A teenage enthusiasm for thrash metal could have potentially led Lorin Ashton down an entirely different career path but a visit to a local rave in 1996 proved pivotal for the San Francisco-born DJ. After enrolling on an electronic music course at the University of California, Ashton began to produce recordings for other artists including rapper Michael Franti. In 2001 he released Freakbeats For Beatfreaks, the first Bassnectar album, but it wasn't until Diverse Systems Of Throb, the fourth album released in 2004, that Bassnectar found wider audience appeal. This led to a series of musical collaborations with artists such as Gorgol Bordello, Perry Farrell, Lupe Fiasco, Rye Rye, Buckethead and KRS-One. The first Bassnectar album to break into the Billboard Charts was Divergent Spectum released in 2011 followed by Vava Voom in 2012 which reached number 34. As well as the Bassnectar project Ashton also promotes the popular bi-annual Bass Center Festival.