Review: “VAVA VOOM” new Bassnectar album by John Esposito

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Lorin Ashton AKA Bassnectar’s latest installment of bass in your face, VAVA VOOM, is a must listen for any devoted Bass Head like myself.  With 11 tracks set to release April 10th on  Bassnectar’s own Indie Amorphous Music label, VAVA VOOM, features well-known artists from a wide variety of music platforms such as Lupe Fiasco, punk rock/grunge legends Pennywise and eclectic singer/songwriter, Mimi Page.  Ashton’s 9th album flawlessly blends everything from traditional dubstep, filth, DnB, hip hop, glitch and metal into one beautifully composed work of art. 

“VAVA VOOM” feat Lupe Fiasco was the first single released, which also premiered in Rolling Stone magazine. The track combines Grammy-nominated Lupe Fiasco’s hip hop lyrics, a catchy hook (one that’s still etched in my brain), and ends with a vicious dubstep drop.  A brilliant approach that’s sure to catch the ear of both hip hop aficionado’s and EDM admirers alike. It’s certainly a tune I’d look out for everywhere, and I foresee this getting some significant radio play on numerous channels.

If it’s bass you’re seeking, this album unquestionably brings the noise. “What” – Bassnectar & Jansten start off with a fun, uplifting melody entwined with captivating reggae lyrics that quickly transforms into a fast paced DnB drop followed by a dirty off the wall dubstep drop, clearly not intended for the faint of heart.  “Ugly”– feat. Amp Live, brings a completely different take on this embracing more of a drumstep sound with a hard drop.  Both are quality songs, giving you the same feel coming at you at a completely different angle.

“Do it Like This” – Bassnectar & ill.Gates, spoke directly to my soul.  ill.Gates is notorious for his DJ and Studio templates used by some of best in the business, including Bassnectar himself, Pretty Light and Beats Antique. It’s this type of identifiable freeform technique that distinguishes Bassnecter from the rest of the scene.  A personal favorite of mine, a track that will be staple in many dubstep mixes and live sets. 

Rounding out the album, Bassnectar brings it back to traditional dubstep with “Empathy”.  This track reminded me of an old school Skream song, more of a relaxed tempo, chill song that reminded me how far dubstep evolved from its original roots.  “Butterfly” spotlights Mimi Page’s stunning voice, over a dubby breakbeat.  I found myself captured by her lyrics more and more each time I listened.  Wrapping up the notable songs, “Pennywise Tribute”, is an absolute necessity for any punk rock/90s grudge follower.  It even samples Lorin’s High School death metal band. 

Overall, this LP mirrors Bassnectar’s distinct style, and really spotlights how talented a musician he is, bringing together so many different styles to create an exclusively fresh type of music. The release goes hand in hand with the VAVA VOOM Tour, which features over 20 shows across North America. I had the pleasure of attending his live set at Ultra, and I must say I was completely taken away by his DJ skills… and of course the BASS! I highly recommend you purchase this album and go see Bassnectar at one of his upcoming tour stops below.

John Esposito for EDMNYC

UPCOMING BASSNECTAR TOUR DATES:

 *   4/11 Indianapolis, IN Egyptian Room
 *   4/12 Kansas City, MO The Midland
 *   4/13 Madison, WI Exhibition Hall @ Alliant Energy Center
 *   4/14 Chicago, IL Congress Theatre
 *   4/17 Burlington, VT Memorial Auditorium
 *   4/18 Boston, MA House of Blues
 *   4/19 Boston, MA House of Blues
 *   4/20 Philadelphia, PA BASS CENTER V The Liacouras Center
 *   4/21 Rochester, NY Rochester Armory
 *   4/24 Norfolk, VA The NorVA
 *   4/25 Richmond, VA The National
 *   4/26 Knoxville, TN Knoxville Civic Coliseum
 *   4/27 Greenville, SC Bi-Lo Center
 *   4/28 Birmingham, AL Boutwell Auditorium
 *   4/29 Tallahassee, FL The Moon
 *   5/03 Santa Cruz, CA Santa Cruz Civic Center
 *   5/04 Sacramento, CA Sacramento Memorial Auditorium
 *   5/10 Blue Lake, CA Blue Lake Casino
 *   5/11 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
 *   5/12 Seattle, WA BASS CENTER VI WaMu Theater

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