I was taken aback when I received a message this morning about a Bassnectar release on Spinnin’ Records.
While I do love and respect Spinnin’ Records, the label is known for festival-ready and mainstream/commercial EDM. If you’re reading this, then you are surely aware that Bassnectar is the complete opposite of all of those things. Hate him or love him, Lorin Ashton, a.k.a Bassnectar, is known for his insane performances and one of the most unique production styles that the scene has ever witnessed. He is continuously looked up to as an inspiration for fans and artists alike, including myself, so I was willing to look past his label of choice in order to give the brand new remix a fair chance.
Let me start off by saying that I personally think Buku‘s “Front to Back” is a masterpiece. It came out in August 2016 and I still listen to it to this day. Bassnectar has been known to drop the track in his sets, so it’s apparent that he’s been a fan of it as well. The gritty synths, echoed vocals and melodic bassline made it one of the most stand-out tracks of last year.
My clear fondness for the original release made me eager to hear Bassnectar’s twist on it. I actually dropped everything that I was doing in order to listen; my expectations were high. Starting with what are maybe transposed vocals and a very subtle chord addition, the intro is almost exactly the same in structure, but about half a minute shorter–and i’m not sure why because the drop could have been held off on entirely.
Bassnectar has taken a work of art and altered it into something that sounds how my music sounded when I first began producing. (For reference: here is a Flume edit I made in my first week of producing, which is basically a sped-up version of “Insane” with a few additional samples. Keyword: edit.) Similarly, Bassnectar has sped up “Front to Back” with a few whoops and whistles, which has resulted in a piece of work that I would have never expected from someone of his caliber. The only saving grace here is that the portion of the remix available is only a preview, so he has the ability to completely shock us with something that is more than a sped up version of the original with obnoxiously placed vocal samples.
Considering his similarly disappointing remix for Joker’s “Midnight,” things aren’t looking promising. His 2014 remix of the Kapsize release was a minimally altered version of the original, with re-mixed saw chords and a potentially faster BPM. Bassnectar needs to stop re-mixing and start remixing.
While Spinnin’ probably provided a hefty payout to Bassnectar for this release, I’m fairly certain that it will be a temporary blow to his career in the end. Remixes are not meant to be two tracks that can be played on top of each other without distinction. And Bassnectar, if you’re reading this, please come through with something much better than this, as I know you can, and I will happily admit that I am a fool with my predictions for this remix.
TL;DR Bassnectar’s remix of “Front to Back” sounds entirely too similar to the original. I am sad about it and you should be too.