‘Planet of the Bass’ is the new Jewish prayer for peace

PJ Grisar

By PJ Grisar
August 15, 2023

DJ Crazy Times, a tactical-vested man in mirrored swim goggles and of vague national origin, has, over the course of the last few weeks, attained the status of prophet for the terminally online. Only now is his revelation, a Europop tune called “Planet of the Bass,” complete.

The brainchild of Jewish comedian Kyle Gordon, “Planet of the Bass” exploded onto TikTok with its nonsensical English lyrics, urging the world to “stop the war” and to “have a body, feel the groove.” Since going viral with the song, a parody of late ’90s, European imported dance music (think Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” or Eiffel 65’s “Blue”), Gordon has been teasing Aug. 15 as a release date for the full song and its accompanying video. The entire earworm has confirmed what I could only guess at until now: The song is quite clearly riffing on Jewish scripture, particularly the anti-war anthem “Lo Yisa Goy.”

In the video, Gordon (as DJ Crazy Times), begins, “All the women in the world: let me see your beautiful faces.” The injunction is clearly a reference to several moments in the Tanakh where God asks figures, like Job and Lot, to lift up their faces to Him to seek His favor. This precious piety, directed to men, naturally connects to Eshet Chayil, the song honoring God-fearing women. It is also a nod to the story of Jacob, who was tricked by a face covering into marrying Leah (more on that later).

But the key to “Planet of the Bass” lies in the next line in Gordon’s intro: “Oh, I’ve got an idea: world peace.” 

This notion is memorably reflected in “Lo Yisa Goy,” which, quoting Isiah and Micah, states, “a nation shall not rise/A sword against a nation/And they shall not learn any more war.”

After the DJ Crazy Times introduction, Ms. Biljana Electronica (who, like Rachel in Genesis, was replaced by another womanactually two — much to the dismay of fans) gives us a new verse.

“When the pleasure is a dream on a secret love, and the people want to make a fun.”

The first clause refers to Joseph’s prophetic dreams and the false accusation of adultery by Potiphar’s wife. “The people want to make a fun” might refer to any number of instances where Israel rejoices, but powerfully recalls Proverbs 29:2: “When the righteous become great the people rejoice, But when the wicked dominate the people groan.”

“We are losing control on a floor tonight, take your heart into a unicorn” is taken from Ki Tasa, when the Israelites built the false idol of the golden calf. The unicorn, whose skin is said to have made up part of the tabernacle (the building of which is partly chronicled in this same parsha), is a winking allusion to Israel’s 2023 Eurovision entrant, Noa Kirel, who competed with a song called “Unicorn.”  

@kylegordonisgreat Planet of the Bass (feat. DJ Crazy Times & Ms. Biljana Electronica) #djcrazytimes #eurodance #90s #dancemusic #edm #funny #funnyvideos #funnytiktok ♬ Planet of the Bass (feat. DJ Crazy Times & Ms. Biljana Electronica) – Kyle Gordon

“If the sky is not green, but the sky is blue,” refers to the moment of creation in Genesis before the waters below and above were discrete

“Have a passion in a million way.” C.f. Song of Songs 8:6: “For love is fierce as death/Passion is mighty as Sheol/Its darts are darts of fire/A blazing flame.”

Just before the bridge, Biljana Electronica recalls a poignant section in Torah, singing, “Touch it make it twice before I cry.” 

Naturally this refers to Moses who, for striking a rock for water twice, was forbidden to enter the Promised Land. The crying refers to his sadness at not joining his people and the tears that, legend holds, he cried while writing of his own death outside the land’s bounds in Deuteronomy.

“Heaven is a time today.” Perhaps this should have been released on Shabbat, whose beginning and end mark holy times in the Jewish week.

Following the verses, we have the by-now familiar chorus, which begins, “All of the dream/How does it mean?” recalling the Pharaoh’s charge for Joseph to analyze his nightmares.

“When the rhythm is glad, there is nothing to be sad,” echoes Psalm 150, “Praise Him with timbrel [a rhythm instrument] and dance,” and Nehemiah 8:10, “Do not be sad, for your rejoicing in the LORD is the source of your strength.”

“Danger and dance, clapping the hands,” reflects the jubilation, tinged with fear, of Miriam crossing the sea and leading the Israelites in dance, song and hand drums between the parted waves, whereas “When we out in the space/On the Planet of the Bass” speaks to the unknown wilderness and Land of Milk and Honey toward which they headed.

Perhaps the most important words are in DJ Crazy Times’ rap, which speaks to a number of Proverbs and ancient Jewish wisdom.

“Life it never die,” is paraphrased from Deuteronomy 30: “ I have set before you the ways of life and death, ways that lead either to a blessing, or to adversity, and I counsel you that you shall choose the way of life in order to gain everlasting life, you and your descendants.”

“Women are my favorite guy” once again invokes the praise in Eshet Chayil (Woman of Valor).

In “Sex, I’m wanting more,” we have God’s refrain in Genesis to “be fruitful, and multiply.”

At last, we come to the crux, “Tell the world stop the war,” the plea for peace from Lo Yisa Goy, which soon reaches the heights of divine epiphany.

“Boom, hear the bass go zoom/Have a body feel the groove” recalls the overwhelming revelation at Sinai, reinforced by “Cyber system overload,” hinting at the incalculable encounter.

The final line, before a reprise of the chorus, is cryptic: “Everybody movement.” 

Is DJ Crazy Times referring once more to the spirit of dance that animated David to dance before the Lord? The case could be made, but I am choosing, instead, to read it as a call to further action. 

The movement then, is not simply the movement of the body, but of activism in the spirit of Tzedek, Tzedek Terdof (Justice, Justice you shall pursue) and Tikkun Olam that might well repair the Planet of the Bass. Oseh shalom.

PJ Grisar is a Forward culture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] and @pjgrisar on Twitter.

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