When I was introduced to Bassnectar back in early 2010 (long time fan I know, right?), my first reaction was: “Holy hell, WHAT IS THIS MUSIC?” And not necessarily in a good way. I was in the midst of a deeply amorous discovery stage with house and dance music, and my heart was consistently pumping at 128 beats per minute. Dance beats in the form of trance, house, progressive, and electro occupied about 90% of my MP3 players, and once I stumbled upon Bassnectar’s music to aquaint myself with an upcoming event, Do Lab’s Lucent L’amour (I do wish they’d bring this event back), all I could do was sit there in my room, confused and shell-shocked.
What is this, hip hop? Hmm, not quite. There’s some strong reggae and rapping MCs across the track. There are a ton of electronic tweeks and effects, from the whooshing sweeps of EDM buildups to the bass. Wait, what the hell are these bass sounds? They’re inverting, crunching up, and sustaining in the oddest ways. It kind of sounds like robot farts, and it’s making me feel funny, but okay, I guess I’m excited for this. I’m sure Lucent will still be fun.
And once I finally saw Bassnectar on stage, I understood. I saw how people danced. Some like robots, some in ultra-liquidy fashion, some doing martial arts moves, seizure movements, and dinosaur poses. Everyone was dancing to a different time signature, minds fixated on whatever subtle changes spoke most to them. As I struggled hard to keep up with the beat, shuffling ridiculously (I like to think I caught on to this before LMFAO ruined my raving life), I learned something. It’s not always about the downbeat. Life (and music) can be much more flexible than that.
Before I even knew it, I had been introduced to a dubstep artist.
And since then, I’ve inadvertantly caught Bassnectar at a multitude of venues without really seeking him out. I showed up a little early for Kaskade’s set at the Sahara stage at Coachella 2010 and saw Bassnectar tear up his appearance like no other. There was something so raw and visceral about the scene and music he was playing, and again, the weird movements and dancing from the crowd.
Later that year, I caught him at Burning Man at Nexus. No official set lists and schedules, just a rumor that he might be present at a certain time as we were on our way to Root Society anyway. Safe to say, the amount of bass that show produced proved to be almost too painful for us to handle — all in the context of watching a giant globe of fire spout flames mercilessly. Seriously, take me back please!
Then there was EDC 2011 (first Vegas) for an amazing grass-stage set, confirming that his remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” will undoubtedly never leave my playlist. And to round off the Bassnectar presence in my life for 2012, I watched as he took a well-deserved place on the EDC: Las Vegas mainstage, confusing the hell out of every big-room house heads while rocking the faces off thousands of others who knew EXACTLY what they were getting.
(“A Bad Place,” remixed by Minnesota, mastered by Bassnectar)
That night I thanked him silently and almost tearfully for playing Minnesota’s remix of Shotgun Radio’s track “A Bad Place” (ft. Mimi Page). Oh and for having such ridiculously awesome whippable hair.
And finally, at Electric Forest this year, it became very clear to me that this music festival was fueled by the life blood and passion for three acts/artists in particular. Legendary multi-talented/genre’d bands The String Cheese Incident, STS9, and Bassnectar.
And with that, Bassnectar’s upcoming October 18th Palladium show with openers Gramatik and Gladkill (both of whom I’m excited to see) marks what I’d consider the first offical show where my intention is to see Bassnectar.
Some may think that makes me an undedicated fan, but I don’t see it that way. Rather than following his music and progress actively, my admiration has been a much more passive and free flowing experience over the years. It’s almost just attracted me naturally. One of those things that I don’t have to worry or fuss about, ’cause I know it will be there for me to enjoy.
Seriously man. Can’t wait for this show.
Be sure to visit Bassnectar’s or Insomniac’s pages for show and ticketing information. And to get you absolutely pumped up for the festivities, be sure to check out Bassnectar’s recently released FREESTYLE MIXTAPE. New songs, new remixes.