Archive for Neumos

Decibel Festival 2008: A Review, A Reawakening- DAY 3

Posted in Events, Festivals, From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2009 by worldromper

Last year in between four straight days of partying and boarding a Tuesday morning flight to Thailand, I somehow wrote a review of the epic, amazing time I had at Seattle’s Decibel Festival.

A party like no other, Decibel is a city festival held in the clubs, bars, parks and museums of Seattle, an event for the people, by the people. I will be reposting my review from last year along with photos and links, in five parts: Intro, Day 1, Day 2….you get it.

Decibel Festival 2009 takes place September 24-27 and you can check the lineup and buy tickets here.

DAY 3:

Saturday morning started with a trip to Seatac airport to pick up my very favorite producers in all of the universe- edIT and Boreta of the Glitch Mob. Sadly I missed a lot of Decibel in the Park but I heard that Noisemaker and Manahan laid it down proper, as usual. I rolled up in style with my precious cargo around 4PM just as Jacob London was finishing up and Truckasauras were getting set up with their Americanakitsch: gold Zelda cartridge, Uncle Sam hats and all. Who wants to bet that was Maker’s Mark in that plastic cup?

edit and boretaTruckasauras was good but I live for the Glitch Mob and now my dear children, you can see why. I think I personally called every single one of my friends and told them to go to this performance or I would kill them. And over a dozen of them came up and thanked me afterwards for the mind-blowing experience. edIT and Boreta (and Kraddy and OOah, the missing mobsters) create something new with each live show; you either get it or you don’t, and something tells me the mass of people dancing their asses off for an hour and a half GOT IT. Burner breaks, glitch hop, laser bass, Crunkedouthyphyfunkadelicpsybrokenwhomphopmusicforbasssluts or whatever you want to call it; the Glitch Mob pushes through boundaries like they aren’t even there (like the spoon) and they have a hell of a time doing it.

dB in the parkGreat success! Decibel in the Park was mad fun, just like you knew it would be. The fact that the showcase was free added to the aesthetic and I know of at least one person who asserted that the Glitch Mob changed his life (me too). I hope to see more outdoor shows at Volunteer Park and of course, more freaks.

After a nap and a shower I headed over to Grey Gallery quickly to say hi to the Sweatbox and Knight Riders kids (I LOVE TECHNO) and then got myself to the Baltic Room where I made yet another exciting artist discovery at the Ghostly International Showcase: Deru, who was taking things on a dark and twisty turn there on the dance floor.

The dirty sounds got me all worked up which was just perfect because I hopped a cab up to Chop Suey where things were CRACK-EN’ in mad bottle rocket style. In the hot-as-hell side room Swank was ripping it up like a pirate and Sean Majors followed suite, keeping the energy ramped up, and over in the main room LA Riots started laying crazy on the crowd who flipping loved it.

neumosOnce again I was forced to pull myself away from the bRave New World Showcase and head to Neumos for Carl Craig; the end of Audion’s set had the people bursting in bubbles and then THE DETROIT LEGEND stepped up- and this is where I should stop writing. I danced for his entire set like a raving madwoman, like a lunatic with no lunch, like the insane devotee of the cult of dance that I am. I don’t know what tracks he played, I don’t know what he mixed in or how he did it, I don’t know his no-doubt long list of props, awards, and accolades. I was dripping, dripping with sweat; it was in my fat eyes and in my stupid smile which did not wear off all night (and is in fact still there right now).

This is what I live for. This is why I stay hours late into the night at my office writing for you, why I go out all the time in search of it, why I do what I do- so that I can have this divine experience, and it is no less than that. My brain stops working completely and the music takes me over and I experience something that I cannot find elsewhere- not from a person, not from a drug, not from anything else on earth. THIS IS WHY WE DANCE. THANK YOU CARL CRAIG. No really, I love techno.

After three days of dancing of course I wanted to dance more and headed to a friend’s afterparty first; the dubstep was sticky-icky but just not what I was searching for so I trolled down to the Church of Bass once again for yet another WOW experience and discovered yet another new favorite performer of the festival: Dixon. Oh. My. God. You would think the people on his dance floor had been sleeping for a thousand years instead of going for three days of Decibel. Taimur Agha kept it bangin’ as well and I left after several more hours of epic dance trance- a very very great day in the life, right?


