It is extremely difficult writing a track by track review on this album when each and every song has a special meaning to me. Every song is my favorite. It is impossible to pick just one song that stands out because not one track sounds the same at all. I love how with Bassnectar’s music, the listener can interpret the song and manipulate it to mean something to that individual’s life. Not every artist that produces is capable of achieving such a massive accomplishment. It has taken me such a long time to write this article because I wanted to process the album after hearing almost every song on the album live at Electric Forest. There was something special in the air as Nectar dropped Reaching Out, Music is the Drug, TKO, Mind Tricks, Shampion Chip, and Unlimited Combinations in the forest. Unlimited literally reaches out to all types of his fans, everyone from the hard-hitting bass to trap to melodic dub.
While some claim that Unlimited is not his most powerful album (and on some level, I agree), this album still holds something special for true Bassnectar fans that like him for more than just the headbangers.
The first time I heard this track was when Bassnectar dropped this song for the very first time live at Euphoria in Austin, Texas. Goosebumps. As I listen to this song for a second, third, fourth time, goosebumps every time. On top of the beautiful sounds, Reaching Out is that song you can just nod your head to, close your eyes, and appreciate life. The message behind Reaching Out is one a kind and reflects what the listener can expect to hear for the rest of the album. It even matches the album cover art, the astronaut is reaching out to us.
Music is the Drug
The drop for Music is the Drug is one of my favorites on the entire album. I love the outward meaning behind it, because music really is the drug. The collab on this song with LUZCID is spot on, featuring heavy bass and a conglomerate of background noises while incorporating the classic Nectar we all love. This track really gets to me because at many festivals, shows, and concerts, many people get lost in the stereotype of the drug scene. In reality, we should all be there for the music, because music is the only (safe and legal haaaa) drug we would ever need.
TKO w/ Rye Rye and Zion I
The bass in TKO is just out of this world and reminds me of the “older” throw-down Nectar vibe. In Unlimited, I feel like he really is feeling out the field and just putting his all into his music, mixing and matching his sound and the artists he has chosen to collaborate with totally bring out this new creative energy in him. When this song dropped at Forest, Lorin had fire on stage and crazy visuals to accompany the heavy hitting bass (which to me, completely put this song over the top -in a great way-). I love the lyrics in TKO and how the song is basically telling you to just shake it off, shake off the haters and the world. The female vocals sing “At the top of the world, your bad vibes don’t phase me.”
Mind Tricks w/ G Jones ft. Lafa Taylor
This collab with G. Jones is one of my favorite Bassnectar collaborations to date. Whenever G. Jones and Nectar link up, there is no doubt whatever they produce is going to be something fire, but Mind Tricks just hits me hard. The vocals of the repeating “the mind tricks the body tricks the mind” gets my mind rolling for some reason. Include the sound that G. Jones is known for and the bass from Nectar and they have an awesome song. Hearing this song twice at Electric Forest, 1) when G. Jones OPENED his set with this and 2) when Nectar dropped it with crazy visuals, definitely made me fall in love with this song even more! This was going to be one of the songs on the G. Jones & Bassnectar collaboration album, Amorphous Music, but the boys just couldn’t wait to drop this one.
The fact that there are no vocals in this song really makes you appreciate the melodic instruments that makes up this beautiful song. Another one of my favorites on the album, this song takes you on a journey through life. The song title is so fitting for this track because Nectar proves yet again that in this world, there is an infinite amount of combinations. Life is one big unlimited combination, it is whatever we make it to be. There is a buildup with the drop about two minutes into the song, but don’t give up just yet because it only continues to get better! Both at Paradiso and Electric Forest, Nectar included this song with a confetti explosion that only makes you appreciate this song and the production behind it even more.
Level Up w/ LEViTATE ft. Macntaj
One of the most sought after buildup of drops on the album. Bassnectar plays with us for a good minute before the drop and the wait is so worth it. Once that drop hits, the musical journey transports you with sounds that could only be best described as a trip to Egypt. The rapping by hip-hop artist Macntaj is the perfect mix in this song to off-put the heavy sounds. This track is explained to listeners that the theme of Level Up was “drive, ambition, relentless passion, always taking it to the next level in the name of art.”
Shampion Chip w/ Qa
Bassnectar and Qa tease listeners almost the entire song with this track. Your first thought is that the drop is going to be within the first minute because of the insane climax, but once that minute comes around, you are instantly mistaken. A minute and 50 seconds into the song, the same buildup occurs but no true drop. Lorin back at it again messing with my emotions! The true drop finally occurs about 2 and a half minutes into the song, and it is by all means worth it. Whenever I hear this song, I literally feel like I am getting pulled back and forth with the music once the beat drops. Hearing this song live, Bassnectar teased the entire crowd even more.
This track takes you on a trip up to the stars with this trappy bass mix. Zodgilla incorporates one of the most distinctive drops on the album, bringing a refreshing and different view to Unlimited. Many have said that this song brings them back to the older Bassnectar days, with hard-hitting wompy bass and synth sounds. Personally, Zodgilla is not one of my favorites, but I do appreciate the time and effort Nectar went into producing this song to make it special.
Paracosm w/ The Glitch Mob
Paracosm (n.): “Detailed imaginary world created inside one’s mind. This fantasy world may involve humans, animals, and things that exist in reality; or it may also contain entities that are entirely imaginary, alien, and otherworldly.”
Easily one of the most beautiful songs on the album. Paracosm makes you fall in love with the idea of a song and removes your mind from the now, creating this imaginary world within (see the paracosm definition^). What other artist do you know that can put you at ease with a song just by using beautiful melodies and soft bass? This collab with The Glitch Mob highlights both strengths from the trio and artist.
Dream Catcher w/ Gnar Gnar
I only have one word for this song: explosive. The quality, the bass, the overall sound of Dream Catcher makes it one of the most unique songs on the entire album. The track features a sort of 80’s style sci-fi synth and is easily one of the most underrated tracks by Nectar; however, this song deserves all the love and more.
Journey To The Center
When asked about this track, Bassnectar explained that as he was producing, he was trying to stick to a late 1990’s electronica feel, but as it kept growing the track evolved to a more “futuristic journey”. Trying to explain this song and how it makes me feel, I literally feel like I am on a spaceship in this futuristic journey that Nectar has provided me… where the journey is going, I have no idea. It’s just a ride. The track is brilliant and is worth the whole listen, despite it being one of the last longest songs on the album at 6 minutes and 20 seconds.
In The Beginning [2016 Version]
First word that came in my head was “dark” while listening to “In The Beginning”. It begins very eerie, like it should be the background music for the Introduction of an “American Horror Story” season. This song is one of Bassnectar’s earlier tracks that he produced and it slightly represents the evolution of music, both his and the world’s. “In The Beginning” takes you to an outworldly dimension. While this track does come off as dark, there is still light. Somewhere in this darkness, we found the light.
Rising, Rising (Bassnectar Remix)
Bassnectar throws heavy bassheads for a loop with this soft, beautiful remix of Rising, Rising, originally made by Crywolf. Prior to the remix, the song was already a piece of art. Lorin took the piece of art and made it a masterpiece. The goal of this song was to produce a “lullaby” of some sort, and just that was accomplished. This song is so soothing to the soul, like it could be played forever on repeat.
Inspire the Empathic
After the Unlimited journey, the final song starts with laughter and goofiness to pull us back to reality. Lorin incorporated singing made by him and his best friend, Craig and mimics the beat electronically (amazing what someone can do with technology!). Just when we think the song is over, funky computer-like sounds play to close out the magnificent work that is Unlimited.
Send the message out like an echo.