The Return of Bassgasm: Reinstating the Traditions of Techno within the Music Scene of Minneapolis

Updated: May 15, 2020

Presented by Genius of Fun Event Productions, the founder himself and the brains behind Bassgasm, Woody McBride has introduced the Twin Cities with another Bassgasm yet again. As a visionary, McBride has partaken as an influencer in the production of events in the electronic dance music scene for a copious amount of years. Bassgasm has and considerably continues to provide the EDM community with a dance night for the music scene of Minneapolis, unveiling a lineup of over 40 disc jockeys, turntablists, and producers who came together to perform.

When walking up to First Avenue, you could find a crowd of concert attendees flooding the surrounding entrance of the venue as they smoked their cigarettes, laughing while enjoying each other’s company or nearby sitting against the famous mural of stars to catch some air while conversing with their friends and strangers alike. Bassgasm, has overall evolved into this majestic environment consisting of deep pulsating bass, strobe lights, and lasers. Throughout the fog that clouded the dance floor, one could get a glance of the LED hoops that glimmered in the air as ravers tossed them from one hand to the next.

After walking through the entrance of First Avenue one could instantly feel the music bumping before bearing witness to the mainstage located in the ‘Tension Release Room’, famously known otherwise as the Mainroom within First Avenue & 7th St. Entry. Artists to take the First Avenue mainstage included Tee So, Amy Pickett, Guy Hean, Ameezy, Casey Borchert, DJ ESP aka Woody McBride, Will Smoke & Blaze One, Vaski, and DJ Strangelove. ‘The Tension Release Room’ is just one of three separate stages and areas inhabited by the ‘The Techno Tunnel’ and the ‘Heavy Bass Pressure Room’ occupying both venues, First Avenue and 7th St. Entry.

If one was to take a hard left through the door that leads into ‘The Hard Techno Tunnel’ where The 7th St. Entry was entertained by numerous performing artists including MC Obliquity, Detroit Techno Militia who featured a 4 x 4 turntable vinyl set, The Horrorist aka Oliver Chestier, Los Lokoz ft Fresko & Broadway, DJ RYPE, K-Drive, 1234, Doc Hyde, Brian Litch, Alex Mallard, DJ Solo, Vlad Hurduk and Joey-P.

Typically where fans would expect to find their favorite artists’ merch stand to the right of the Mainroom was instead, transmuted loudly into ‘The Heavy Bass Pressure Room’, the third stage in which featured performing artists encompassed MCs Brace, Hyde & Kaspa, Danny The Wildchild Chicago Junglist OG, Tater w/ Butter, Fargo Trap Mastermind, DJ Easyrider, Modest, Dyami Shaman, Virgo, DJ Econ, Teddy Mac, Wissota, Chrystal Mann, Ryan C & Everest and Dirty Dubs.

While meandering your way through the crowd, winding around the sporadically placed towers of speakers stacked one on top of the other throughout both venues, the sound design, lighting, and overall production made it inevitable for one to not take the time to admire the transformation Bassgasm transpired for their fans. In this respect, it can be said with confidence, First Avenue & 7th St. Entry staged a platform for these performing artists of the evening to come in and school us with their skills.

Last Saturday, a percentage of those who attended Bassgasm #11: Unleash the Tension Party, took a trip down memory lane while others experienced Bassgasm for their first time, witnessing what influential potential the overall production of this show bestows the electronic dance music scene. For seven hours straight, influencers of electronic dance music themselves populated the venue with heavy bass, and thumping subwoofers generating euphoric energy which radiated from wall to wall as those who wandered back and forth from stage to stage would most certainly testify to an electrifying night of beats and bass.

For those unfamiliar to Bassgasm and unaware of the history lesson that lies deep within the event and performing artists, showcasing the prominently influential disc jockeys and turntablists whom have participated in the establishment, revolutionizing what we know today as, EDM, or electronic dance music for anyone who has chosen to remain underground with their roots planted and traditions intact.

Although Vaski has made LA his home base, Bassgasm booked Vaski a homecoming return to Minneapolis for the first time in years. Mcbride made special arrangements to bring back Vaski, one of the first local dubstep artists to perform at the very first Bassgasm. Vaski, a Minnesotan native and internationally known dubstep prodigy, who once hosted residency at The Record Room, a third concert hall that held a similar capacity to The 7th St. Entry that was once also located within First Avenue. By 10:45 pm, Vaski took the Mainroom stage for his day-one supporters and loyal fans anticipating his return.

Headliners of the night also featured DJ Craze, an influencer of the Miami bass movement within the electronic dance music scene in Florida during the late 90s. Since the release of his first album in ‘99, DJ Craze has established himself as one of the world’s greatest bass, breaks, and scratch DJ. After founding his label, Cartel Records, he later went on to found a second label, Slow Roast Records, with a colleague and close friend, Jacob Stanczak, who produces music under the illustrious moniker, Kill the Noize. Amongst other top-shelf performing DJs and producers involved the Detroit Techno Militia, another headliner alongside Vaski who also performed at the first installment of Bassgasm back in 2010.

The Detroit Techno Militia is a collective group of artists preeminently known for spinning on multiple mixers and turntables in unison. Originating in the early 2000’s, the Detroit Techno Militia not only observed first hand, the rise of the Detroit techno scene that went on to pave a revolutionary path for sub-genres of underground music that would eventually surface such as house music, acid house, tech house, deep house amongst the vast amount of sub-genres considerably known to be the electronic music that would come into play prior to the establishment of the umbrella term we know today as, ‘EDM’, and from there the rest is history.

With veneration, the Detroit Techno Militia has actively amplified Detroits’ historic techno sound and traditions as touring artists, performing their craft for the world to emprise for themselves. As tenacious artists with the main objective to preserve their underground scene in which is known for laying forth this foundation that has historically influenced a genre of music, their persistence and expertise are admired and valued by many.

For nearly a decade, Bassgasm has influenced the direction and impact that continues to contribute to the growth of the electronic music scene here in Minnesota. As a recognizably, renowned dance night and residency occupying the iconic nightclub, First Avenue & 7th St. Entry. Bassgasm showcases numerous subgenres of electronic dance music, however focusing specifically on the founding subgenres of what we know now to be today as ‘EDM’ including drum ‘n’ bass, house, and techno.

First Avenue’s vintage, grunge-worthy aesthetic provided Bassgasm with a most fitting platform for Bassgasm #11: Unleash the Tension, vividly depicting what one would think if they had just walked into an underground warehouse party rather than one of the top ten clubs in the country. As concert attendees migrated to the music from stage to stage throughout The Entry and First Avenue, countless ravers could be found dancing carefree to the rhythm of the night until the lights came up, alerting those it was time to take the party elsewhere, making their way towards the doors and on to the next spot, wherever that may be...

With all due respect, Woody McBride presented the concert attendees with both a glimpse of the future but more vital, a blast from the past for his fanbase impatiently anticipating the return of Bassgasm. Since the latest installment of Bassgasm, it’s been made apparent this distinctive style of event will continue to evolve along with the legacy of Bassgasm has upheld for years. Respectfully, Bassgasm #11: Unleash the Tension has proven to live up to its reputation as the notably acclaimed dance night Bassgasm is known for today.

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