In the midst of a global pandemic, music venues remain eerily empty and temporarily closed; the 2020 festival season is, let’s just say it, non existent. Festival goers everywhere have all experienced the cancellations of all of their events they were most longing to attend, and we have taken to virtual streams as our only source of solace.
Yet in a world where it seems there is so much silence, there has definitely been the emergence of something that certainly seems to be getting increasingly louder. The reveal of sexual abuse allegations and behind-the-scenes actions of some of EDM’s most influential producers seem to be coming to light in a way that our community has never seen throughout the last year.
Posting his official withdrawal from the scene on July 3rd, UCSC alumnus and Campbell native Bassnectar (AKA Lorin Ashton) — who first made his name in the EDM world dropping uniquely mold-breaking sets at Burning Man — officially came out stating that he would be “stepping back” from his musical career while sexual misconduct allegations involving not one, but several young women came to light.
Bassnectar first acknowledged the allegations when he posted to a private Facebook group. At the time, he said, “The rumors of sexual misconduct that are circulating about me are completely untrue. I want to leave it at that, because it truly is that simple. I have never been involved in anything that was not absolutely, unequivocally consensual. During a time when high profile men are being called out for their violence against women, I am proud to be an ally of women and stand in solidarity with victims. Thank you to all those who are listening to real victims of abuse and standing to support women.” You can read the full initial post from the Facebook group for clarity below:
for anyone not in this group, a message from Bassnectar: pic.twitter.com/si07bCKHk0
— shaelyn🕯 (@wiccaquarius) June 29, 2020
Ashton’s announcement appears to be initially provoked by the Instagram account @evidenceagainstbassnectar, which had emerged online about a week before the beloved DJ went public with the statement. Since then, accruing over 17k followers, the account has made several sometimes questionable statements, but nonetheless pushed fans to take a look at what was presented specifically concerning the manipulation and exploitation Bassnectar has allegedly exhibited throughout his rise to fame.
The first post ever shared on this platform dates back to 2015 which reads, “Bassnectar is a pedophile. #yeahisaidit” Only receiving three likes at the time, it is clear that at the time the statement was not acknowledged and fell on deaf ears. It is obvious now that this no longer remains something that is going be ignored, which ultimately you could partially attribute to influential and ground-breaking movements like the Me Too movement in our society.
In a post shared by Miranda Hughes, who contributed vocally to Bassnectar’s melodic 2013 single, Take You Down, not only does she confirm she had a relationship with Ashton, she also accuses the producer engaging in sexual activities with underage girls and using his manipulative skills to convince her to not pursue legal action against him during their time together in an effort to assert his obvious influence over her at the time. Along with that post, there are so many stories of Ashton’s actions he directly engaged in between other young fans backstage or in his rooms while on tour, with almost all victims claiming to be only 16-17 years old at the time.
By far, the most incriminating documentation is an audio file of a conversation between Ashton and one of his victims named Rachel. In the file she states their relationship they engaged in when she was only 17 years old amounted to, “quite literally, statutory rape.” The voice on the other end, who many have backed up as Lorin as they immediately recognized his voice, acknowledges his actions as “so inappropriate” and that he would “never, never, ever, ever do it again” before stating that he wants to take accountability for what happened.
What follows is what is possibly the most disturbing, where the voice on the other line doesn’t deny her accusation, but instead deflects by saying, “if you think that it’s worth me going to live forever in a Tennessee jail to be raped or beaten to death…”. Long-time friend and collaborator, West Coast producer Dylan Lane — better known as ill.Gates — has additionally confirmed on social media that the voice does in fact belong to Ashton. Catch his full Youtube statement concerning the recent events below:
There unfortunately have been other recent incidents within the last couple years and since COVID began related to bass artists and sexual allegations with their female fan base. Most avid ravers are aware of the issues in 2018 involving LA producer Datsik being dropped from his own label, Firepower Records, after the multiple rape accusations were made public.
Additionally, just last month in June, Hawaiian trap producer Graves was also accused of rape involving a 15 year old girl at the time of the assault. And just before Bassnectar’s post, Space Jesus also confessed to engaging in sexual intercourse with a 17-year-old without allegedly knowing the age of the girl involved in the encounter.
It’s extremely disappointing to see this kind of behavior come from the EDM community, which usually holds such respect and regard for one other. We must continue to hear and support the victims speaking out, and strive for change and higher standards for our community.
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