Happy 5th Anniversary to Bassic, Boston’s forward-thinking dubstep night
(chainsaw not included).
These days it’s hard to mention “dubstep” without strong feelings erupting about mainstream artists such as Skrillex, Rusko and Nero, a group of successful powerhouses who each carry with them a distinctive sound, crowd and image. As a savant of the more subtle subwoofer, I find myself frequently deflecting an image of neon sunglasses, “Sex, Drugs and Dubstep” shirts, and the mentality that the aforementioned things are listed by level of importance – not that any of those things are necessarily bad. Beneath this whirlwind of bass-driven aesthetics, there lays a foundation: core players who continue following in the wake of a more complex, yet understated, tradition.
You can find the Boston chapter every Friday night at Good Life during Bassic, a five-year tradition that evolved from a group of local bass lovers on a quest to change the tides of the scene. After spending years cultivating a team and following, Damian Silva, co-founder of the night (and now GM of Good Life) alongside Chris Ward (C-Dubz), can now proudly attach his name to one of the most reputable nights in town. In celebrating Bassic’s five years of bringing quality bass music to Boston, Damian shared with me the backbone of Bassic.
Feel free to immerse yourself in Goth-Trad’s complexly layered mix below as Damian dives into the craft of carefully balanced bass.
“I think a huge part of it is the team. There’s been a lot of people sort of tangentially involved, but the core philosophy has always been the same: go for something new and maintain a certain integrity behind the sound.”
Anyone who’s ventured into the depths of the Good Life during a Bassic celebration has experienced that palpable moment of crossing the threshold from mundane to an otherworldly vibe. It is this very moment that is impossible to replicate and distinguishes Bassic as the tastemaker of Boston Bass music.
“We’ve always been a little more towards the dubbier, and less towards the more aggressive, for lack of a better word. If you come to a couple Bassics, you understand the vibe we are going for: slightly darker, not too much of that chainsaw that’s going on in American Dubstep right now.
Just because the label Dubstep is on the act doesn’t mean we should be throwing it in.”
It’s admirable to see booking managers who stay true to their aesthetic, often turning down the big money-making acts. It’s all about their passion for the music.
“Anyone who knows this night knows that we aren’t doing this for money. If we break even it’s miraculous. But I think if we stick to the ‘do what you love, the money will come’ type of ethos, that it will really work for us.”
Following in this vein, both Damian and I agreed on the kindred spirit shared between Bassic and Elements, the longest running drum and bass night over at Phoenix Landing.
“It’s the only other night I go to regularly other than my own. It’s a similar vibe with a similiar philosophy of staying true to the sound, and they’ve been doing it for 13 years… a long time now. I’ve been going to that night and there have been nights where it’s absolutely dead, but they still maintain their vibe. They’ve made something beautiful. That’s why I put [Lenore] on the five-year. It’s sort of a nod to them.”
On top of a hefty dose of drum and bass administered by the queen herself, Lenore, the five-year lineup boasts a night of beautifully-crafted bass music, including Damian’s own special set.
“I am going to do an all vinyl set. Chris, C-Dubz, might be tagging with me, but it’s going to be all vinyl from year one, so stuff we’ve had in our crates from every show. Kind of like a throwback to the past five years.”
“Deep Medi is one of our favorite labels. If you look at any yearly lineup we have at least 6 shows from a Deep Medi artist. Goth-Trad played last year for Together Festival and it was an absolutely stellar show. He is very analog-based with an old school as he makes new music.”
Goth-Trad is the perfect anchor for tomorrow night’s celebration with his dark, introspective yet explosive beats. His mix below is a complex layering process during which he strikes a careful balance of bass vibrating beneath pieces of glass. With every additional sound, he maintains his calculated structure while allowing for a natural evolution to occur. It is in this abstract purity that his Japanese culture bubbles through and will invariably open Bassic up for the next five years of their journey.
It is artists such as Goth-Trad and crews such as Bassic that keep me marching on my crusade for a more understood dubstep.
When I asked Damian about what time to get there tomorrow:
“8:30 PM. There were be a line around the corner.”
Damn straight there will. Thank you Damian and Bassic and best of luck with all future endeavors.
BASSIC FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY: GOTH-TRAD
WITH LENORE AND DAMIAN SILVA
28 KINGSTON STREET