BASSNECTAR Brings The Heat To Elements Fest NYC "The King Of Sound" Features New Cuts from "Reflective (Part 3)"
NEW YORK, NY- I truly can’t believe I’m writing a review for Bassnectar. The “king of the sound” was the act-to-see at Elements fest this past weekend and if you weren’t in attendance you better have a good reason for skipping out on one of the wildest throw downs in NYC this summer. Although it’s recently been seen as more of a collective effort, Bassnectar is mainly a moniker used by 40 year old California native Lorin Ashton. During his early days of playing electronic music, Bassnectar was actually known as DJ Lorin. For me, the most impressive part of Bassnectar’s set isn’t the lights or visuals or crazy loud music – it’s the transitions. The man’s ability to layer and enter/exit soundscapes is absolutely mesmerizing. Every single time I’ve seen him (this was my eighth set), I often feel my world completely dissipate. Nothing enters my brain for the 60 minutes that he is on stage except for “Wow, i’m so happy to be here. I’m just so happy to be”.
With a major project release practically every year since 2005, It’s no secret that Bassnectar is one of EDM’s brightest stars and hardest workers. With the third and final part of his most recent project, a trilogy called “Reflective”, dropping later this year, Lorin was eager to show us what he had in store. After opening with a NYC-directed rendition of “Nobody Got It Like”, Lorin hit us with “Heavyweight Sound” – a collaboration with Jantsen that’s on Reflective Part 3.
I personally can’t get enough of Jantsen features on Nectar tracks. Whenever these two get together you are guaranteed a banger…whatever Yerba Mate or magical elixir they consume to make these tunes, hook me up guys! On the same vibe as my favorites “What’ and “Every Time”, this collab is as hard-hitting as the name suggests. Next, we heard a little bit of that DJ Lorin aesthetic I mentioned earlier as he put a spin on some of his favorite tracks to remix including Minnesota’s “Hi-Low”, Peekaboo’s “Manic”, Lobo’s “Awakening” with Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On” mixed in. What followed this was perhaps one of the most insane transitions I have ever heard in my entire life.
The man played James Brown’s “I Feel Good”, switching up the vibe and turning a mob of headbangers into a full-on dance party. Being the wizard he is, at some point Lorin mixed in Lil Wayne’s ode to the Brown song also titled “I Feel Good”. I may or may not have to schedule a dental appointment because of how hard my jaw hit the floor. At some point towards the middle, Mr. Ashton got on the mic to thank everybody for coming out, specifically whoever performed the rain dance to keep the storm at bay. “$20 to whoever can knock down that drone”, he said smiling before immediately returning to the music. The rest of the set had a lot of hip-hop influence like the Fugees and Professor Green, but also featured some absolute gems by Bassnectar like “Ugly”, “TKO”, “Arps of Revolucion” and my personal favorite, his collab with Luzcid, “Music Is The Drug”. That song speaks volumes about the core principle festival-goers seem to have forgotten these days. It’s about the music, first and foremost.
Unfortunately, it’s no secret that the EDM community is heavily driven by the consumption of illegal substances – which Bassnectar is strictly against. Lorin has always been outspoken about his political and cultural views – often to the point of heavy opposition. The man has no problem speaking his mind, often times gushing his passionate views directly to Twitter. Those in opposition typically find themselves drawing a line between music and politics, claiming that the two are independent of each other. I beg to differ. I believe music and politics are, and always have been, intertwined. The artists that produce the greatest music have always used their voice in order to push some kind of agenda. At the very least, they aren’t afraid of expressing themselves to their fans and Lorin is no different.
When “Music Is The Drug” ended, Lorin does what he does at every single show which is a family photo of everyone in attendance. Not being one to disappoint however, he wasn’t done yet. Before saying his final goodbye, Lorin dropped his remix of Rusko’s “High” I can’t think of a better way to close out that set than to play that song. Rusko, a mad scientist in his own right, recently beat cancer and returned to the scene happier and better than ever.
That kind of positive, unstoppable energy is what carried us into the night after Lorin left the stage and propelled us forward into the foggy summer night air. Going into the fall, Lorin will continue his legacy as a touring juggernaut of bass, making appearances at big-time festivals like Imagine and 515. We’re also only a couple weeks out from Basscenter’s 11th year (BCXI), Lorin’s own curated event. If the festival scene doesn’t interest you, and all you need is to get your nectar – Hampton Virginia is the place to be on the 1st and 2nd of September.
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