In spite of his permanence in dubstep long before our current producer-idolatry heyday, we’re finally arriving at Jantsen Robertson commanding the full attention he deserves.
Some of the most searing Bassnectar tracks (“Blast Off,” “Red Step,” “What“) carry Jantsen’s maximalist stamp. He’s been highly prolific for well over a decade, collaborating with everyone from Dirt Monkey to Luzcid to Notixx. His sound isn’t shy or shadowy, it bares it’s teeth with a front-and-center rolling aggression that’s very much his own.
After a whirlwind day show at Denver’s Black Box this month, a gob-smacking Bassnectar collaboration in “It’s About to Get Hectic” earlier this year, and the impressive communal spirit of his Facebook group “Jantsen Fam,” Jantsen’s name is becoming as pervasive as his feral subwoofer tunes.
Though (criminally) not sold out on his recent New Orleans stop at Republic NOLA, the wild, head-banging devotees made up for any lost space and for the most vicious fun I’ve had in there in quite some time.
Phulti & Mystic Grizzly start things up
Opening was an artist I was unfamiliar with: Phulti from Baton Rouge. He played a range of originals that I loved, bringing to mind the sparkling, fluid halftime of artists like LSDream. I was excited at how many originals he played that were unreleased, including one called “Worlds Collide” that I can’t wait for. One of the highlights of the night was his own remix of Three 6 Mafia‘s “Where’s Da Bud,” a punchy nod to the crunk pioneers.
Florida native Mystic Grizzly has been on our radar for a while for his far-flung, tribal bass music. In strides, he sounds downright elastic, stretching and contorting diabolically weird (and deftly produced) chirps and ripples. In over an hour, he played largely originals that showed off his wonderful knack for incorporating all manner of chimes, flutes and even ukelele. He mixed in tracks from other forward-thinking bass cases, notably G-Space‘s huge “taylor…gang” bootleg of Wiz Khalifa, Supertask‘s “Get to You” and Mersiv‘s “Taijutsu.”
Jantsen showcases his unmatched skill on the decks
Jantsen took the stage in his signature plain white tee and black hat and flung headfirst into a raunchy smattering of tracks and excitably, genres. Few other artists I’ve seen can transition so well between old-school dubstep, hip-hop, and drum n’ bass so seamlessly without ever letting up on intensity.
His calm and collected stage presence made it all the more entertaining when he pulled in his remix of DMX’s classic “Party Up” or Crime Mob’s “Knuck if You Buck.” That aforementioned “It’s About to Get Hectic” went off in a huge way, the second drop barrage of drum n’ bass snares sent the crowd into a rabid frenzy. He’s got an affectionate nod for classics, whether it be OG dubstep, (Sub Focus’s remix of Rusko’s “Hold On”) or even old swing tunes (The Andrew Sisters’ Tico Tico).
In a night where the set was a constant highlight in of itself, Jantsen’s, “Ice Cream Sound” collaboration with Dirt Monkey was unmatched. It’s warped reggae delivery and soaring chorus got a rise out of just about everyone around me. It’s a summertime track so perfectly between two distinct production styles that rings with a confidence greater than a sum of its parts.
Jansten nodded to plenty of new music coming soon throughout the New Orleans stop, hopefully including his bombastic track with Mersiv, “Get Crazy” that fanbases of both artists have been clamoring for.
View some of the images of the night below, captured by Whitness This Photography.
Check out his announced tour dates below. Until then, do not miss a Jansten show, as this year has been a landmark for his output, growing fanbase, and his unmatched skill on the decks.
Featured image via artist Twitter.