Sweeter than honey

Treble is not brewing in the mind of Lorin Ashton, the man behind Bassnectar.

Spencer Doar

What: Bassnectar with Zedd, Gramatik and Gladkill

When: Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m., Saturday

Where: Target Center, 600 N. First Ave., Minneapolis

Cost: $38 advance, $41 day of the show

Ages: All ages

 

 

Bassnectar’s Lorin Ashton grew up in a Bay Area commune. His experiences there laid the groundwork for his music and outlook on life.

“I feel like I was really fortunate,” Ashton said. “I want to share that inspiration with other people.”

That passion and inspiration take on a variety of forms —Ashton is just as quick to aid in philanthropic efforts as he is to spin webs of low frequency sound.

 In 2011, for every ticket sold, a dollar was donated to a nonprofit — an effort that ended in a check of more than $200,000 for nonprofit organizations.

“Net neutrality is one of the most important things to me,” Ashton said. “An uncensored Internet is an extremely powerful tool not only for our creativity but our way of life.”

The Internet, as an embodiment of communal creativity, is an apt association for a guy just as diversified.

“With every release, I’ll have people come up to me and say things like, ‘I notice you’re getting into hip-hop or death metal or trap music or punk rock,’”**** Ashton said. “I think it’s just whatever surfaces at the time.”

What surfaced this time was a roughly 25-minute long EP, titled “Freestyle.”

“‘Freestyle for me was less about an MC freestyling but more about a freestyle approach to music that is defined by having no limitations and no rules,” Ashton said.

If that’s really the case, then Ashton could have given any of his previous works that title.

Ashton grew up listening to Latin rhythms and learned hand percussion from his uncle but just as quickly learned guitar and got into death metal.

“I think one of the biggest aspects [of death metal] was the intensity — feeling like I’m on overdrive when I’m listening to music,” Ashton said.

That certainly is visible in his work. The sound of Bassnectar evokes a feeling.

It’s heavy and impactful. Songs that sound like they are tearing themselves apart while playing are just as likely to leave a physical impression as a cerebral one.

Include the fact the Bassnectar tours with a tremendous amount of light equipment, this show is likely to leave the senses stunned.

“It was 1996 when I started cutting music from tape and actually splicing tape together and making beats,” Ashton said. “[I was] taking old ‘Twilight Zone’ episodes on VHS and cutting up those into experimental music.”

Ashton clearly likes to experiment with the pieces that comprise the whole, creating freewheeling Frankenstein albums that have garnered him a large fan base.