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When Skate Decks and DJ Decks Collide

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Last Friday, June 22, lucky fans in the know, skaters who happened to be skating at the Venice Beach Skate Park, and random passersby, were all treated to something new and something different for the beachfront community, famed for its sprawl of tie-dye and dreads, head shops, body builders and all around weirdness. This beautiful sunny afternoon saw the launch of a new event series called Bassride. This new run of free summer events aims to bring together two alternative cultures (skate and dance) that have long called Southern California home.

EDM is the new punk for these kids—its loud, your parents hate it, and adults think it causes you to do drugs and die.

Hosted by Faux Entertainment, White Buffalo, and Pioneer, the first installment of Bassride was a huge success. With the DJ booth perched right on the lip of the skate bowls, DJs Hot Mouth, PeaceTreaty, Bass Kleph, Will Bailey, and Dave Arevaldo graced the decks while MC Whiskey Pete kept the crowd pumped and the skaters skating the whole time. As the crowd grew and the beats permeated the Venice air, all sorts of people, including those with no knowledge of skating or EDM, strolled up to see what all of the fuss was about.

This week I took a moment to sit down with Bassride mastermind and Faux Entertainment head hauncho George Karalexis to talk about Bassride and what it is exactly that he’s aiming to accomplish with these events:

So what exactly is Bassride? The concept, the vision, etc. What are you trying to bring to the people and what inspired you to create an event series like this?

Bass Ride is about fusing electronic music with the skate/surf/snow culture that has been dominated by punk rock in the past. In my opinion EDM is the new punk for these kids—it's loud, your parents hate it, and adults think it causes you to do drugs and die. I came up with the idea when I was skating at the Venice Beach Skate Park a few months back with a few friends and one of the kids placed a boom box in the park that was playing a dubstep mix he created. Instantly the idea of throwing a party at the skate park came to mind. Given the setting was Venice it was important to embrace the community with a free party and include as many of the local skate shops and the public as possible.

How was the turnout at the first Bassride event?

Given that the promotion was in a 36-hour window to avoid a massive crowd I was very happy. One city official said we did between 2,500-3,000 people.

…the reason we started this was to provide an alternative to the festival and club circuit that is happening at the moment.

Do you think that EDM and skate culture already congeal naturally together or are you trying to do something new now by blending the two?

I think traditionally the two worlds don't mesh but given the expansion of the genre with sounds like dubstep, moombahton, electro, etc., the aggressive punk/metal sound can be mimicked and translates well with the culture. Both worlds are a lifestyle and are experience-based, so it's natural that they work well together.

What can people expect from future Bassride events? Any hints at future locations or performers?

We already have the next two events on the books, which will be bigger and better. Locations and performers are a secret but the concept is to use artists who identify and have roots with the location and that translate well with the punk/skate culture.

How big do you see this thing getting? Could this be the start of a new EDM version of Warped Tour?

I would love to see this grow into something large. However, the reason we started this was to provide an alternative to the festival and club circuit that is happening at the moment. Growing up skating and playing in punk bands, Warped Tour started off as something that we did not miss. Now it's still a great event but it's flooded with sponsors and has strayed from the original culture and concept. For me the key word is culture and not over-saturating or over selling it. The reason the first event worked so well because it was authentic and the locals and audience believed it.

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The next Bassride event may be a little ways off, but in the mean time check out some photos from last Friday’s event as well as Will Bailey’s set from that day, recorded and available for free download from his Soundcloud page!

So keep your ears to the asphalt, more Bassride events will be taking place all over Southern California this summer with more DJs, more fun in the sun, more kick flips, and of course more wheels on the pavement!


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