To say that Equanimous has been busy this year might be an understatement. Nate Stein, the widely talented DJ, producer, and multi-instrumentalist from Nevada City, CA has been putting in work to bless our ears with what he calls, “blissful bass music”, and boy, does he deliver. With more than 15 releases in 2020 alone, Equanimous finally debuts his first full album, Merging Elements, spanning over 9 tracks with 11 equally talented collaborators under Gravitas Recordings. No stranger to the Gravitas family, he has played live drums onstage with CloZee, released “Mystic Descent” with Orenda earlier this year, and worked with Edamame to create the very well-received album cover. On top of all of this, he is the founder of High Vibes Records and side project, Bliss Looper.
The aptly named Equanimous has been making a name for himself since 2016 by, in his words, “combining elements of beauty and sexy bass” to create an uplifting journey of music that will get you groovin’ and hit you in the feels all at once. He has appeared on several festival lineups including Lucidity, Same Same But Different, and Northern Nights and has most recently come off a successful curation and execution of the virtual Global Unity Festival, which boasted 170 artists and wellness workshops in April of this year. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s notable Bandier Program, which prepares its students for real-world work in the music business industry. Another notable program graduate is Andrew Taggart, a.k.a one half of the Chainsmokers. Stein also credits some of his musical inspirations to the haunting melodies of Sigur Rós and Paul Simon’s African influenced Graceland, which are certainly apparent throughout his own songs.
On stage, Equanimous is known for live looping, beatboxing, piano playing, and rocking out on the djembe – which makes for one hell of a live show, if you ask us – and are all heavily incorporated in Merging Elements. Stein intentionally recruited different collaborators to create individual vibes for each track but still provides a sense of unity. “Arise” with Skysia gives us an ethereal opening with a flair of drums. “Echoes” with ZANDRO and “Bumpin Bass Beatbox” with nok nok (#GravitasFam) are filled with, you guessed it, deep bass and crisp beatboxing. We love the inspiring flavor of “Dreamality”, with soothing vocals from Cindy Fike and a warming, feel-good melody. The concluding title track wraps up with a powerful combination of worldly elements and warped live sounds that leaves you satisfied yet bummed to have reached the end – and yes, that is Geometrae shredding the flute.
It’s clear that Equanimous is devoted to creating a fully immersive musical experience, covering an array of genres as he goes. From bumping basslines and soothing synths, to whimsical winds and punchy percussion. Merging Elements promises a worthwhile listen and true equanimity for its audience.