Ah, Bassnectar, the man who taught Skrillex everything he knows. No, really; Bassnectar's been pulverising America's youth with his trademark triplets, drumstep and complex slo-mo bass shows before Skrillex was old enough to pick up heavy a Grammy award, let alone win one. Naturally, he's one step ahead of the game. And while the rest of the bass world seem intent on making things scream as high as possible, he's gone back to the drawing board and delivered an incredible album that includes shades of seriously dirty dirrty south ("Vava Voom", "Empathy", "Ugly"), classic hardcore punk ("Pennywise Tribute"), truly space age anthems ("Do It Like This") and concentrated beautiful electronica ("Butterfly").
Eight albums and 15 years deep into his sonic explorations, Bassnectar remains one of the most distinctive and influential characters in bass music. Noise Vs Beauty is no exception as he ties together the scene's most disparate creative elements for a cohesive and uncompromising narrative; ranging from the hard-assed Rye Rye collaboration "Now" to the shinier, more star-lit compositions such as "You & Me" and the retroactive shimmering synth-twinkled "Ephemeral", the album lives up to its name as it balances the dark and light, beautiful and ugly, soft and hard aspects of his work. Each and every track is a highlight unto itself, but stand-outs include hype-heaved rave-razor "Loco Ono", the rave-referencing body-slammer "Noise" and the punky, fuzzy distortion of "Mystery Song". Beautifully noisy.