This is an entry in an ongoing series for 303 Magazine, which will provide a range of local album reviews. It is our intention to highlight the talents of local musicians, whether veterans to the industry or newcomers. Like the bands, the album can be fresh or something we just haven’t had the power to take off repeat in the past few months. Check out previous entries in the series here.
Bass music veteran Aaron Holstein of VibeSquaD added another heavy-hitting album to his sizeable discography. Bass Time, released on June 5, of this year, arrived just in time for the upcoming summer festivities. Holstein is set to play as VibeSquaD Thursday, June 20 at Sonic Bloom Music Festival from 11 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. on the main Bloom Stage. Holstein returns to the Hummingbird Stage at Sonic Bloom Sunday afternoon from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. as Aaron Holstein to share some music from his self-titled project. Tickets are available for Sonic Bloom Music Festival here.
Holstein is an ambassador of bass, with some previous albums titled Bass Love, Bass Love Forever and Bass Buddies. Bass Time fits right into his style, with this particular album jumping right into the action from the first song. VibeSquaD’s covered a lot of exploratory music ground since his first album, Kids Are Funky, Too., released in 2002. Since the inception of his debut funk-filled kids album, Holstein shifted his sound to fit within the electronic bass music realm for most of the remainder of his current VibeSquaD discography. Each release is undeniably VibeSquaD. With over a decade of jampacked albums, Holstein has curated his recognizable sound while still remaining fresh and completely unique with each new release. Bass Time is no exception — his latest release serves up a feast of bass flavored beats for an audio treat of flavorful selections.
Holstein’s creativity spans beyond his musical capabilities. Bass Time song names leave much to the imagination, with tracks titles such as, “Clustersmash,” “Sneezewobble” and “Bluft.” While these may seem like obscure words, when listening to each selection the song titles become perfectly fitting with a bit of imagination.
A hefty 11 songs deep, Bass Time is the ultimate pregame album for Sonic Bloom festival goers. Bass Time holds true to its name, with each selection offering up a different bass-heavy banger sure to fire up the squad. The album works well on both shuffle and starting from the top, you can’t go wrong starting with any track.
“Special,” the first song in the album, begins with an ominous vocal build-up before obliterating listeners with stomp-worthy bass wobbles. Followed by “The Splits,” Holstein rips away from reality to venture to the futuristic realm of previously undiscovered bass music, bringing back the rarest bits for listeners to revel in. In “Gardening Day,” Holstein plants bass seeds that quickly grow into full-blown blooming bass flowers. Holstein thoroughly covers the basses in Bass Time, offering listeners both classic headbanging hard hitters and exploratory electronic mind games.
Finishing off the album with “Bluft” and “Carbondale,” Holstein maintains a high level of energy throughout the body of work. Bass junkies can keep the album on repeat for an endless stream of resonant sound that continually reveals deeper layers on enjoyment.