Bassgasm 4 brings one loud blast from the past


Minneapolis was a raver playground back in the late '90s. Flyers for illegal dance parties littered the sidewalks outside of downtown clubs and sat in messy stacks atop bass-rattled countertops at the Lake Street deejay den Cynesthesia, much-missed vinyl haven Let It Be Records, and raver-run Fusion cafe. Neon colors and kitschy cartoon characters jumped off the cardstock advertising dozens of DJs in some secret venue in or just outside of the metro, where dance music fans could kick up dust until the early morning hours free of dress codes and most other conventions.

These days, only a few dare to throw off-the-radar events that are but a faint shadow of the spirited free-for-alls that used to gnaw at authorities' nerves. In these times that aren't so rave friendly, Woody McBride's Bassgasm is the closest thing a local music lover could experience--despite making its safe and legal home at First Avenue.

[jump] "Bassgasm is a serious party that's keeping the underground alive," McBride tells Gimme Noise. "It's really a gift from First Avenue--a $50 show for $15. The main thing is to keep it fun and affordable and pay homage to the past while infusing ideas of the future."

A local but internationally recognized techno producer, McBride knows the old school. For a handful of intense years on the Minneapolis party circuit, he booked and headlined his own events via the Mile High company he shared with Rich Best (now VP of booking at Clear Channel) and Jack Trash (now owner of Sound In Motion, the event producers responsible for the merry-go-round of EDM heavyweights rotating through Epic and other clubs). While McBride is obviously not the first to present big-name DJs to the local clubs, he is the first to attempt to simulate old rave parties within one, not just in spirit but in sound. Which brings us to the bass.

For most people, electronic music at literally body-shaking levels doesn't sound like a fun time. But fans of the genre like it loud, and McBride's storied "Wall Of Bass" soundsystem delivers the decibels. When he books DJs for the event--which, this Friday will feature DJ Klever, SPL, Deathface, Dani Deahl and 40+ others--he tells them this will likely be the loudest system they'll ever play on, and most of the time, he's right.

Entering it's fourth installment and its second year, Bassgasm has featured some true talent in the five uniquely decorated rooms arranged within First Avenue's walls (the club lets DJs play in both the upper level bar space and the billiards area). Chicago house music legend Derrick Carter headlined the very first event in February of 2010 when Bassgasm first shoved itself into the local clubgoer lexicon, and he walked stunned throughout the club, managing to utter over the audio assault, "I haven't seen shit like this since '97."

Woody McBride

Woody McBride

And to McBride, that's really the whole point.

Bassgasm 4 takes place this Friday, July 22 at First Avenue, and we want to send you! To enter our Bassgasm ticket giveaway contest, simply:

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Previous stories:

DJ Klever on tattoos, partying and future of dance music (MP3)

DJ Dani Deahl talks fashion with Dressing Room

Bassgasm 4 lineup announced