Bassnectar ‘Freestyle’ EP
Bassnectar, aka Lorin Ashton, has been touring consistently for over seven years. He puts an extremely strong emphasis on his live performances, which are much more than your average DJ set, including live mixing and breathtaking visuals. This attention to detail and obsession with that "big room" live sound is apparent on his new EP, Freestyle. The title track, along with the rest of the EP, you might recognize if you were able to make it to any of Bassnectar's stops on his summer tour. The hard driving bassline and complex drum progression creates somewhat of a journey in the song, all the while making it impossible to not bob your head. The next song on the EP, "Breathless", a collaboration with UK Drum and Bass aces DC Breaks, hits deeper in the listener. It is one of those powerful songs which despite its classic dubstep wobbly synths has a strong element of floating euphoria, in part thanks to the beautiful vocals of Mimi Page. According to Lorin, this song has been years in the making, and it shows. The buildup toward the end is nothing if not deeply emotional, and certainly deserves nice speakers with heavy bass to do its complexity justice. The following track, "Hologram", is a soaring dubstep anthem featuring the powerful, glitched vocals of Zumbi, repeating "it's a hologram", then breaking down into a rap, calling on Bassnectar's hip-hop influences. The next track, called "Infinite", which has also been in the works since 2010, is a sort of amalgam of all of the qualities that make Bassnectar music what it is. A grinding bassline, a memorable vocal sample, an incredible buildup, and a completely wild, flipped-out breakdown. Try to not get down and dance when this one drops! The final two tracks are Bassnectar's reinterpretations of two of his favorite songs to play live. The first, "Human" by Zion I, a hip-hop inspired rap anthem, gets a bouncier, more bass-filled sound. The final track is a collaboration with Colorado's Timeline, a remix of Amp Live & Eligh's song "Ego Killer". The two take the track into another dimension, lending their unique sounds to the track, with a powerful, hard-hitting bassline. Two weeks prior to the EP's release, Bassnectar gave away the Freestyle Mixtape for free on his website. The 42-minute mixtape features every song on the EP, along with others he frequently uses in his live sets. Despite the fact that he gave this out for free, and allows all of his songs to be streamed on his website, the EP still made it to #1 on the iTunes charts on the day of its release, a testament to his avid following of "bassheads". The common denominator in the Freestyle EP, despite all its varied tracks, is that each song has a certain "epic" quality, fitting in perfectly in a huge arena or main stage at a festival. Listening to it in your room or in your headphones may not do the songs justice, but will definitely bring you back to the summer festivals we're all starting to feel nostalgic for. Be sure to catch Bassnectar on his fall east coast tour, doing a double header in NYC at Terminal 5 on November 17th and 18th!