Bassnectar: I’m ‘EXTREMELY disinterested’ in EDM, DJing in general

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If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the mind of Lorin Ashton, better known as Bassnectar, then today is your lucky day. The electronic music producer has recently opened up in an interview with Westword, where he revealed a less-than-thrilled hot take on the dynamics of the current EDM scene, weighed in on his cult-like following, and more.

In recent years, Bassnectar has garnered a religious following of fans willing to travel far and wide to catch the artist’s sets. In the Westword interview, Ashton vocalizes a personal disconnect between his project and the way the world see’s his work. Speaking at great lengths about a multitude of topics, the artist provides a glimpse into his psyche. Opening up the interview with what he believes to be his place in the industry (or lack thereof), Ashton makes it clear he sees himself as an outsider looking in.

Well, to be clear, I 100 percent don’t feel like I’m any part of EDM any more than I’m part of hip-hop or rock and roll. And I don’t mean that coyly, like I’m dancing around the reality. I really, truly have never felt like I was a part of that.

But not only does the producer feel like an outsider, he’s also revealed that the collective EDM scene is failing to push out distinct content, stating:

I feel EXTREMELY — and you can put that in all caps — disinterested in EDM. There are very few EDM artists who I like musically. There are very few EDM artists who I’m impressed [with] or intrigued by their personality or what they’re projecting. But there are some artists who are making electronic music who are absolutely fantastic. And there’s more and more underground artists who — God knows what the f*ck to call them — are just very talented.

It’s becoming easier and easier to make music, just with technology evolving as it is. So, you know, whereas I used to collect and always collect promos and buy music and go treasure hunting, constantly crate digging for new records, in the last year, I’ll find a lot more good music than I did the year before. I think there’s a lot of good, inventive minds, but I don’t think they’re EDM. And I think EDM is something I just don’t know anything about. But it looks really silly to me.

Continuing the discussion on his disappointment in EDM as a whole, Ashton expressed great disdain for watching DJ’s stand behind a table pressing buttons in front of a crowd:

“I’m not saying this rudely to talk shit on anyone, but I truly feel so unimpressed by the concept of standing in a crowd and looking and one or two or three humans on stage dancing alone to music. It’s not that mind-blowing. Again, I’m not saying that all DJs suck except for me. I’m saying, me included, it’s preposterous.”

Ashton adds:

EDM is to reality TV era what Freestyle Sessions is to this different daydream. It’s this concept of interaction and participation. I don’t want to create a lot of expectations. I’m not trying to say this is better or it’s going to change your life or anything. It’s something that I know is meaningful to me that I don’t get to do. I don’t get to play music without being a spectacle. And I don’t get to play music to a smaller crowd. There are all these tiny little factors that I’m trying to put together to create this experience with other musicians and for the attendees. A lot of it has to do with the ergonomics of the event, trying to not centralize the focus, not have a stage.

Owning up to the idea that he is largely regarded as a granddaddy of the scene, Nectar offers his own take on how he will work to combat the issues in EDM. Using his event Freestyle Sessions this past weekend as an example, Nectar says:

“I really want to go to the opposite end of the spectrum and go super-special, super-intimate, super-creative, super-old school. It’s funny how many uphill battles you have to fight to get to do that. Getting them to let you play on the floor — like, I want to be on the floor, in a booth, and not looked at — not because I’m hiding. I want to provide people with this experience that I don’t think they necessarily get these days, which is just to be immersed in music and not be at a show, just to be at an event of dancing and immersion.”

Regardless of whether you adore Bassnectar’s music or can’t stand the bass, Ashton’s sincere devotion unto his craft and influence on the genre itself is unmistakable. Read the full interview here.

Via: Westword

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Watch Bassnectar’s Electric Forest set in full

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Bassnectar’s 2017 has been an extremely consistent one. Not only did the mercurial producer drop an extremely competent remix of Noisia’s ‘Get Deaded,’ as a part of the Outer Edges remix EP, but he also released a bold new EP of his own, titled Reflective.

