by: Zach Salafia
August 5, 2022
When COVID-19 quarantines paused in-person music programming, artists were forced to adapt as best they could to an ever-changing landscape. As venues and festival grounds gathered dust, live streams grew in importance as a digital community of dance and electronic music enthusiasts flourished. Among them was Jason Ross Presents: The Atlas, a concept show airing on Insomniac’s Twitch channel every Monday night, where creator Jason Ross and a different special guest could be reliably found one day a week for a great deal. part of 2020 and 2021. Fast forward to 2022 and “The Atlas” would become something of a template for Ross.
“Tome, Atlas means home,” he said dancing astronaut. “[It] became a weekly event that gave people something exciting to look forward to while the world was shut down. From there, it grew into a thriving community that many of us (myself included) call home.
Building on that sense of community, that sense of belonging, remained important to Ross long after the “pause” on live music programming gave way to “play,” so it became a driving force behind his second studio album. of the same name. “We talked a lot about themes during the [studio] sessions and the concept that I kept coming back to was this idea of home and what it means to us. So when I thought of the title of the album, it made sense to call it Atlas,” he said.
From a high level perspective, Atlas is 10 tracks of the signature bass sound that listeners have come to expect from Jason Ross, which has not only become synonymous with Ophelia Records, but also with consistent production quality. Look beyond that surface though, and you’ll see that Atlas is “a mix of genres, influences and tempos”, according to Ross himself. “Each song was so different and had its own crazy journey to end up on the final album,” he added.
The album is led by “Hate This Kind of Love” (with HOLT), “Take You Home” (with MitiS with Dia Frampton), “Ghost Town” (with David Frank), “Burning Sky” (with HALIENE; a debuted as Ross’s Closest to Sunset at EDC Las Vegas) and “Slow It Down” (featuring Chandler Leighton’s L8NCY project).
Ross’s ability to extract the best from the producers and singers he works with is not unique to Atlas; it’s something he’s become accustomed to throughout his career. It’s no coincidence that many of his best-known releases are collaborations involving the likes of Seven Lions, SLANDER and Gryffin. Naturally, working on collaborative singles comes with such a “different process” than working on a long-running project like Atlas:
“Collaborations like these are just super exciting and fun! It’s also a great opportunity to learn from each other and grow; I always come out of a collaboration with a few new tools to add to my arsenal…[but working on an album involves] a lot more planning and digging in, because that’s where you really want to convey to listeners who you are musically, visually and everything else.
In fact, her favorite part of the craft Atlas could simply expand its visual components:
“I loved focusing on the visual identity of the album and the brand. I naturally gravitate toward abstract and minimalist art, and I’m thrilled with how these monoliths on the album turned out. I’m really excited to explore this world even deeper because I think there’s a lot more to do and say in this space, visually.
It’s been two years since Ross released his first LP, 1000 faces, and he’s the first to admit that a lot has changed since then. “I have grown a lot. I think I’ve become more sure of myself as a producer and what I’m really trying to convey through my music. I think my music has definitely matured since 1000 facesbut it still shares the same sound identity.
Although a lot has changed since then, one aspect has remained the same: as 1000 faces, Atlas gets its output via dancing astronautLabel of the Year 2021, Ophelia Records.
“I really feel like Jeff [Seven Lions] and Ophelia gave me a platform to explore who I am as an artist. They have always supported me and my ever evolving sound. I never really thought about exploring new genres until I met Jeff, and it allowed me to expand my music significantly,” Ross said. “I think a lot of artists are afraid to take risks, but as long as you’re authentic with yourself, it can be worth it.”
Of course, no album is complete without a supporting tour and Ross’ Atlas tour is shaping up to be his biggest headlining adventure yet. The 30-stage live initiative will feature city-specific appearances from a range of acts, including Arty’s Project Alpha 9, Au5, Ray Volpe, Ace Aura, CloudNone, Gem & Tauri, Last Heroes, and more. The tour kicks off with a bang at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, Ross’ biggest headlining show to date.
“It’s amazing to think this is actually happening,” he said. “I remember playing [at the Palladium] for the first time during the Seven Lions Journey II tour and dreaming of being a headliner one day. It’s a dream come true and I can’t wait to get things started there!
See a full list of Atlas tour dates and ticket info here, and stream Atlasavailable now via Ophelia Records, below.
Featured Image: Shane McCauley
Categories: Features, Music