On The Record: Darin Bass
BY KALANI WILHELM / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Darin Babb may not be a household name in Honolulu just yet, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting off on aggressive basslines and trappy snares to the point where blitzing minds has become much more common at his gigs.
Affectionately known as DJ Darin Bass, electronic music fans are quickly learning to seek him out for their drum-n-bass, trap and twerk addictions. With time spent in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, he entered the Hawaii EDM scene with a wealth of experience in his back pocket when he moved to Oahu from Idaho in April.
“Being new to a city you always have something to prove when meeting new people,” he said. “I’m really trying to prove that I love the music and I love DJing. My skills didn’t go anywhere, I just (moved).”
Networking via social media and getting acclimated to Honolulu’s music habits was tops on his agenda. Through every conversation about his DJ past, Babb was out to show the claims he made weren’t just hype and circumstance.
One of the first established local DJs Babb met was Shaun “DJ Coondog” Coon, who quickly discovered Babb was a man of character with the skills to match. Coon, who was initially skeptical of Babb’s true intentions, said his new friend’s skills and genuine personality made it easy to support him.
“He passed all the tests for sure,” Coon said. “He was pretty respectful, so we invited him down to Asylum to join us. That’s probably a record for anyone coming to Hawaii and getting on the decks at that club.”
Babb called his debut at Hawaii’s premier underground venue an honor and a moment he was primed and ready for. The rush he felt was trumped only by the experience of working with the DJs assembled beside him that night.
“Being invited to just jump on the decks and tag with some of Oahu’s best isn’t a privilege that comes to many,” he said. “It makes me proud that I have the skills to be able to freestyle with them on stage like we’ve played together for years.”
While he is far from being a Honolulu nightlife fixture, Babb can be found throwing down heavy helpings of bass at The Fix during Super Trap Thursdays with the crew that made him feel at home upon his arrival in paradise.
“I love it there,” he said. “What makes this (party) dope is every night I play, I get to play with some of the best DJs around the island like Technique, Nightmarcher and Coon Dog. The staff there is really awesome, sound is clean, and the atmosphere is always nice.”
Babb, who primarily worked mainstream pop gigs (incorporating bass music as frequently as possible) before leaving Idaho, called his early contributions here a return to his roots. Faith in his abilities has made the transition easy. Calling it a rebirth would be an understatement.
“I feel like I’m 21 again, reborn but with years of knowledge and experience under my belt,” he said. “It’s been greater than I could have asked for.
“There’s been a lot of talk about a drum-n-bass revolution happening. I look forward to helping that (movement) push forward not just drum-n-bass (but) bass music in general.”
Kalani Wilhelm covers nightlife and music for the Pulse. Contact him via email or follow him on Twitter.