Continuing in his recent stylistic vein, Lorin Ashton recently delivered a memorable live performance at Electric Forest – essentially a master class in bass music. A fan-made video captured the raucous action in its unadulterated form, as attendees can be seeing cutting loose to Bassnectar’s selection of hardcore bass music which features some low frequency monsters by Noisia, Datsik and of course Bassnectar himself – further cementing his formidable reputation as a fan favorite.

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Electric Forest attendee grills full steak dinner during Bassnectar set

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Electric Forest can get a little weird.

Bassnectar sets can get a little weird.

Combine the two, and what do you have?

A ‘nectar fan grilling a full steak dinner during Lorin’s set.

bassnectar steak

Thanks to a Facebook group called Colorado Big Game Trophy Wook Hunters, the image of fan grilling during the first weekend of Electric Forest is preserved on the internet for all to see.

The caption itself is pure gold:

“The Wookout Cookout caught from deep inside the trenches at Bassnectar last Saturday at Electric Forest. This hunter-gatherer type wook claimed he had caught his provisions earlier in the day and was simply enjoying the meats of his labor to the sweet sounds of his ‘Lord and Savior Lorin.’ I left him to enjoy his Steaknectar in peace.”

It looks pretty delicious, to be honest.

H/T: EDMSauce

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EPROM shares heavy-handed new five-track EP, ‘Pineapple’

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2017 has been a busy year for EPROM. After releasing Night the Dreadless Angel EP under the moniker Shades, a duo comprising of himself and UK-based drum & bass producer Alix Perez, EPROM has returned to his solo output with his long-awaited Pineapple EP.

Pineapple features four original tracks and one remix. Opening the collection with the EP’s fitting title track, EPROM breaks into his famously adventurous, experimental production style with distorted bass stabs and wobbling, industrial synths. The release’s second select, “B.F.G.” finds EPROM dabbling with a wiry trap bounce ahead of “Zweihander,” which circles back to an all-out assault of crisp 303 rhythms over a landscape of deep, growling sub-bass.

EPROM ties together the original tracks with a haunting downtempo piece titled “Koummya.” To close out the EP, the producer reached out to past collaborator G-Jones for a heavy remix of “Pineapple.” Along with collaborations that include Barclay Crenshaw, Alix Perez, G-Jones, Ivy Lab, and more EPROM continues to secure his spot as one of underground bass music’s foremost talents on his latest release, Pineapple.

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8 things we learned from Bassnectar’s newest Reddit AMA

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When Bassnectar isn’t busy digging out of the vault each year for new albums, curating new immersive experiences for his cult family following, and headlining every major U.S. festival along the way, Lorin Ashton makes time to engage regularly with fans over social media. Yesterday, June 28, the Bay-area producer stopped by r/IAmA for a very special Q&A — special since it was his first AMA in over 4 years. Ashton got candid on a variety of topics, ranging from side collaborative projects, his overall creative process, and his upcoming special events.

Here are 8 things we learned from Bassnectar’s Reddit AMA:

1. His “heavy duty” collaboration with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello also features Big Boi and Killer Mike.

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2. His manager mentioned how impressive the rate at which his “hair” comments came.

Bassnectar has been iconic for his trademark thrashing hair. Building on his manager’s earlier comments, Ashton even made sure to mention later on how important it was for fans to be themselves: “dont grow your hair out and try and play music that sounds like bassnectar [grow your hair out and play music that sounds like YOU].”Bassnectar has been iconic for his trademark thrashing hair. Building on his manager’s earlier comments, Ashton even made sure to mention later on how important it was for fans to be themselves: “dont grow your hair out and try and play music that sounds like bassnectar [grow your hair out and play music that sounds like YOU].”

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 3.47.57 PMIn the process, however, Ashton speaks deeper about “Do It Yourself” (DIY) art work, which has been a hot button issue in his artistically-driven bass head community for some time.

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3. There’s a new Colorado camping event in the works for 2018, which is being talked about as the new “BassCenter.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 3.22.28 PM

Ashton finally spoke up about why he wasn’t going all in a large-scale Colorado-based festival this year, especially after last year’s massive success with 25,000 people in attendance. As Ashton explained, he doesn’t want to “conquer the world” or “go bigger;” quite the opposite, actually, Lorin wants to go more small scale for his events in order for them to feel more underground. Less lights, more focus on the sound.