The 2009 Decibel Festival takes place September 24-27 in Seattle; for tickets and more information please click here.

Photos by Sudapop of Rockit Science and Tap Tap of Tap Tap Productions.

Decibel Festival 2008: A Review, A Reawakening DAY 2

Posted in Events, Festivals, From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2009 by worldromper

Last year in between four straight days of partying and boarding a Tuesday morning flight to Thailand, I somehow wrote a review of the epic, amazing time I had at Seattle’s Decibel Festival.

A party like no other, Decibel is a city festival held in the clubs, bars, parks and museums of Seattle, an event for the people, by the people. I will be reposting my review from last year along with photos and links, in five parts: Intro, Day 1, Day 2….you get it.

Decibel Festival 2009 takes place September 24-27 and you can check the lineup and buy tickets here.

DAY 2:

Decibel Mascot?On Friday I was up and skulking around Cap Hill by noon (after eating breakfast with Jahcoozi a few short hours before) for the lunchtime dB Conference on (duh) music journalism where I got insights from writers from XLR8R, Resident Advisor, the Stranger and more. One striking fact of the panel for me was that in a room of about thirty artists, only two were female, myself included. Where the ladies at? Next year, how about a panel on the dearth of female artists in the electronic arts?

Making my Friday was a delicious French-toast crepe and Wasabi Bloody Mary from Grey Gallery; highly recommended if you like your hangover with pickled okra and a very, very clear head.

That night I returned to Grey to catch a little of the Kulturszene DJ lounge before heading over to Neumos for the Dirty Dancing showcase where Let’s Go Outside was tearing it up. I love this DJ for his music and for this. I wanted to stay but my heady bass-freak self propelled me all the way over to the Baltic Room for the Native State Showcase; this venue is the perfect match for the Dark Lords of Native State. Welder was keeping the crowd wobbling and soon KiloWatts (also performing at dB 2009!) was shaking the whole earth with his structured and driving brand of crunky bass- this sound pioneer gave one of the best performances of Decibel, for sure. The people were lapping it up like kittens. Evil little kittens.

It was hard to pull away but I had to head back over to Neumos for Deadmau5. I lost track of how many times during the festival I went back and forth between the Baltic and the Pike Street area; I walked it at least four times, took a cab twice, drove at least once and bummed a ride a couple of times. Once I took a hoola hoop.

DEADMAU5I really didn’t know what to think of Deadmau5- I am familiar with his music and had done some research for a pre-Decibel article but had never seen him live and really didn’t know what to think of Mr. Joel Zimmerman. Downstairs at Neumos he was chilling and connecting the mad wireage inside his now-blue Mau5head, whose ears are a lovely velour, fun to rub, and insured. He was feeling a little pain from the night before in Edmonton where he and his manager had tied one on, but there was no hint of that at all when the Mau5 took the stage, because-

Deadmau5Deadmau5 completely blew me away. His performance was my biggest surprise of the festival. Dance-floor transcendence, and you know what I mean. I tend to fall into the brainwaves of “oh, everyone in the world likes this artist, so he must really suck”- but Deadmau5 simply wrecked mad destruction; the dance floor was so freaking packed you hardly even had to dance- all the people around you just moved your body around for you, and all you had to do was give yourself to it. I really don’t think Joel knows how good he is, despite all the Beatport awards and accolades; all he cares about is getting back into his studio and making music. No really, that is all he cares about.

However I did convince him to head over to the Church of Bass for the Subsequence afterhours and arrived just in time for the very last of Kris Moon’s set and then proceeded to get sticky with Phidelity whose psychedelic robotty-bass grooved perfectly with the dark dance church, all decked out for the festival with sweet black light art. We then got a second dose of Brendan Angelides aka Welder who performed this time as Eskmo, who is a dreamy poet of electronic intensity- I don’t know what world he comes from, but I want to buy a ticket.

Tune in next time for the Day 3 installment of Decibel Festival 2008: A Review, A Reawakening!

All photos by superfreak Matt Matsuda.

