Gut punching bass

Every now and then I come across tracks with bass that hit me in the chest. Not deep smooth bass guitar lines, but the high impact kick or low tom drums. And not just kick or toms… everyone’s got those, but the sharp gut punching varietal that makes you wonder if you’ll blow a woofer on the next hit.

What are some tracks you know of that have gut punching bass?

Chant by Fourplay

Be forewarned; high transient punchy bass can destroy woofers, so start small in volume.


Track Tricycle (turn up bass if you can for fun, it’s quite shy unfortunately but very dynamic)

Nearly all tracks

Track Lady Soul


I just listened to Tricycle last night. The dynamic swings on that are amazing!

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Däfos. “Gates of Däfos“

For base drum, go listen to Mickey Hart’s “the beast.”


Kiss In Blue


Chant is one of my all time favorite Fourplay tunes.

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Another vote for Tricycle. Those who haven’t heard it before, take vee’s warning seriously. DMP really pushed the limits of a then still relatively new format.

Their TOY album is boffo for bass. What fun!

I also recommend the soundtrack to Bladerunner 2049. Hans Zimmer is a bassophile.

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Try this:

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There’s some fun percussion on this CD. Not sure if it’s on any of the streaming services though.


I don’t know about the soundtrack recording, but I’m pretty sure my neighbors wish I’d watched the movie on a Saturday afternoon rather than at night. I now know every resonance of my HVAC vents. There are many.

Try this one and make sure to turn it way up.
Herbie Hancock (Dis Is Da Drum)



Tricycle definitely fits the bill.

Tricycle yes, but Funhouse off their Big Notes album has some serious woofer excursion exercise to it. (There’s a the door slamming drum crash the follows the train whistle that literally pounds right through your chest)
Another track is Making It Great Again by Doug Melbourne & Tony Patterson from their The Divide album. There’s a bass note that starts low and drops down about 2 octaves to a sub low frequency. That note starts in my ears, rolls right down my spine and ends shaking my lower internal organs. It is a cool experience. Good song too.

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Gates of Däfos:

(These recordings don’t do the dynamics justice)

Followed by Passage (takes a while before the drums get rolling):


“Evil” track from Nadine Shah’s Holiday Destination album.


Thanks for sharing all. So far, Tricycle is the only one that packs the gut punch. The dramatic kick after the first couple measures is a doozy.

Chant’s opening drum hit is another.

While bass strong, all the other shared tracks don’t seem to express that visceral impact.

Hit harder, faster.


Sorry, Däfosis THE standard, used by Paul himself (and many others) at audio shows to demo equipment.


I was particularly impressed by the way the Pioneers handled themselves on challenging bass material. One torture test I’ve used for years is Dafos (Reference Recordings RR-12CD, out of print). “The Gates of Dafos” is particularly revealing. At the end of this track, a large drumset falls to the floor, with much subterranean rumbling and shaking. I have overloaded some otherwise very good subwoofers with this cut. But at a reasonable yet still impressive volume level in my large home theater, the TZ-F700s sailed right on through. They also produced a most impressive deep-bass shudder, the sort of sound produced by this material only on very good subwoofers.

Background by Keith Johnson of Reference Recordings:

Holt: On your recording of Däfos , what kind of instrument produced those awesome bass thuds?

Johnson: Well, it isn’t entirely one instrument, but a big, circular grouping of percussion instruments that was used for Grateful Dead concerts. They call it “The Beast.” A lot of drums are hung from a big circular pipe, and Mickey Hart stands inside the circle to play them. But a bass drum wasn’t really what was making those bass thuds. A lot of that bass was from reverberation in the hall. Then during the setup of the The Beast, Mickey Hart lifted the entire structure and let it drop to the stage, which made a terrible noise. He was fooling around, really, but when we heard the result on the tape we decided it had to go onto the record. This particular passage caused great grief to Doug Sax (who mastered Däfos ), forcing him to dig into his bag of tricks to keep the cutting stylus on the lacquer.

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I have no doubt Dafos is a very well-recorded drum session, but I’m looking for more visceral impact. Have you listened to your recommendation as compared to Tricycle or Chant? I’m curious if you can hear the differences I hear when I say those two songs have gut punching bass – and to that point, getting punched in the gut is a sharp, fast, numbing pain felt deep. Most of the tracks I’ve listened to here tickle my chest, or massage my feet.

Have a listen and tell me what the difference is you hear between Chant/Tricycle and Dafos.