And so we reach number one in our line-up and it’s a unanimous decision. Yeah Yeah by Bodyrox contains a defining sound that has influenced dance music since 2006 and we’re certain that its enduring, unmistakable originality will continue to do so for years to come.
However, its genesis is a tortuous one. The sound in question was only present on a formerly obscure remix of what was at the time a little known club track. It could have melted away into obscurity but the bassline Dean Marriot (aka D. Ramirez) added to his mix was the key ingredient that the track lacked.
The band quickly realised the magic that Marriot had worked and transformed the track in a new radio mix based on his version, adding vocals from Luciana. The result was a smash, with the new mix enjoying global success and a top 10 chart placing. The new Yeah Yeah even earned Bodyrox an Ivor Novello Award nomination.
Thanks to all this visibility the bassline was quickly copied and has become a much-imitated sound in house music, its influence (and disturbing slippy-slidey portamento) still influencing anyone in search of a hit.
Listen: Bodyrox feat Luciana - Yeah Yeah (D. Ramirez remix)
How to get the sound
The Nord Lead 3 was D. Ramirez weapon of choice for this smash sound but any three-oscillator synth can do the job. The secret is three saw waves - the first two should be an octave apart for a nice thick sound. The third one should be four semitones below the lower oscillator creating a major third chord.
We’re going to recreate Ramirez’s sound using Rob Papen’s Blue. Both the amp and filter envelopes are constantly tweaked throughout providing plenty of movement and excitement as it goes from tight staccato stabs to gloriously-full open filter and amp release.
To get the sound at the beginning use a 24dB low-pass filter and lower the cutoff down to about 30%. Add a touch of resonance and dial up plenty of filter envelope modulation. Set the filter ADSR to A=0, D=50%, S=30%, R=60%. The amp envelope should be as follows: A=0, D=0, S=0 and R=30%. Finally set the portamento to be always on, with a short, constant, glide time.
There’s plenty of layering going on in the track as well. Check out the square wave bass which plays the same line. This is laced with reverb and chorus. And like the lead line, it modulates through the track. Genius.