New Orleans’ once fledgling electronic dance music scene has since expanded and matured, particularly over the past decade, leading to this Memorial Day weekend’s bass-heavy kickoff with Ganja White Night. This pair of Belgian bass music producers, along with support from Bleep Bloop and Pleasure, will take over tonight’s late show at Republic NOLA, following an earlier evening set by The Mountain Goats.
Ganja White Night stops off in NOLA as part of their North American tour, which spans 25 dates this spring and summer. The duo has already made a name for themselves locally this year thanks to two stunning sets during this past March’s BUKU Music + Art Project weekend—one on the S.S. Buku for lucky VIP passholders and another late-night set at the Joy Theater. But before continuing their rigorous tour schedule, including appearances at Sunset Music Festival in Tampa and Summer Camp Music Festival in Illinois this weekend alone, Ganja White Night is dropping by to show New Orleans some love once again.
For Ganja White Night, it’s not just about the bass or the beat. It’s the entire process of creating music that inspires movement and emotion, from a single inspirational sound or riff that blossoms into a composition chock full of live instrumentation and self-looping. That sort of musicality and focus on experimentation and exploration of sound isn’t lost on fans here. After all, New Orleans is a town that thrives on that kind of creative energy flowing between the jazz, brass band, funk and innumerable other musicians lighting up stages citywide.
The pair’s genre and sample dabbling can most clearly be heard on songs from Hybrid Distillery (2015) and Addiction (2014), which range from nuanced dubstep and hip-hop to more downtempo and ambient moods. It was with these two albums that Ganja White Night began looking for new horizons beyond the face-melting dubstep tracks they were known since dropping their self-titled debut in 2010.
Now, that’s not to say Ganja White Night has abandoned their foundation in bass music. If anything, they’ve only found a way to enhance their understanding and performance of this wide-reaching subgenre. Their latest release, Mr. Wobble (2016), best evidences this maturation and evolution. The album combines lessons learned during their more experimental albums without leaving behind the deep bass roots that brought them their initial successes.
Ganja White Night may also appeal to New Orleans EDM fans and bass heads simply because of the haze left behind after the duo’s dynamic performances. As technically proficient as these two producers are, they objectively know how to throw a party in the only way New Orleanians know how. A couple hours with this group and the desired cocktail of unapologetic grinning, dancing and headbanging, and any devoted attendee gladly risks exhausted appendages, neck and cheek muscles for what is nothing short of a sheer good time.
Space bass cadet Bleep Bloop and Brooklyn’s Pleasure will warm the stage for Ganja White Night’s Memorial Day kickoff, tonight at Republic NOLA—Doors at 11 p.m.
Photo by Winter Circle Productions