Decibel Festival 2008: A Review, A Reawakening DAY 1

Posted in Festivals, From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by worldromper

Last year in between four straight days of partying and boarding a Tuesday morning flight to Thailand, I somehow wrote a review of the epic, amazing time I had at Seattle’s Decibel Festival.

A party like no other, Decibel is a city festival held in the clubs, bars, parks and museums of Seattle, an event for the people, by the people. I will be reposting my review from last year along with photos and links, in five parts: Intro, Day 1, Day 2….you get it.

Decibel Festival 2009 takes place September 24-27 and you can check the lineup and buy tickets here.

DAY 1:

My 2008 Decibel Festival began officially at Grey Gallery on Thursday night where the Oi Vay boys were warming up the lounge with their sexy beats; Struggle was up top spinning and Eddie was dancing around like the lovable soul he is. This was not to be the last time I ran into this Seattle legend shaking his ass during the weekend- that boy gets down, for real.

I hung out at Sole Repair for a bit where Team Peloton was tearing it up; I tried bouncing back and forth into Neumos but the opening acts were all a bit too slow for me/not my cup of tea/kill me now and I kept finding myself back across the street at Sole Repair where the dancing was goo-od mmm mmm. Those boys know how to make the people DANCE!

I like being able to see the DJ and so hung out upstairs which had more room for the freaky dancers with flailing arms, like me. Around 1AM when INCITE! aka Sean Horton aka Decibel Festival Director went on we all donned mustaches to wish him a happy birthday. I am a big fan of Sean’s new moniker and hope to see more of his more aggressive and visceral style soon in the future. I really enjoyed Stewart Walker as well, he was sweating and dancing to his beats almost as much as the wild crowd was.

Sasha gets downThen I RAN back over to Neumos where Jahcoozi was running slightly late but noshing on snacks downtstairs in great spirits; I have been a big fan of theirs for a while and this was one of the acts I was really stoked about experiencing. Sasha and Oren took the stage and proceeded to turn the club on its head- what started as a half-full room of looky-loos ended in an all-out dance brawl. MC and rapper Sasha kept jumping down into the crowd and we all gathered around her like we were third-graders on a playground and she was the cool girl, dancing in a circle and getting down and getting dirty. She WAS the cool girl, and with her I-don’t-give-a-shit dance moves, heavy crowd interaction, sharp lyrics and mad trumpet skills she won over everyone there as did Oren, backing her up with his keen beats and electric bass.

sasha and oren rock Jahcoozi’s performance was definitely one of the highlights of the festival for me and I have heard the same from several people. After their show we all went and kicked it in the Green Room where we talked to them about their trip up the West Coast (Seattle was their favorite show, ahem), Berlin (the scene there is as great as you think it is) and tried on Sasha’s sweet fur hat. I made the guys and my coworker Cedric wait until about 3AM for the live streamed interview, but finally Jahcoozi was ready and we had a quick chat for the camera before all heading off to Sean’s birthday party in the loft above Grey Gallery which was rockin’ and hot and sweaty, just like a good afterhours should be.

Then we left with Jahcoozi and partied all night until breakfast hour back at the Best Western Executive Inn. The food sucked.

Photos by Matt Matsuda.

Mary Anne Hobbs Tours West Coast in September

Posted in Artists, Events, Females in the Arts, Festivals, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by worldromper

Mary Anne Hobbs is a hero of mine. She is your hero too if you like dubstep, as her championing of the wobbly genre on BBC Radio 1 is responsible in large part for the distribution of the sound out of the dank basements of the UK and into your earholes.

She heads out on a ten day US tour starting September 10 to promote her new mix release on Planet Mu called Wild Angels (out September 9), check the tour dates and follow along with her tour diary on right here.

I heard Mary Anne Hobbs perform at Low End Theory with the Glitch Mob and Flying Lotus a few months back (read my review here) and that club was an inch away from complete obliteration. She returns to LA at Low End on September 23 and will also be at the 2009 Decibel Festival in Seattle in the super fucking sweet BBC Radio 1 Showcase going down Saturday night September 26 at Neumos with Daedelus, Nosaj Thing, Megasoid, and Mike Slott. Oh yeah, that’s right.

