Bassnectar: Cozza Frenzy
Amorphous / Child's Play

In the mood for a thorough ear cavity cleaning? Cozza Frenzy, the new collection by Bassnectar (real name Lorin Ashton) can no doubt handle that orifice plus any other you might think needs attention. Stylistically close to dubstep but delivered with the intensity of the hardest breakcore, the album serves up fourteen frenzied tracks of bass-heavy madness that Ashton liberally spices up with wild voice shredding and thick coats of electro-grime. He smartly breaks up the seventy-one-minute album's flow with two remixes, one for Mr Projectile and the other for Fever Ray, and changes things up throughout by including multiple vocalist guest-shots (Seasunz, Cates and DPL, Zumbi, Capital J, iLL Gates), and even—relatively speaking—dials the intensity down a notch or two for a couple of tracks (“Window Seat” and the gleeful, synth-happy “I Wish I Was A Hipster”).

You know what you're in for the moment “Boombox” throws down a lethal spin on wobbly dubstep with vocal cut-ups added to its bass-throbbing mayhem. Infected with electro fever, “Cozza Frenzy” then spits out hammering synth arpeggios while Seasunz's manipulated voice barks overtop the frenzy. Bassnectar follows it with a largely vocal-free second take (a “mega-bass” remix) that proves to be as potent when its bottom end blazes so forcefully, and then “The Churn of the Century,” a pounding slab of schaffel, dubstep, and whiplash head-nod. The disc includes ample doses of head-nodding funk, whether playful (“Backpack Rehab”) or blistered (“West Coast Lo-Fi Rides Again”), and bass-bleeding dub-funk (“Teleport Massive”). The remix of “When I Grow Up” by Fever Ray (Swedish electronic artist Karin Dreijer of The Knife) is so powerful one ponders what wonders a full album collaboration might reap. Notwithstanding the ambient synth swirls that dominate the hidden track, the final listed one, a snarling “Boombox” revisit featuring ILL Gates, ensures that Cozza Frenzy ends with anything but a whisper. Without question it's a brain-addling ride but not an unenjoyable one by any stretch.

November 2009