Ahh, this is a fun one. It wouldn’t be far off the mark to call this the Happy Hardcore of bass music. The tempo isn’t necessarily all that different from other trap sub-genres, but BOY does it dial up the sugar-coating. (Sometimes literally; one artist – Slushii – puts a neon slushie-style drink on every piece of cover art.) It shares many characteristics of Future Trap with some very key differences: this sub-genre is simply happy. Sky-high chipmunk vocals, soaring melodies in the upper register, and that near-universal buzzy pad sound that feels feathered as it pulses in and out. Future Bass also tends to stutter and jitter more than any other bass music genre, making it a delicate thing to wield at a club or party dedicated to dancing.
I like it, though. It’s a modern broken-beat sort of sound that could easily play in a coffee shop on a Sunday morning and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s already playing in car commercials. I’ve never really been certain why the name ended up being Future Bass, but it’s used widely enough at this point that it’s not really worth making an alternative. It’s enough for me that it’s in a separate sub-genre; one of the ways I determine a need for a different categorization is if there’s a large sub-section of music that’s allllllllmost like something else but would cause people to look up in utter surprise if you dropped it out of nowhere.
For better or for worse the overall happiness means this is also the most commercially palatable part of trap, although more often than not it’ll lure a new listener to all forms of bass music in the end. This is also one of those sub-genres with a gold standard: if you like Slumberjack or Marshmello then you’re a fan of Future Bass.