You do not want to miss this woman; she is an amazing force in the international electronic music community. And she absolutely rocks!

Shilo’s Sock Rocks the Glitch Mob Show in Seattle

Posted in Note to Readers with tags , , , , , , , on July 30, 2009 by worldromper

Oh how I love my crazy ass friends in the 206!

Up in Seattle they would always make fun of me for wearing bright green, orange or pink socks, sometimes at the same time. I lose so much shit that I have made mismatching my style and could often be found at afterhour parties shoeless and twirling swords in my neon socks.

Somehow one of these bright green socks was still in Seattle- found no doubt at the Produkt Loft- and wound up onstage at the recent Glitch Mob show at Neumos:

Glitch Mob at Neumos Shilo's sock

Afterwards the sock was signed by Boreta, edIT and OOah and is now residing by Buddha at the same Produkt Loft, which as many of you know is one of the epicenters of electronic music culture in Seattle (not to mention site of THE BEST parties around), and a place I dream of often:

ooah loves socks

boreta and edit love socks too


For even more fun watch this.

Special thanks to Laser Jeff, Dylan, Tommy & The Intoxicologist for taking photos and partying with my sock, and the Glitch Mob for signing it!

Glitch Mob @ Neumos in Seattle

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2009 by worldromper


Sometimes it’s hard to condense a musical experience. There are so many factors that go into whether or not you enjoy a show, to try to take them all on and talk about it cohesively is a bit of a task. So, in random order:

I showed up with my friend Leigh at about 10:50 to buy tickets.

At first glance, there were a ton of people outside, talking, smoking, wandering around. Got our tickets, stamps, and away we go …

On our way in, the set list posted had a quickly scribbled addition to the beginning of the night “Nordic Soul – 8-10”. Apparently Sean didn’t know he was playing either; didn’t know that Kev hadn’t planned on starting until 10, at least. That put DK on from 10-11, Nosaj on from 11-12, and the Glitch Mob on from 12-1:30.

Now, I’ve been prepping for a while to see this show. I’m a quasi-vocal disbeliever in dubstep and glitch hop. I’m the first to admit that I don’t necessarily get it, but I want to. For a solid amount of time now, I’ve been putting on Glitch Mob cuts for people to listen to, and they typically dive right in – “What *is this?!” – and start bopping around and make the i-love-dirty-grimy-music face. It’s not really my tempo, it’s not really my vibe, and they aren’t really my sounds.

Which is why I *absolutely made a point to come to this show, the first one I’ve been to in Seattle in quite a long time, and invite people to come with me or meet me there who dug the music. I’d even gotten a text while I was getting ready to go, from a friend who was in town. He asked what was going on that night; I told him there was only one place to be. He took me on my word, and showed up with three of his friends an hour later, meeting up with me not too long after I got there.

So anyway, to get ready for this Tuesday night, I listened to dubby, glitchy stuff every day on my computer speakers, my home setup, my headphones, my earbuds. I looked up dubstep history. I listened to every Glitch Mob or Nosaj Thing production or set I could get a hold of. I even produced a dubstep track (and named it “Fck”), just to see how it would come out. I promised myself I was going to figure out this puzzle. Too many people are excited about something I don’t understand, and that bothers the hell out of me.

Leigh and I walked in to catch the last five minutes of Daddy Kev. It was hot inside, but not miserable, and they had the doors open to try to get some air flow.

When Nosaj started playing, I remember it being mellow and a little floaty for a minute, and then my eyebrows went up a little. Bangy, smashy, chunky drum beats started raining from the speakers. I’ve listened to his album “Drift” several times, and checked in my mind as being overall pretty chill. I was not expecting this degree of rowdiness or activity from him behind whatever controller he was using (I never got a chance to look at what it was).

Right around then was when I started comprehending a little bit more of the dub/hop experience. Part of what has disinterested me musically about dubstep and glitch-hop is that, for me, there’s too much space and not enough movement. Well, here was a little bit of an ah-ha moment for me. Remember, this is the first live show of this type that I’ve been to and paid attention for real. Live, when that much bass and that much grit come out of a sound system, that space in the music lets the room boom, echo, breathe and settle. It’s like someone smacks you in the brain, and then gives you a second to say ‘ow, that hurt but I liked it’ before the next one comes. As for the movement that I feel is lacking from a lot of the tunes, that’s what the people in the room are for; they wave and wiggle to the filters and dynamics and tempo changes and edits that your performer (they’re not necessarily DJ’s anymore, are they, kids?) is – eh – performing for you.