Ashton also explained that a “Mothership” event at Hampton Coliseum just seemed to fit better, especially since the venue asked him to return (a rare feat for any Bassnectar event). It’s no secret that a huge Bassnectar fanbase resides in colorful Colorado, and with the record breaking numbers of BassCenter 9, the biggest show of Lorin’s career, it comes with great relief that the “King of the Sound” is bringing his set-up back to the Rocky mountain region. Hopefully the Bassnectar team are shooting for a camping site outside of the city this time around.

4. He delves into his inspiration for his Mimi Page collaboration, “Was Will Be.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 3.17.00 PM

Ashton goes into a unique stream-of-consciousness dialogue that gives fans a deeper look into his spiritually-driven creative process. He first explains how he meant for the song to build upon 3 previous tracks, then moved toward tapping his usual favorites for the vocals. Ashton elaborates, “Lupe Fiasco, Zion I, Rye Rye, all kinds of people made really interesting concepts to it, but the one Mimi came up with was so haunting” that it “was super powerful to [him].”

5. He speaks in depth about the concept behind “Freestyle Sessions.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 3.25.38 PM

The event sounds like it’s going to be an alien playground of sound. Since this is the first event of it’s kind, Ashton explains he’s been focusing on the music non-stop, and that it’s going much deeper than a main stage set at Electric Forest or Bonnaroo, for instance. “Its what would i play if it was just you and me on a road trip, or if it was just us and a dozen friends drinking wine in a tree house.” Eventually, Ashton plans to roll out the concept to small rooms in cities across the country, with no lights, just loud bass music in the dark.

6. Coming up with his set lists are “insanely time consuming,” but an intense matrix of endless possibilities.

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 3.43.22 PM

7. It doesn’t sound like he’ll be doing another road tour anytime soon

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Lorin explains how difficult (indeed, physically impossible) it had become to move his massive collection of equipment on the road 4-5 nights/week. He further alludes that his current iterations of “tour” stops (e.g. “family gatherings” or “special events,” as they’re deemed) is where he is at currently in life. Perhaps that may change in the future.

8. He won’t stop playing music until he is dead.

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 3.55.10 PM

Read the full Reddit AMA here.


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Bassnectar’s ‘Reflective’ EP is viscerally heavy and profoundly complex [EP Review]

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Bass music demigod Lorin Ashton has released the latest project from his amorphous music vault, which is the first in a two-part EP series titled Reflective. Insofar as Bassnectar has earned a reputation of mythic proportions within his bass head community, it may come as little surprise that the project has received mixed opinions.

The six-track EP, out now via Ashton’s independent imprint, Amorphous Records, represents everything the Bay-area native has been working towards up to this point in his career. The musical mage builds on his older collaborations with the usual suspects, and tells a larger overall story of what is yet to come — so long as fans are willing to “open [their] eyes,” to listen deeper, see the bigger picture, and to submit to the larger journey.

Ultimately, he Reflective EP is an expertly conceived, adeptly crafted masterpiece of consummate sound. This mastery is seen in “Arps of Revolución,” the instrumental opener of the release, which Ashton calls a “tribute to the glistening downtempo of the 1990s” and a follow-up to “Reaching Out” from his Unlimited Combinations LP.  TheEP’s Mimi Page-assisted central track, “What Will Be,” further indicates the compositional success of the EP – arguably, the entire project is built around this heavenly, healing hymn.

Certainly there’s no cause for mourning Bassnectar’s recent (re-)evolution onto the slower, downtempo coin because Reflective (Part One) has something for those with harder leaning musical sentiments as well. From the G Jones-assisted “Underground,” to the formidable “Infrared,” half of the EP is comprised of tracks specifically built for Ashton’s cutting edge live sound design experience, with its high wattage bass drops and cleanly composed root notes that go as low as 26-27 hertz.

The biting, Born I Music-vocalized “I’m Up” comes as Bassnectar’s third collaboration with GnarGnar, and has been teased in Bassnectar live sets for some time. Broadcasting soaring synths and thunderous samples with enormous groove appeal, the bass anthem emanates from atop a wave of preeminent sonic proportion. Ashton also revealed that his fourth collaboration with GnarGnar would be out on Part Two of the Reflective series in late 2017.

