To say bass music is popular in America is to state the obvious: DJs like Zeds Dead, Flux Pavilion, 12th Planet, Skrillex and Bassnectar are playing sold-out shows in the U.S., and some (like Knife Party on "Antidote") are collaborating with names as big as Swedish House Mafia. One rising star in particular even co-headlined with EDM icon and 2012 Woodie Award nominee Steve Aoki on the widely successful Deadmeat 2012 Tour. He's Canadian, his name is Troy Beetles, and he commands a bass movement of his own around the world — performing and producing as Datsik.
When MTV News caught up with Aoki recently, he revealed that he and Datsik bonded at the Identity Festival last summer. "I knew about his music, and I knew about what he was writing, but when I saw it live, it connected the dots for me," Aoki remembered. "And then he turned in his new album for Dim Mak. I just was completely blown away. This is one of the best dubstep producers I've ever heard."
Their subsequent Deadmeat Tour, which ended earlier this year, served as a vehicle for Datsik to test out some of his new album's material and further cement the pair's budding friendship.
"It was insane," Aoki said. "I miss this guy. When I don't see Datsik, I get these withdrawals. I'm like, 'Ugh! I need Datsik around! What the f---! Where are you, dude?' "
Datsik shared the love: "I had so much fun with you, bro. I did not know what to expect out of this whole thing, and it was just crazy."
Aoki continued, "I'm just dancing to his music, every single set, for 55 shows. It just never got boring because his sh-- is f---ing fire! F---ing fire!"
Fiery is certainly a fitting description for Vitamin D, Datsik's debut album on Dim Mak. It's a sonically versatile bass hip-hop bonanza and more. A fan of Snoop, Dr. Dre and the Wu-Tang Clan, Datsik fills his album with exquisite, gut-wrenching gems like "Fully Blown" (with Canadian rapper Snak the Ripper), "Bonafide Hustler" and "Napalm" (with producer Downlink and rapper Messinian). "Don't Feel Right," featuring Shakedown's "At Night" vocal, is both blazing and soothing piano euphoria.
And Datsik has his own favorites: "I got a couple of tracks with my homey Downlink ('Syndrome' and 'Napalm'). I got another one with Jonathan Davis from Korn, which is also a collaboration with the Infected Mushroom (Vitamin D's first single, 'Evilution'). I did another collaboration with the hip-hop scratch legend Z-Trip (album closer 'Double Trouble'). For me, that's my favorite track off the album, just because it's so back to my roots. Working with Z-Trip was amazing!"
Fans can catch Datsik performing at the Coachella festival again this weekend, Michigan's Electric Forest Festival in June and New York's Electric Zoo Festival in August.