Local DJs turn up the bass
In a music scene dominated by reggae cover bands and country music singers, a couple of local DJs want to bring the bass to Fort Myers.
And no, not the bass guitar.
Bass music – a heavy, bone-rattling genre of electronic dance music popular in cities across the world, but rare in the suburbs of Southwest Florida.
Bobby Dillinger learned about bass music growing up in Philadelphia.
“It’s very popular up there, and as soon as I moved down here I realized there wasn’t much of that,” he said.
Dillinger and his family own and operate the Nauti Parrot Dock Bar on San Carlos Boulevard.
Last March, he started throwing bass music events on Mondays, with the help of friends from the Fort Myers Beach Fire Tribe, who invited Dillinger to DJ for them while they spun fire on the sand.
That’s where the idea for their regular bass nights began.
“I got invited to the first one they held because of mutual friends,” said Robert Casanova, who DJs under the stage name Novacas.
He got in touch with Dillinger and asked if he could bring out some of his own equipment that night.
With lasers and speakers in tow, he played an hour-long set, and a partnership was born.
Casanova is one of the owners of Fallout Bookings, a Sarasota-based music label that throws bass events all over Florida.
He started the Infinite Collective, a chapter of the label specifically for electronic artists in Fort Myers.
Originally from Miami, Casanova moved to Lehigh Acres two years ago, and bonded with Dillinger over the lack they found of their favorite music upon moving to the area.
“It’s not really what I was used to down in Miami. I was spoiled for shows,” Casanova said.
Together with Fallout and the Infinite Collective, they’re now beginning a monthly series of events at the Nauti Parrot, featuring two stages and extensive line-ups of local artists and special guests from other cities.
Their next event, called D3V and Friends, will be on Jan. 18.
Right now, it’s the only event in Fort Myers dedicated exclusively to bass music.
“I want to give people like us, the younger crowd, something fun to do in a safe environment where you can feel welcome no matter what,” said Casanova.
Dillinger said in the past their shows have been popular with the beach’s younger workforce, who would often stop by after they clocked out.
The breezy dock bar venue makes their bass nights unique, he explained, since most fans of the genre are used to packing into dark, crammed nightclubs.
“Here we have a beautiful waterfront view where people can go inside and outside as they please,” he said.
They’ll be bringing Tampa-based artist D3V to headline their January show.
The line-up, which consists of many local artists and several from other cities across the state, is structured to take listeners on a ride through various subgenres of bass.
“We try to paint a picture with the artists. We start off with house music… it’s very relaxing, something you could dance to, but you could also sit there at the bar and have a conversation. We slowly work our way into trap and hybrid trap, where it starts to feel like a party… since it’s slightly heavier on bass, it’s a perfect lead-in to deep dubstep and riddim,” Casanova said.
It’s a varied genre, ranging from high-energy danceable tracks to dark, heavy, and sometimes creepy vibes.
“The best way to explain it, it’s like an overwhelming sound that carries you with it,” he said.
“There are frequencies in bass music you can’t hear, you can actually just feel… That’s what bass music is about, feeling.”