Bassnectar blasted bass heads at Sound Academy
In July this year, the man better known as Bassnectar first dropped his Immersive Music Mixtape Side One, showcasing a broad range of richly textured, multilayered influence, swinging freely between seismic beats and moments of calm, he then came out with the second half and that’s what he opened the show with.
With a mass of different artists samples, the beginning of the night was adorned with plenty of mixes of Grimes, The Deftones, Lux, and a nice toss up of some old school Bassnectar drum and bass like “Bomb the Blocks” and “For Whom the Bass Tolls”.
Clearly Ashton’s influences, as advertised by he himself with his remix choices, range from Nirvana to Megadeth, making him the huge fan favourite he has been for the last twenty years among ravers and metal heads alike.
Just before midnight Bassnectar took the stage. He warmly greeted the crowd before the gigantic “Bass Head” symbol vanished from the screen and a grungy guitar solo sample began.You can’t help but be over whelmed by his theatrics. The entire stage was practically composed of a projection screen, lighting up the array of projectiles flying around the air from lasers to balloons.
The first chunk of the set kept things in the mid to fast range, which allowed for a great deal of versatility on stage and on the jam packed dance floor.
The luminescent Aztec patterns accompanying him proved especially effective in getting the volatile and vivacious crowd revved up for the harder drum and bass drops. Ashton was able to seamlessly move between his plethora of signature sounds throughout the tracks.Sadly, if you were standing back beyond the partition of the main doors, you couldn’t really experience this overwhelming sense of awesome, because the lasers didn’t reach you, the screen looked tiny from the back of the venue, and your shoes were probably sticking to the floor.
I was expecting a lot considering this was promised to be his “deepest and most immersive Bassnectar experience” ever, but I was honestly humbled upon delivery. What was being missed back there was bass so heavy it literally shook the ground, and made your chest vibrate, a light show that encompassed the sounds booming from the speakers with an amazing array of colors, and a sensory overload.
The crowd largely exceeded my expectations as well, and the raucous ravers were out in their neons and flashy attires, wearing as least as possible to sweat as much as possible.
When he played his remix of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” my heart almost stopped. The projection screen lit up with a classic black and white brass jazz band, and the atmosphere went from loud and outrageous, to soft and calming with a white handful of white beams, and twinkling lasers.
Tracks such as “Freestyle ft. Angel Haze” and “Vava Voom ft. Lupe Fiasco” were in the same tempo range and were executed perfectly.
Bassnectar’s unrivaled unique touch brought a younger generation into his older mixes and bridged the gao between old and new generations of dubstep lovers. He graced us with a rendition of “Bonkers” originally by Dizee Rascal ft Armin Van Helden that had the crowd at their liveliest. The crowd went crazy, and sang along joyously and awestruck, when suddenly confetti started falling from the sky. Bassnectar has always emphasized interacting with fans, and it’s great to see that his priority is still communicating, interacting and joking around with the audience.
It’s unfortunate that the show was held at Sound Academy, because although the venue may be able to accommodate a lot of people, the front-loaded acoustics and the lack of room to be able to comfortably dance take away from a seriously spectacular show.
Story by Madysun Ball, Photos by Tee Onek