Insomniac’s series of weekly live-stream shows from its’ Southern California headquarters has been one of the bright points in an otherwise dark time for dance music. While artists are able to create music from home, and perform in some special circumstances, the broader landscape of EDM, and music as a whole, is undergoing a seismic shift.
We don’t know when concerts and festivals will return. Many that were slated for spring and early-summer 2020 are being postponed to the fall. Even those Fall dates aren’t guaranteed, with some experts saying a return to festivals is more realistic for fall 2021. At the same time, local clubs and venues are being hit hard. It’s rough.
Given the circumstances, getting treats like a throwback dubstep set from 12th Planet, or a drum and bass performance from Mat Zo, has us bass-heads more excited than normal. Thankfully, Insomniac has delivered a variety of such gems throughout their four-week run of festival themed live-stream shows. We’ve grouped together a handful of our favorite bass-centric sets from each weekend so far, and hope to be enjoying more for the foreseeable future.
The first weekend of Insomniac’s Virtual Rave-A-Thon looked great on paper. Between the incredible sets, the hosting skills of company boss Pasquale Rotella, and the rise of Disinfecto, the two-day event exceeded fairly high expectations. Setting the table for the series, the initial installment was a rousing success. A variety of genres were represented well, including bass music. The performance from fan-favorite Kill the Noise was typically fantastic, while others like MONXX and Svdden Death brought the goods as well.
If the first week of performances exceeded expectations, week two solidified the series as must-watch content. Especially while we’re all cooped-up at home. There were great sets featuring bass-heavy sections from Flosstradamus and K?D, but this night was all about Mat Zo throwing down some drum and bass. The recent rise of drum and bass hasn’t been lost on us, and this set (as well as his performance for Digital Mirage), are a couple of the best live-sets we’ve been treated to since we began self-quarantining.
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The drum and bass didn’t stop there. Jauz made sure of that, closing his hour-plus long set with 20ish minutes of DnB. The entire set is great, but the genre-switch was a great move that we didn’t see coming. Svdden Death, performing for the second time at the Virtual Rave-A-Thon, put together another super-heavy set, while Wuki blended his brand of bass music in a variety of ways that had us constantly guessing what could be next. For the third consecutive event, the bar had been set, with a stable of stars ready to do the same thing the following weekend.
And they did. If bass fans had any complaints, or misgivings, about Insomniac’s commitment to the genre before last weekend, they don’t have them anymore. Between opening up with a set from the legendary Z-Trip to the fun melodic bass sounds of ARMNHMR, there was plenty to enjoy. And that’s before the likes of 12th Planet and Borgore decided to devote their performances to old school dubstep. As unexpected as Jauz and Mat Zo deciding to play drum and bass was, the back-to-back throwback sets were a couple of the best moments of the series thus far. As if that wasn’t enough, Zeds Dead graced us with an hour-long set, closing out an incredible weekend of tunes.
Let us know what you think of the string of bass sets coming from Insomniac’s Virtual Rave-A-Thon, and which weekend has been your favorite! There are no wrong choices, and we’re among the many hoping they continue as long as Pasquale and the crew have the time to put them on.
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