San Franciscan DJ Lorin Ashton AKA Bassnectar, has been on the electronic dance music scene for awhile now. His look seems more appropriate to the grunge era; think the head-banging hair sported by grunge era bands like Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. His army of fans call themselves “Bassheads” and they are many. Bassnectar’s counterculture ethic has drawn to him an ardent group of followers that could accurately be stereotyped as “hippie.”
The artist has made it clear that despite his growing popularity as one of the architects of the dubstep sound, he is not and does not want to be a part of the mainstream. As if to emphasize this point, a couple weeks prior to the Electric Zoo Festival, Bassnectar threw his own NYC festival called “Bass Island.”
He turned down a spot in the Electric Zoo line-up to do that. He is not averse to teaming up with higher profile acts, however. On his latest album, Vava Voom, Bassnectar collaborates with rapper Lupe Fiasco on the title track. The song could be considered an experiment in blending the genres of hip-hop and dubstep.
Of course, the main element of his wildly energetic live shows is his distinctive version of the dubstep sound. The Bassnectar sound consists of thudding sub-woofers and the occasional use of rock vocals along with hip-hop beats and his willingness to sample everything from Zeppelin to Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Bass plays as large a role in his live shows as you would think going by his stage-name, making for a powerful, body-vibrating physical experience as well as an auditory one.