The final track on Reflective, “Horizons,” featuring Dorfex Bos, a spellbinding wall of sound play, with low end bass lines, heavy reverb, and smooth arpeggiated synths. Initially released alongside “Underground” as one of the EP’s lead singles, “Horizons” is a masterful reflection of Ashton’s keen talent for melodically innovative composition.

The whole EP is an unapologetic masterpiece, in its commitment to other worldly dimensional spaces, in its sophisticated understanding of form and genre, in how it creates complex sonic layers that one must pull back like an onion. What stands out most about the album is how visceral it is. Reflective (Part One) is, more than anything else, is a quintessential product of Lorin’s firm vision. It’s two sides of the same coin, gritty and beautiful, intuitive and intelligent, hard and healing.

From the crisp drums of Reflective, to its stirring arpeggiated synths, it’s easy (indeed, enjoyable) to render one’s self into a deeply introspective state – to become lost within the profundity of Ashton’s sonic canvas. The EP is communal and psychedelic, enlightening and complex, but above all else, accessible. Indeed, Bassnectar has set the bar high for his forthcoming musical sequel.

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String Cheese, Bassnectar, GRiZ top 2017 Suwannee Hulaween line-up

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The creative minds behind Suwannee Hulaween have revealed their 2017 lineup at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. Set for October 27-29, the diverse musical talent alone is evidence of how organizers are attempting to level up the experience.

The fifth annual gathering offers a wide-reaching exposé of live and electronic music’s finest, with a curated blend of jam bands, dance music, rock and hip-hop. Headliners this year include Bassnectar, GRiZ, RL Grime, Run the Jewels and many more. The flagship String Cheese Incident event will once again host the weekend’s most coveted spot with 3 full nights of the the most sought after Jam band experience in the world.

Besides the music, the green-conscious festival will have many onsite activities including yoga, dance, flow and meditation classes, awe-inspiring art installations, a craft brew corner, a speaker series, and a slew of carnivalesque interactive activities to get lost in.

“Backdropped by the natural beauty of the Spanish Moss-laden oak tree forest at Spirit of the Suwannee, there is no better Halloween party in the world,” says co-producer and talent buyer Michael Harrison Berg.

General Admission and VIP tickets are on sale now with the option of purchasing the Thursday “Pre-Party” pass.

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Bassnectar surprises fans with a third track from upcoming ‘Reflective’ EP

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The way that Lorin Ashton maintains a bass music identity that exists concurrently in the underground while also being globally iconic may always be a mystery. Some insight, however, may be found in the method and timing of his Bassnectar releases.

Mere days after Ashton shared two new tracks from his forthcoming Reflective EP, the Bay-area producer caught his army of “bass head” fans off-guard with an unexpected release. The track, “Was Will Be,” featuring the soaring vocals of long-time collaborator Mimi Page, came in the late hours of June 13.

In many ways, the track pays homage to the anthemic style of their previous creative endeavors, drawing on the smooth, angelic vocal qualities of both “Butterfly” and “Breathless.” However, this floating composition ventures to create new sonic layers calling on the “reflective.” That is, like the duality of all things, it reflects both the hard and heavy with the lighter, more soft side of life.

Reflective, Pt. 1 is set for release Friday, June 16, featuring collaborations with G Jones, Dorphex Bros, Born Music, and Macntaj. The second part of the project is anticipated to be out later this year.

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This post was originally published on this site

There has always been the presence of a yin and yang in Lorin Ashton’s music. The very name, Bassnectar, reflects the duality of his work, towing the line between formidable and mellifluous bass-strewn sensibilities. These two sides of Ashton’s prophetic musical coin are apparent in his newest pair of productions, both of which will appear on his forthcoming Reflective EP next Friday, June 16.

Bassnectar leads into the release with “Underground,” a project with frequent collaborator G Jones, a favorite throughout the “bass head” community.  “Underground,” in many ways, revisits the style of Bassnectar’s esteemed style in the late aughts and early ’10s, typified by amorphous structures, classic dub samples, and quaking bass synthesis.

