Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

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Bassnectar links up with Alpha Pup, premieres 'Voodoo' [MP3]

July 25, 2011 |  8:31 am


This post has been updated. See the note below for details.

There may be no world more bifurcated than dance music. There are the artists you typically read about in the mainstream press, including the dubstep, post-dubstep and instrumental grime booming out of London on labels such as Hyperdub, Hessle, Hemlock, Butterz and Deep Medi.

This is the fiefdom of Mary Anne Hobbs and Rinse FM, the world intrinsically linked to its American cousins: the beat music emanating from Lincoln Heights' Low End Theory club night, and its sound-alikes typically clustered in San Francisco and New York.

Then there are the galaxies your eyes may never glimpse. The universe of the Do-Lab and the Electric Daisy Carnival -- a more populist constellation predominantly peopled by post-ravers and hippie kids. This is a lansdscape where the principle interaction with bass music comes on the dance floor. The soundtracks are constructed less for home headphone sessions than for sweaty convulsive all-night parties, with subwoofers so heavy that the bass slices like a Samurai sword through the stomach.

So maybe it's not so unnatural that Bassnectar, one of the kings of this terrain, would partner with Alpha Pup for help with marketing and digital distribution. After all, Alpha Pup founder Daddy Kev is directly responsible for bridging the worlds of bass at the Low End Theory every week, booking a diverse slate of artists opposed to elitism and dedicated to the sound of the drum.

Released on Amorphous Music, Bassnectar's forthcoming full-length "Divergent Spectrum" marks 33-year old Lorin Ashton's eighth solo record. Combined with a slew of singles, the Santa Cruz native has carved out his own niche and drawn attention for his galvanizing light shows and diehard throngs of fans. In the first six months of 2011, Bassnectar sold 78,000 hard tickets, and was tallied by Pollstar to be the second biggest electronic artist (behind Tiesto). He may be the closest thing the genre has to a Grateful Dead.

Often maligned in some quarters for his more egalitarian sensibilities, Ashton's music seeks to bridge the gaps between drum-and-bass, dubstep, punk, hip-hop, death metal, abstract ambient and trip hop. And while electronic music connoisseurs may sneer at his broad intent, his success and mastery at making massive amounts of bodies move is undeniable.

Pop & Hiss premiere: Bassnectar, "Voodoo" (MP3 download)

While it inevitably will lose some luster on your home system, Pop & Hiss is premiering "Voodoo," a bone-splintering six-minute cavalcade of suffocating bass and head-nodding beats. Bassnectar plays Sept. 9 at the Palladium. Buying your tickets early is highly recommended. 


Sin City Raves: Electric Daisy Carnival

Thom Yorke does a surprise DJ set at Low End Theory

Dream Rockwell on Electric Daisy Carnival and life onstage

-- Jeff Weiss

Note: The original version of this post said that Bassnectar had sold 78,000 tickets last year. In fact, the artist has sold 78,000 tickets in the first six months of 2011.

Photo: Bassnectar. Credit: Lia Holland / Bassnectar.net