Photo Credit: Bass Coast Website
Written by: Lukas Sierra
You can feel the excitement for the upcoming 10th Bass Coast intensify with every waiting minute. Excitement for the British Columbian talent, like Greazus, Daega Sound, Skiitour, Shiny Things, and Puar. Mixed with international performers, like CharlestheFirst, Nosaj Thing, Madam X, and MNDSGN! All set amongst the magic of the Nicola Valley in British Columbia.
Along with a stacked lineup, each year Bass Coast has a theme. The themes center around a single word, like ‘Space’ or ‘Gold.’ This year, the organisers chose a Prism theme, with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon as inspiration. If your closet doesn’t have anything reminiscent of this timeless album, don’t sweat. There’s no limit to Bass Coast’s themes. The wilder you get with colours and triangles the better! Bass Coast is all about creativity and being open-minded.
For the past 10 years, Liz Thomson and Andrea Graham (who is better known internationally as producer and DJ “The Librarian”) have kept the growth of Bass Coast strong. They started their creative collaborations in the town of Whistler, then after an inspirational adventure to Burning Man, brought the auras home to the Squamish Valley. Upon moving to Merritt eight years ago, the festival has truly grounded its roots and grown into a 4-day festival on the preserved First Nations Reserve in the Nicola Valley. These women have put in a great amount of effort to have their guests leave inspired by immersing themselves in nature and witnessing the potential magic that these artists create.
An installation that gets people excited and talking is the rustic sails hoisted by Monster & Queen. This pirate ship is built from the ground up from none other than shipwrecked pirates themselves, hosting an art gallery, lounge space, play areas, and a boutique vendor booth. This masterpiece sets a great example of what you can stumble upon on the grounds from campsite to stage and everything in between. Keep an eye out as you’ll see the established crew marauding the lands of the festival in search of good times and games.
Now on to the lineup! Some artists you don’t want to miss:
Madam X brings her presence with heavy drawn beats and hard packed sounds from where Grime started, the UK. With only a handful of shows at highly respected festivals around the world, Madam X is a rare and special act to be blessed with.
The 22-year-old has blown the minds of his discoverers in the most delicate way. Blending his hip-hop roots with the influence of nature, CharlestheFirst’s experimental compositions create a dance sound like no other, steeped in dreaminess and psychedelia.
A contagious vibe will spread across the floor as classic ’80’s R&B sounds fuse with self-actualization and human connection from MNDSGN. Growing up in New Jersey, MNDSGN (Mind Design) now resides in Los Angeles where he spreads his gospel and hip-hop culture.
Since LA is the grand hub of some of the world’s best producers, it’s no surprise MNDSGN won’t be the only producer hailing from LA. Following him up the West Coast is the beloved Nosaj Thing! Jason Chung (Nosaj Thing) is hugely respected in the hip-hop scene. Working alongside Los Angeles most famed, Nosaj Thing has created more than just a fan base. With the label Timetable as one of Jason’s greatest creations, the style behind him is untouchable and highly influential in the rap scene.
Originating from the same locale as the Bass Coast’s founders, is the funky duo Skiitour. Tim Livingstone and Dave Rollie are famous for off-season cross-country treks, aggressively retro attire, and a charged party you’ll be sure to remember. Follow the goggles or check the schedule to find their set this year.
When a producer has moved up from the bottom to be amongst lineups such as this year’s Bass Coast and consecutive Shambhala’s in under 3 years, there’s a trust in knowing that the production values from Puar are far from par. Using only the basic practices of a guitar to get a taste of music, Riley Juhasz learned from his friends as peers to then discover the melodic and emotional sounds of the trap sub-genre “Phonk” and took initiative to build his unique style.
As one of the peers of Puar, longtime friend, and producer Shiny Things is worth a mention. That being said, it must be reminded that Shiny Things come from dirty places. Rolling in rave dust since childhood, the colourful vibes awoken during prepubescent trips in the desert have transmuted into some of the future sounds of today. From the interior grooves of the West Coast, Gray Johnson comes as a contributor. When not on stage, you’ll find him on the floor with glistening wits and moves for days. Selections all with good taste, these hyphy but paced, futuristic, but deeply rooted psychedelic sounds are delightfully hype at any hour.
If the sounds of Dubstep speak to you, then the dark deep sounds of Vancouver duo Daega Sound are something to get excited about. These brothers will creep up on you dangerously. With influences from all the classic UK dub artists, DS creates a new variety of Dubstep by introducing a touch of their techno heritage with the timeless DnB derived from the ’90’s. Daega Sound is a sure thing to show you the potential behind British Columbian producers.
There’s nothing better to get the hype moving than more Vancouver sounds from the DJ duo Greazus. Hybrid music is the new style coming from British Columbia and you have Greazus to thank for it. Representing sounds of new and old, their sound is a culmination of all that they love and whatever the fuck else they want.