virtual Riot. The melodic cadence of each drop keeps the song interesting throughout ensuring we’re never left not humming a part of the song. The track’s dedication to simple build ups also highlight each drop even further, bringing them to new hype levels.
15) 100 gecs – Torture Me (feat. Skrillex)
Torture Me, a track by hyperpop icon 100 gecs is refreshed by electronic music legend, and truly timeless music producer Skrillex. A perfect mix of the new age sound with the undefeated midas touch of Skrillex, Torture Me never dulls or delays its excitement. The track is fun, fast, and fresh. I just wish it was longer, but perhaps that’s the joy of the song – it accomplishes what it needs to in just 1:53.
16) REAPER x Kumarion – The Uprising
The Uprising was one of my favorite songs this year for the way it mixed old school hip hop flare, with some bop bounce, and then of course a full force bass sound chorus riff. It felt new while equally honoring tried and true recipes in dance music.
17) Crankdat – Ding Dong
Crankdat never misses, but Ding Dong might be my favorite song of his. The track tests some new rhythms keeping things properly novel while also offering up Crankdat’s classic appeal.
The Ding Dong theme keeps the audience on their toes, having them constantly knocking on the metaphorical drop door asking for more – and Crankdat respects their request, always unreleashing a full force drop.
18) Everyday – G-Rex, RAVVA
Every day pulsates your speaker with pleasure. The rippling bassline will shake your subs to their core and elevate you from your footing.
The minimalistic pluck lead perfectly balances and calms the track, a track whose underbelly bassline could have a scorching lead that we regularly come across. G-Rex and RAVVA display their restraint here, making the track stand out.
19) MUCUS – Lizdek
Mucus, plays nicely with Everyday. The song also pulls from the minimalistic bassline playbook but takes it one step further with Lizdek showing further restraint. The track, whose slower BPM by bass music standards puts it into a realm of its own, has a pulsating groove that will catch your ears’ attention and head’s bop.
20) Aarena (Knock2 Remix) – ISOxo, Knock2
What would an annual bass music chart be without Knock2? The artist, like their co-conspirator, ISOxo, has had an absolutely massive 2022 and makes you wonder to what heights they can sore to in 2023 – the sky is the limit, if a limit exists. The entire niteharts album that the Aarena remix lives on, is a creative vision that in my opinion, more artists should strive for – deeper collaborative projects that showcase individual talent. ISOxo and Knock2 individually remixing their collaborations highlight their tastes while still remaining in the collaborative realm.