For nine months in 2013, Body English ran a Thursday-turned-Friday event that focused solely on bass music—the first of its kind in a Vegas casino nightclub. As Frequency Events talent buyer and partner Joe Borusiewicz reveals, it only needed to ride out a year of the local market’s EDM obsession before he and Hard Rock Hotel resurrected what will remain one of the few electronic music alternatives to big-room nightlife.
How is Bassment relaunching? It was a mutual thing. No one really wanted our first run to end ... at the time Light and Hakkasan had just opened with huge rosters of A-list talent, and with XS, Surrender and Marquee already programming EDM four nights a week, [Hard Rock Hotel] as a whole decided it didn’t want a dog in the fight ... switching things up just made sense. Fast forward a year and we’re bored with almost every electronic club night in Vegas ... and we think locals are over it for the most part. Following EDC week, Hard Rock Hotel agreed that the climate was right to throw something different back into the mix, and a few months later, here we are.
It was every Friday, correct? We began as a Thursday, and after a month we made the jump to Friday nights. The idea was to sort of integrate the local music fans who came for their favorite artists with the weekend warriors who came to blow their paychecks and didn’t care who was on deck. It could’ve been a mess, but it wound up creating a pretty cool vibe week after week ... with a smaller, more condensed space, the energy really becomes contagious. You either join the party or you’re in the way.
Why does Bassment work well enough to be a weekly? I think it just comes down to giving the scene a little credit. With a Thursday night we’re obviously targeting locals, and contrary to popular belief, there are a ton of electronic music fans in Vegas that aren’t into big room house anthems. Nobody I know would be caught dead at a Calvin Harris gig (unless it’s a work night).
Is the popularity of trap a factor? We feel like it blends well with the other flavors of music we’ve got on deck, and it’ll definitely be a part of our programming. But popular or not, Bassment isn’t exclusively a trap night —in the weeks to come we’ll touch on everything from dub to hip-hop to electro and bassline house to turntablism to drum ‘n’ bass ... and yes, a few dope trap artists.
Has the commercial dubstep fad subsided? How much will that subgenre be a part of Bassment? It’s the same old story ... a sound begins with the underground and picks up steam until it’s discovered by corporations. It gets turned out, pimped and bastardized six ways from Sunday till it runs out of gas. The masses move on to the next thing, while the true believers trade high fives and pick up the pieces. When your little sister started rocking a Skrillex cut, commercial dubstep was over.
A small handful of artists—I’d say less than 10—really cemented their place in electronic music as a whole and transcended what’s now a stigma. Those guys still tour and sell out venues everywhere they go, hashtagging giant crowd selfies with #dubstepisdead. Everyone else for the most part has branched out to other genres. Despite the fall from glory, there have been some really solid tunes coming out lately, and you can definitely expect some dubstep at Bassment. Nobody on the dancefloor cares about Beatport statistics.