Bassheads Gather at the Warped Horizon
The first night was a bit of a hurdle just getting in the door. The group I was in had to wait at least 30 minutes to get inside, but there were others who had to wait over an hour in the freezing cold. The lines moved horribly slowly, but we were all eventually able to get in. When we walked in, Levitation Jones was playing, the artists and vendors were all set up, and the bar was already slammed. Fortunately, I was somehow able to manage to talk the bartender into swapping out the well whiskey for Makers 46, and he poured with a heavy hand, so I was well taken care of all night.
Levitation Jones (playing in Atlanta Jan 14th) played a really solid set, but it was nowhere near as interesting as mixes I’ve heard from him before. His set at Camp Bisco 2015 was an absolute marvel of bass music, and his performance in Birmingham felt less interesting. It was anything but mainstream, but it didn’t go as far in surprising me as I might have liked. The Widdler played a deep dub set like only he can. He almost never let off the pedal, and at the few times when he let some Jamaican dancehall lyric take over, the moments of quiet felt like the drops. It was seriously just a solid wall of wobbly bass for an hour with no respite. I’m not a massive deep dub head, but I really enjoyed his set, and there were a few points that made me turn my head mid conversation to pay attention to the music. That’s something I always look for in a DJ; the ability to turn heads unexpectedly in the middle of a set.
G Jones played a G Jones set, which means he was in total control of the sound the entire time, while abandoning all normalities of tempo and beat structure. That guy is a dark wizard of the bass arts, and he has the ability to make time seem to slow down and split apart in between his brutal drops. It was one of the best performances I’ve seen in a while, though perhaps not one of his best. I’m happy anytime I get to see G Jones, and he’s by far one of the most exciting producers in the bass scene.
By the end of the night, I had explored all the different artist booths and taken a trip up to VIP. This event had one of the best VIP experiences I’ve ever seen in that it was the most simple. All VIP offered was two separate, private bathrooms and a lounge area with all the lights turned out full of couches and chairs with tapestries on the ceiling. It was actually really nice to be able to go in there and relax while still being able to hear the music (albeit with some of the bass gone). By the end of the night, the place had become basshead utopia, which unfortunately meant that the floor outside the bathroom was a swimming pool, and it made me really hope that the venue’s insurance covered water damage. Amazingly, I was able to call an Uber with relative ease and made it back to the hotel in one piece.
The second night was a completely different vibe for me personally, as the bars were closed, and there was no early crowd. Without alcohol, it felt like a bit of a wandering come-down party for all the bassheads strung out from the Bassnectar NYE show earlier that evening at the BJCC. Things also stayed drier and calmer, which was a nice change from the chaos of the previous night. I was able to take the shuttle from the BJCC to the event and ride it back to the hotel in a seamless and quick process. Having those shuttles definitely made the experience easier and more pleasant, so shout out the organizers for planning all those logistics.
Stylust Beats played a bunch of trap and other assorted bass music. It was interesting to see him include quite a few Bassnectar tracks, as he was playing the after party for everyone coming fresh from the BJCC. ill.Gates played his usual set, which is generally full of only his own originals or remixes he’s worked on for his friends. He plays off a small MPC which he held up over his head and kissed at the end of the night. I’m not sure if he’s paid by Akai or whoever makes it, but he was certainly a walking commercial for the product that night. He’s the only performer I think I’ve ever seen on stage in a snapback and a button up shirt and tie, but he’s always had his own style.
Psymbionic closed out the show late with a really bass-heavy set of glitchy interesting music that made heavy use of samples from dial-up modems and other analog/digital effects. He played my favorite set of the night, and it was my first time ever seeing him live. Definitely be sure to keep an eye on him, and catch him in Atlanta on the Biohackers tour with Clozee at Aisle 5. All in all, Warped Horizon was a success, and provided a wonderful wrapper to the Bassnectar experience for loads of bassheads who wanted to warm things up and keep partying late. Back at the hotels, the vibe never really stopped completely, but I can’t imagine the parties that would have gotten shut down if there hadn’t been these other events provided for the community.
Photos by Megan Friddle for Bullet Music.