I watched Nosaj’s crazy/edit/chaos for most of his hour. Great tunes (are they really “tunes” any more, I wonder?), warping and twisting sound into unintelligible chunks of audio nonsense, all locked into the beat. It was a definite focal moment hearing vocal audio samples of “Wandering Star”, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the Portishead vocalist.

Probably 500 people there, I’d say? Which, hey, for a weekday in Seattle? Congratulations, Sean. Keep doing what you’re doing! It matters. The lights were excellent and appropriate for the music. The sound was great. I didn’t have to wear earplugs, which was a huge plus, and there were only a few moments that the snare crack hurt a little bit if you were close to the speakers.

Took a break for a bit, and then came back in when The Glitch Mob started. For their setup, there were three Lemurs on stage tilted so that the crowd could see the screens. If you don’t know what a Lemur is, it is a “multitouch and modular controller for sequencers, synthesizers, virtual instruments, VJing, and lights”. Look it up, I promise you that you’ll be impressed. Alongside the Lemurs, each of the three had what looked like a Roland (8 pad?) drum pad. There were no computers on stage, no laptops. Just the Lemurs and drum pads. I guess this is unique for them? I’m not sure.

Right when they started, I recognized one of the tunes I’d been listening to on repeat all week, though I couldn’t tell you its name offhand. I never really got up all that close to the stage, instead keeping at least halfway back and really digging into the music aspect of what was going on. I could see that what was coming from the speakers was directly related to them either playing the drum pads or messing with the touchscreens on the Lemurs. I never did figure out how they were choosing sounds and samples, if they have a predetermined setlist, or if any of performance is practiced or preset. If I ever get the chance, I’d like to ask them!

For me to get the most out of a night, I have to mix playtime with business-as-usual, so taking mental notes about the combination of music and technology is part of the process for me. I love every part of it!

And I definitely had some moments when everything came together. The sound, the lights, the vibe, the music, the heat, the boom, rip, smash, silence, crunch. Up on the back balcony for a few minutes, just letting it wash over the crowd and then me. Those are the moments that I miss from when I was just getting into the electronic dance music scene. The moments when the effort you put into going out and getting ready and prepping and understanding and puzzling – is far outweighed just by the fact of *being, and appreciating the work and artistry and time that goes not just into the music, but into the *show. Those are the moments that make me remember why I do what I do. Chase those moments, and then figure out how to give them to other people. Hrm. Anyway.

Just like with any experience, I have to say that the people I came with or met there helped make the night great. When your friends jump around and yell and wave their arms, you might as well too, even if it’s the music you don’t claim is your personal heartbeat. Dive in. It won’t bite. No one here is watching who cares what you do. The people at Neumo’s this Tuesday night came to get down, and they got down. I’m looking forward to the Decibel festival, when The Glitch Mob is back in town. I’ll be there, and I’ll be ready.

– Ryan Xristopher

Video by Ryan as well! SUPASTAR!

Glitch Mob @ Neumos in Seattle July 28

Posted in Events, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2009 by worldromper

crunkdownwhereyaatAll 3, ‘cuz there’s only three now. Just so you know. With special guests Daddy Kev and Nosaj Thing.

What a lineup! Buy your tickets immediately!

And don’t miss the openers. Daddy Kev is the mastermind behind Low End Theory, the most forward-thinking night of music in LA. I have the extreme pleasure of hearing him play every Wednesday and he always delivers booty-moving, eclectic sets drenched in bass.

And Nosaj Thing- holy shit. HOLY SHIT! He is from the same future planet as Flying Lotus and I cannot say enough about the quality of his productions. 

Thank you, Decibel and Starborne.

Other West Coast dates for the Mob:

July 24 @ Roxy in Hollywood

July 25 @ Mezzanine in San Fran

July 27 @ Rotture in Portland