Ahead of Reflective, Ashton has also shared “Horizon,” a joint output with another veteran collaborator, Dorfex Bos. Delving into Bassnectar’s more spiritual cache, “Horizon” eschews energetic rhythmic structures for a melodic, mystifying downtempo composition.

Four more tracks are are slated to come with the release of Reflective next week, including collaborations with further collaborators Born Music, Mimi Page, and Macntaj.

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5 artists not to miss at Lightning in a Bottle 2017

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5 artists not to miss at Lightning in a Bottle

Lightning in a Bottle has become a veritable institution over the past several years. Held annually in the expanse of Bradley, CA, the annual gathering has gained a reputation as California’s premier Memorial Day Weekend festival.

Upon the desert landscape (which will include a lake for the first time ever this year), musicians from across all areas of the electronic music realm. It’s a difficult exercise to single out a mere five artists to not miss, given the plethora of incredible artists slotted to perform at the event. Indeed, while there are innumerable exceptional artists which are not on this list, here are five artists which we recommend making a point to see.

Tickets for Lightning in a Bottle are available here.

Words by Will McCarthy and Michael Sundius.

Featured image by Daniel Zetterstrom. 


5. Hernan Cattaneo

In the world of progressive house, Hernan Cattaneo is dancefloor royalty. The Argentinian veteran has been captivating audiences for multiple decades with his spell-binding, multi-hour DJ sets. With a keen sense for narrative arc, Cattaneo can lead a true dancefloor journey like no other.

Hernan’s US appearances are few and far between. Luckily, LiB has given him a proper platform to showcase his one-of-a-kind talent: the closing set at the Woogie on Saturday night.


4. Bassnectar

In many respects, Bassnectar is an utterly obvious choice to include on this list. After all, the Sunday Lightning stage headliner has by far the largest US following of any artist on the festival’s lineup. However, Lorin Ashton is more than a simple large-typeface name on the LiB roster – he’s been a recurrent fixture on lineups throughout the event’s rich history.

In 2007, before he or Lightning in a Bottle had anywhere close to the renown they have today, Bassnectar was there – and he hasn’t been far since. While Ashton has been known to hop onto unofficial sets in disguise in recent years, 2017 marks the first time he’s been on the lineup in five years. The chance to watch him close out the festival, should prove to be nothing short of legendary.


3. Barclay Crenshaw

Known to most as Claude VonStroke, the Dirtybird founder took on another identity in the music industry in 2015: his own. Operating under his real name, Barclay Crenshaw has established a new reputation, veering away from the pounding club beats which define his famed imprint in favor of quaking, hip hop-driven percussion. Ranging from cerebral, to ambient, to formidable,

Crenshaw’s music resonates widely enough that he has begun to play many festivals under his birth-given alias in lieu of his renowned pseudonym. The eclectic musician proved his compatibility with the Do LaB during his set at Coachella last month, and stands as one of the most enticing billings of LiB’s Thunder stage this coming weekend.


2. Stephan Bodzin

Stephan Bodzin is easily one of the most riveting live performers in the electronic space. The German techno stalwart has the charisma of an inspired conductor, and performs his coveted live sets with a impassioned sense of bravado. His actions and gesticulations are matched in grandeur only by the dramatic compositions over which he lays command.

To catch Stephan Bodzin live is truly to witness a master at work. In the outdoor setting of the Woogie stage, Bodzin is sure to provide the kind of dramatic, awe-inspiring spectacle of which only he is capable.


1. Richie Hawtin

Richie Hawtin is a legend among legends. Indeed, modern day techno would not be what it is were it not for the veritably brilliant artist and his Plastikman alter-ego. At Coachella, the iconic artist debuted his avant-garde “CLOSE” performance – a technically dazzling showcase which conceptually paired the robotic nature of electronic music with its innate humanness.

Though Hawtin will not be bringing the CLOSE rig to Lightning in the Bottle, any set by the Canadian techno übermensch is essential to witness. Under the electric trees of the Woogie stage, Richie Hawtin’s set is guaranteed to be a spectacle to behold.

Photo by Julian Bajsel.