After its release and all of the hype has settled in, it’s time to review another fantastic piece of the Reflective EP series. Bassnectar’s Reflective 4 EP was released on April 5th, along with Griz’s Ride Waves and Jai Wolf’s The Cure to Loneliness albums, making it a great day for new music! With all of this to dive into, it’s essential to listen to each tune on a high-quality system to really experience the song without being in a festival setting.
I first listened to Reflective 4 in my car while I was driving to the city, which gave me plenty of time to listen to the whole album twice. I had no distractions and a nice sound system, where I could feel a good balance of highs and lows. The order of Reflective 4’s tracklist makes perfect sense because to me it’s just like a Bassnectar set. The anticipation you feel in the beginning, the release of the first drop, then the mass of heavy songs with some downtempo that gives you a break (or even a sip of water), and finally a dramatic ending that hits us in the feels. We’ll dive into each track where I’ll share the emotions and feelings I experienced and hope you can build a connection to each track as well.
Irresistible Force (Hailo collab)
This was the perfect song for the EP to start off. ‘Irresistible Force ‘debuted live at Deja Voom. The visuals paired with this song work perfectly in relation to the lyrics being attracted to a light or force.
“I was walking down a long dark tunnel toward this beautiful light. It was beckoning me, pulling me toward the other side like a powerful, irresistible force calling my name.”
It’s like entering a portal or entering the beginning of an album in this case. There’s a steady build-up to the first drop, which is not the heaviest drop of the album, but just enough pick up to get you excited for the rest. Bassnectar clarified once the song was released that it was about a near-death experience. Therefore, this light may refer to the light that few have witnessed. To me, this song brings me back to the first night of Deja Voom, and the excitement I felt knowing the EP release was to shortly follow.
Dive feat. RD
‘Dive’ begins with an old school sound, almost like a video game. As it builds, you hear RD go, “I wanna hear it one time,” but to me, it was more like I want to hear this over and over again. Before the drop, the BPM increases giving you a feeling of intensity. Once it hits with the, “Oh oh oh oh oh OKAY,” you can’t help but start moving and grooving. This is a fun song I can’t wait to hear live and to see everyone else join in winding and grinding to the beat.
Illusion feat. Born I (Peekaboo collab)
This has to be the most well-praised track of the album and my personal favorite. Arguably, its the heaviest song of Reflective 4, which I’m all about. ‘Illusion’ first debuted at Deja Voom. There isn’t a chance of standing still with this track. The build-up with “I gotta, I gotta, I gotta get this place movin'” has become almost as exciting as screaming “Wildstyle. Method.” Not only does this song have some incredible layers, but let’s take some appreciation for the riddim chops following each drop.
It’s About to Get Hectic feat. Born I (Jantsen collab)
When has there been a collaboration with Jantsen that wasn’t an absolute banger? ‘It’s About to Get Hectic’ was also debuted at Deja Voom as well as Coachella Weekend 1, and the crowd’s reaction was just as expected. Like other Bassnectar Jantsen collaborations such as: ‘Red Step’, ‘Every Time’, ‘When the Beats Drop’, ‘What’, and ‘Heavy Weight Sound’ just to name a few, the drops are as heavy as ever and there wont be a single person standing still in the room. Listening to this track, it “should be played at high volume”. The best part of when this was first played definitely has to be when Lorin asked if we wanted to hear the second drop. Uh, DUH!?
A track we’ve all been waiting for: A track with no collabs, features, or a remix. ‘Undercover’ is the shortest song on the EP, and I’m okay with keeping it short and sweet. There’s an earthy, tribal beat in the beginning of the song. Get your flow toys ready because I can only imagine a beautiful flow to this song. The overall feeling I had when listening to this was that Lorin was getting in touch with his old-school, underground roots; something he’s been adamant about, which is how the concept of Freestyle Sessions established. I appreciate a song like this because I can’t help but think back on all of the other songs he’s created on his own, and the first initial reaction himself and others had when they first heard it. After all these years of producing, touring, and curating events; he still has yet to fail at blowing people away.
Sound in a Dark Room – Telefon Tel Aviv (Bassnectar Remix)
I love a good downtempo track. This track has a beautiful xylophone sound layered in with the beat. This remix was debuted at Be Interactive in San Francisco and also played at Freestyle Sessions in 2018. The flawless melody makes it another song that has me imagining a beautiful flow session. Also, I feel that Lorin used this to remix and showcase more of his old school techniques.
Leprechauns Arise feat. Sunru (Mothership Mix)
A track locked in the vaults and brought back for an impactful experience. At Basscenter XI, Bassnectar curated an electoral college “election” for a selection of songs for one to be heard at Basscenter. This concept was eye-opening to many because it highlighted the corruption in our political system. When I hear this song, I think of the impact Bassnectar continues to make on our lives. I love how he discusses the importance of change for the better, and encourages others to use their platform to be heard. The lyrics of this song give me goosebumps,
“Been a long road, so many souls sold. Killing for possessions in a world of obsessions. I heard she craves spirit, and the gods crave matter that gave disaster and chaos the laughter. Who’s your master?”
My interpretation of these lyrics relates to our society’s consumerist culture. We are engulfed in a world where materialistic things influence our status and the impression we give to others. However, deep down we crave our authentic selves, while big corporations continuously push for a materialistic society. In the end, it’s up to us to either conform to their agenda or take our own direction.
Perhaps your favorite track is ‘Irresistible Force’ or ‘Undercover’, or maybe you’re not a fan of the EP at all. That being said, my perspective on Bassnectar as a whole is that I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the memories I’ve made at his events, festival sets, or listening to his albums with friends. There is something I try to find within each track whether it’s a drop, a beat, a bassline, or a memory I’ve connected it to. Reflective 4 EP is another project that I’m impressed with because it means that Bassnectar continues to play and grow as an artist after all these years.