Alisa Tiburzi

Before we all got to stuff our faces with turkey (and potatoes, stuffing, pies….) this Thanksgiving, Bassgiving stuffed our faces with so much bass that you wouldn’t believe. Artists came from all over for this show (including our home boys from Queens, Sazon Booya!!) and gave us all even more reason to sit around and be lazy and eat food all through the next day. Headliners Foreign Beggars, Caspa, and Pendulum’s DJ set turned Webster Hall upside down. From the wall of death during Foreign Beggars to the end of Pendulum’s set the crowd was going hard.  There was literally not one break in the movement, and it actually seemed like these people were gaining more energy as time went on rather than losing it from all the dancing!

One of the great things about Webster Hall is that the shows start pretty late. So you can still work, do whatever you’ve gotta do that night, and make it to the show without missing much, like Foreign Beggars who came on at midnight. Based out of London, this hip-hop group brings together rap and grimey dubstep, producing some chill but super heavy beats.  And the MCs (who call themselves Orifice Vulgatron and Metropolis) spit some lyrics that most rappers today have forgotten how to do. It’s hard for a lot of artists to combine rap and dubstep because often one ends up overkilling the other. Foreign Beggars, on the other hand, keeps both ends smooth enough so the tracks don’t sound like they’ve just made a track and threw some rap over it, yet still goes hard enough to make for some bangin’ hip hop, and a lot of Drum n’ Bass. The UK accent adds a sick element to the rap as well, and the lyrics are definitely not light – they have some deep lyrical content; it goes perfectly with the style of music they’ve produced.

DJs No-Names were spinning vinyl at this show (which is getting pretty rare these days) and were really awesome.  The group had the crowd going crazy making a “Wall of Death” during “Shellshock”, a track produced with Noisia. Foreign Beggars splits the crowd in half getting each side amped up, basically so they can all run into each other and start moshing – which sounds, and probably is, pretty dangerous.  But, in all honesty, it looked like a freaking rad time. Foreign Beggar’s was here as part of The Uprising Tour, which is named after their latest album release, The Uprising, that came out this October featuring many tracks they dropped on this night – including mega banger right now, “Apex” (produced by Knife Party which, interestingly is two members from the former band Pendulum!).

Pendulum originally began as a band of 5 members, which definitely had their time, and for whatever reasons they split up and now all of them are doing their own things. Two of them kept the name Pendulum and continue playing DJ sets, which is what we had at Bassgiving, as mentioned before band leader Rob Swire started the group Knife Party, and other member KJ Sawka is teaming up with Downlink and Excision to create Destroid, as well as recently becoming the full-time drummer for Conspirator (a side project of The Disco Biscuits that has played upwards of 100 shows this year alone).  It’s awesome that each member is taking their own creative energies and putting them into different projects. The possibilities are literally endless and, so far, Pendulum DJ set and Knife Party have been killing it.  And Destroid is looking exactly like what a combination of Excision, Downlink, and KJ Sawka would – terrifying. In a good way. The band hasn’t produced any tracks together since Immersion in 2010 but some tracks from that album rocked Webster, that’s for sure. El Hornet and Verse (the two members that now make up the DJ set)  spun a set that was completely high energy, every single track was huge and the view of the crowd from the balcony of Webster was literally insane. Even though you would have expected it to be less crowded since it was the night before Thanksgiving, and a lot of people went home to visit family, the place was completely packed. It was definitely a sight to see, every inch of the floor was covered by people and everyone was raging out like animals.

Between Foreign Beggars and Pendulum we had one of the Kings of Dubstep himself, Caspa! For almost anyone who’s into dubstep there’s a good chance that Caspa was one of the first dubstep artists they’ve heard of, and one of the biggest influences. Not to mention the fact that dubstep came to the US pretty much directly from the UK so getting Caspa to play at Webster again (last time he was here with the Dub Police Tour along with Trolley Snatcha and Subscape) is always super exciting. Caspa was here on part of his Dubstep Sessions 2012 Tour which started right after the release of his Dubstep Sessions album. The album has tracks both new and old, which transcended into his set for the night. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Caspa set without “Where’s My Money”, a classic and a favorite of all Caspa fans, and even though his label-mates from last time weren’t here Caspa doesn’t let us forget about them by dropping some of their tracks as well. He dropped some new stuff, like Subscape’s remix of “War” off the 5-track EP, also called War. The EP consists only of the one song, different remixes, and an instrumental version. The “Smack My Bitch Up” remix, originally by The Prodigy, is another all-time favorite, and he even dropped Flux‘s “I Can’t Stop”, which is sometimes random to hear now because when the song first came out it was in almost everyone’s set and now isn’t played as much.

This dubstep, DnB, hip-hop, and grime coming from the UK almost lacks words to describe how hard it makes people dance. There was so much energy pouring out of people you may have forgotten that there was an entirely different show going on downstairs. It was interesting how many tracks by other artists were dropped. Everyone does their own thing, some artists like to play strictly their own music (or if it is a song/sample from someone else it’s usually a remix) and some like to spread the love. Since Caspa doesn’t come around that often, it would have been awesome to hear some more originals but he threw down for sure. It was also nice how many of these tracks were dubstep tracks with lyrics (aside from obviously during Foreign Beggars) that the crowd could sing along to. That is, if they had it in them to belt out the lyrics while they were raging!

Photos By Menbarphotos

Bassgiving @ WebsterHall (11.21.12)
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