Album Review :: Bassnectar :: Noise vs Beauty (NVSB)

 

Bassnectar.net

‘Back From The Deep End – Bassnectar’s “Noise VS Beauty” Is A Perfect Balance Of Both’

Bassnectar | Noise vs Beauty

Amorphous Music

Released | 06.24.2014

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Photos Courtesy of: aLive Coverage & Bassnectar.net

Words By: C.J. Hatfield

 

Not too long ago, Bassnectar’s Lorin Ashton went from a less-than-well-known DJ entertaining his own ideas on creating distinctly amazing sounds to a rapidly growing phenomenon through the rise of the electronic dance music (EDM) movement. Despite the mainstream attention his work has generated, the most fascinating thing about Ashton’s process is that it revolves almost exclusively around the interaction between himself & his fans, and his success has never once seemed to pander to any stereotype, genre, or opinion.Nectar RR N1 1
 
Coming off the heels of his vast touring efforts over the last five years, Bassnectar rang in 2014 with almost 20,000 fans at his NYE 360 show in Nashville, TN, only to announce a well-deserved break, forgoing any plans for a Spring Tour in favor of focusing his time on developing a long-awaited new album. In his own words, he was, “Going off the deep end.”
 
The endeavor proved quite sensational on the web, mostly thanks to Bassnectar’s promoting efforts: releasing four singles as teasers via SoundCloud, creating the Twitter hashtag “#NvsB” & a contest to see who could use it to decipher the album name, and various other marketing on his Facebook, Instagram & Tumblr accounts. Most notably was the original release of the album’s second single “Ephemeral” through select channels as a sort of Easter Egg hunt for fans. After months of speculation and frenzy, the album Noise VS Beauty officially dropped on June 24th; like a bomb from the sky, it blew every last eardrum of its eagerly awaiting masses completely away.

 

“The outcome is an emotional tale of highs & lows, well-calibrated to the liking of fans both old & new.”

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A highly technical person, Ashton once again proves why he is King of the Sound by weaving together elements of his one-of-a-kind synthesized noise, his dabblings in glitch, dubstep, trance, drum & bass, trip-hip, rock, rap, & even classical music, his love for both random vocalizations & actual lyrics in the foreground or background of his tracks, and his overall love for some loud ass basslines. The outcome is an emotional tale of highs & lows, well-calibrated to the liking of fans both old & new. Collaborating with over fifty other artists, he takes his astounding repertoire of work to the next level, combining forces with colleagues such as Amp Live & Simen Morel, and re-envisioning his former identities on tracks like “Hold On” with fellow artist TURSI (having previously worked with Bassnectar as Dorfex Bos). Summoning courageous WOMP on the tracks “Gnar” & the appropriately named “Noise,” the scale at which Bassnectar employs bass is not only better understood, but proportionate to the magnitude of the album itself, touching on Nectar RR N1 3what one might deem “noise” instead of “music.
 
Illustrating the “Beauty” theme of the album are tracks such as “Flashback,” a fairytale melody with a clear (but somehow vaguely symbolic) message of “I really like it…” His song with lyrics by W Darling, “You & Me,” is deemed by Ashton to be the album’s “anthem.” A quick burst of energy, the song embodies a tone of enjoyment, and is made to “..capture that unbreakable emotion of friendship, loyalty, and being ‘in it together, until the end…'” Ashton says the song pays tribute to his feeling of connectedness with his fans. Part throwback, part mash-up, “The Future,” is a sly concoction of two earlier songs: 2012’s “Hexes” & 2010’s “Timestretch.” Blending qualities of each, he layers the vocals of Jenna Sousa and the tune melds in slowly ascending rolls. “Now” attacks the ears with immediate rage, and according to Ashton, fellow artist Rye Rye’s vocals are “truly raw & original.” There’s even a nifty update to the 2003 track “So Butterfly.”
 
Having dipped his pen in two inks & successfully turned it into a rainbow, Bassnectar’s NvsB is a testament to what happens when accomplishment is just not enough to someone whose success is half his own genius and half the admiration he can’t wait to live up to from those he loves the most, the ones observing his art: his own fans. With the Fall Tour officially announced and a ginormous slam-dunk event coming to Madison Square Garden October 4th, Bassnectar has risen to heights that are easily some of the greatest.Nectar RR N1 4
 
According to Ashton: “This collection of songs is a public expression of how thankful I am to be alive, with each song representing an individual point across a diverse spectrum of experience. I want to give thanks for the tremendously eclectic range of emotion I feel in life, and beam a reflection back at every flashing, sparkling light that shines toward me, even temporarily, from all directions of the dark eternal universe. Thank you.”
 
If any of this so far is indication of how powerful his drive can be, it stands to reason even Bass Center NYC will not be enough to satisfy the mighty Bassnectar. It will be more than just a little amazing to witness what else he has in mind the deeper off the edge he ventures.

 

“Having dipped his pen in two inks & successfully turned it into a rainbow, Bassnectar’s NvsB is a testament to what happens when accomplishment is just not enough to someone whose success is half his own genius and half the admiration he can’t wait to live up to from those he loves the most, the ones observing his art: his own fans.”

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“Noise VS Beauty” (Full Album) on SoundCloud:
[ https://soundcloud.com/bassnectar/sets/noise-vs-beauty ]

Lorin’s Linear Notes for “NvsB”:
[ http://www.bassnectar.net/2014/06/noise-vs-beauty-lorins-liner-notes ]

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