Bassnectar - Reflective, Pt. 1 - EP
Bassnectar released his first project of the year on Friday, titled Reflective, Pt. 1. Shortly before its release, he told his fans that the Reflective EP would have a follow up release coming later in 2017. He chose brevity over length on this EP, as opposed to his 2016 release, Unlimited, which came in at fifteen tracks. Reflective, Pt. 1 boasts six deep and heavy tracks each which have that unmistakable, signature Bassnectar sound. He announced earlier this year that he would be releasing a few different projects: the Reflective EP and two collab projects, one with upcoming bass music producer G Jones and another with Bassnectar's longtime friend Sayr. Given the amount of music he's planning to release this year, it makes sense for him to put out multiple smaller projects with quality music, instead of one comprehensive project. This allows him to explore different sounds on each project, which is what he loves doing best.
Personally, I think the title of the EP is a hint that each track on this album is a reflection, or maybe a unique remix, of a previous Bassnectar song. The first iteration of the Reflective EP starts off with a beautiful, deep downtempo track "Arps of Revolución" meant to put us in the mood to begin our reflective thought. The beat style and tempo make me think this track is meant to be a reflection of his 2016 track "Reaching Out." The next track, a collab with Gnar Gnar, takes us in the complete opposite direction by giving us a brazen and heavy track. This song almost certainly has to be has to be a reflection of their 2015 collab "Generate." The tempo is similar and the synths used are nearly identical, but "I'm Up" gives us a much more abrasive approach. "Was Will Be" featuring Mimi Page is the only track on this EP I consider upbeat. It's one of those songs you just know will leave you speechless when you hear it live. This track is definitely a reflection of Mimi Page's previous feature with Bassnectar from 2012, "Breathless."
"Infrared" brings us the rare and elusive style of Bassnectar which bassheads refer to as "Trapnectar." This track, featuring Seattle rapper Macntaj, has clear hip hop and trap influences. Though I don't think it's as transparent of a reflection, "Infrared" reminds me of Bassnectar's 2016 release "Level Up" featuring Macntaj. "Level Up" also brings us the Trapnectar style, but "Infrared" has a fast tempo which gets your heart racing. "Underground," a collab with G Jones, is tied for my favorite track on this EP with "I'm Up." "Underground" is reminiscent of Bassnectar and G Jones's 2016 collab "Mind Tricks." However, "Underground" has an original kick that I've honestly never heard from either of the two. Both Bassnectar and G Jones have been playing "Underground" at almost every single one of their live sets this year, so I was beyond excited to hear the final mastered version. The EP closes out with "Horizons", the only track on the project which I don't think is a reflection of any of Bassnectar's previous songs. "Horizons" has a distinct, heavy sound clocking in at just 50 BPM. I'd like to believe that this track is a look to the future, giving us a glimpse of the sound Bassnectar has in store for 2017.
You might have a different interpretation of what each track on the EP is meant to reflect, but that's the beauty of music — the listener defines its meaning. Reflective, Pt. 1 left me on the edge of my seat dripping with anticipation for Part 2 and the other releases he has planned for this year. If "Underground" is any indication of quality of the project Bassnectar and G Jones are working on, we'll need to strap ourselves in for some heaters. As with every Bassnectar release, I think this EP will only get better with time. Even though I've spun it front to back at least ten times since Friday, I'm still finding new sounds hidden within each track. As festival season is now upon us, look for Bassnectar to incorporate this EP along with some unreleased music into his sets.