Why Bassnectar’s ‘Into The Sun’ Is The Best EDM Album This Year
With the explosion of EDM, most DJ/producers artists are now signed. Under the label’s guise, the artist’s have been promoting singles to sell full albums. For example, Hardwell’s “Dare You,” Alesso’s “Heroes (We Could Be)”and Zedd’s “I Want You To Know.” Songs like these are popular because they’re good. They get air play on the radio, visibility on top streaming charts, and finger blasted live. Yet these artists are selling full albums that consist of all too familiar material. To please record labels, most of albums are glorified singles without new material. Are EDM artist’s selling $9.99 singles just to say that they have an album out?
For the most part EDM albums are coming and going. The music hasn’t been bad. In fact, it’s inspiring that this many artists are saturating us with new music and often. Because of these albums, there may be more surprises like at Ultra Music Festival and Jack Ü’s Justin Bieber stunt. Except for these leading singles though, EDM albums themselves aren’t gaining any traction. Artists are even taking notice. In a recent DJ MAG interview I did with Blasterjaxx the pair called out DJs saying, “A lot of DJs are playing the same sh*t over and over again I’ll be honest about it. You know which type of fellows get used every time again. It’s like a challenge to try something different, [and] try something new.”
Blasterjaxx is ranked 13 in DJ Mag’s top 100 list. Their comments put the state of EDM into perspective that it’s becoming a redundant genre. The formula’s worked, but now it’s time for something new. Until today and Bassnectar’s 11 LP, no EDM album has impressed me much this year. Considering all the EDM albums out now, Bassnectar’s ‘Into The Sun’ may what the game has been missing.
Led by the title track, Bassnectar promoted “Into The Sun” without label backing. Leading up its release, five songs “The Mystery Spot,” “Speakerbox,” “Dorfex Bos,” and his Naked and Famous “No Way remix” preempted it. ‘Into The Sun’ didn’t receive special online promotions. These days satellite radio or streaming services dominate how music gets discovered. What’s dope about Bassnectar’s ‘Into The Sun’ is its organic release. Instead of using predictable methods like radio interviews Bassnectar campaigned at live shows. For instance, he sold out Madison Square Garden last winter. Even Steve Aoki and Jack Ü that have albums out this year couldn’t sell out Madison Square Garden. Bassnectar’s arockstar reputation that’s unlike many other artists these days. So when Kanye West calls himself “the biggest rockstar in the world,” he is ignorant to the fact that title belongs to Bassnectar.
The first time I saw Bassnectar was back in 2013. He headlined Prime Social Group’s Breakaway Music Festival with Kendrick Lamar. This spring at Ultra I got to see him again and again. What separates Bassnectar from the other artists is his absolute mission in life. He wants to give fans the ultimate live music experience where you don’t have to be an avid listener to want to join his party. Moreover, you don’t have to know Bassnectar’s songs by heart to the want to rage with him. After all these years, Bassnectar remains underground dropping grimy music your body can feel and want to turn up to. It’d be a challenge to find an artist live that’s as loyal to the underground as Bassnectar.
I was enthusiastic when Bassnectar sent me ‘Into The Sun’ last week. He is one of the most scheduled acts at festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Electric Forest. There is a cult demand for his music and I was one of the first people hearing all 16 songs together.
A warming element about ‘Into The Sun’ is that it channels influence not only from EDM, but also from rock-n-roll, hip-hop, and house music. The music is positive, upbeat, and original where all 16 songs could be anthems. Bassnectar’s ‘Into The Sun’ album delivers music like nothing you’ve heard before and there’s a lot of it. From beginning to end l didn’t skip one song nor did I want to.
On all 16 records, Bassnectar’s trippy samples and galactic sounds will hypnotize you. Right out the gate with “Chasing Heaven” your mind can drift away. Its an introduction that lulls your senses before other upcoming songs put you under his spell. Like Bassnectar’s live shows, ‘Into The Sun’ takes you along a musical journey of climatic builds and wicked bass drops. Then before you know it, Bassnectar melts your mind.
What’s dope about Bassnectar’s ‘Into The Sun’ album is that you don’t have to drop hundreds of bucks to see these songs live. The music is dope for various setting too. Play it at pre-games, along summer roadtrips or while working out. Highlights include his Naked & Famous “No Way remix,” which is one of the first songs. Other joints like “Into The Sun,” “Sideways” featuring Zion I and Louis Futon, “Generate,” “Science Fiction,” “Blow, and his David Heartbreak “Rose Colored Bass” also round out an 11th album from Bassnectar.
In my opinion, the best EDM album this year is ‘Into The Sun.’ It’s experimental, dynamic, and inherently Bassnectar. He uses choice artist features sticking to his underground EDM approach. You don’t find music like this unless you’re looking for it, and once it’s found you won’t want to turn it off. Bassnectar’s ‘Into The Sun’ album is what the EDM game has been missing. Now that it’s finally here, it’s the only album I want to play over and over again.
Stream Bassnectar’s new album, below and be sure to purchase ‘Into The Sun’ on iTunes. Also check him out at upcoming festivals like Camp Bisco, Lollapalooza, and Jay Z’s Made In America. Enjoy!