Archive for nordic soul

2009 in Review by Decibel Festival Director Sean Horton

Posted in Lists, Music News, Note to Readers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2009 by worldromper

Sean AKA Nordic Soul is the Decibel Festival Curator and Director, he is my good friend and one of the greatest contributors to Seattle’s thriving underground music community. This is a very insightful summary of electronic music in 2009 with his Top 15 list at the bottom as well:

From Sean:

Every year it’s part of my job at PlayNetwork to come up with a list of top albums and overall assessment of music trends for the year. Below is my brief review of what I felt was a pretty landmark year for electronic music in the US and in general. Barring any incredible releases over the next month, these are my picks for the year. Keep in mind this list is strictly made up of albums; not EPs, 12’s or remixes (i.e 95% of the electronic music I purchased this year).

2009 in Review : Binary Pop, Warp’s Legacy, Dub Mutations and the Return of Sexy Dance Music

2009 has been an incredibly innovative year in relation to music production. Artists like Animal Collective, Fever Ray, Royksopp and Moderat have proven once and for all that digital beats and electronic sound design can appeal to a pop audience that otherwise wouldn’t find themselves listening to “electronic music”.

This year also marks the 20 year anniversary of the greatest electronic music label (arguably greatest label) of all time, Warp Records, which has had an exceptional year across the board with strong indie releases from Grizzly Bear and Maximo Park as well as strong releases from their more obscure electronic artists like Tim Exile and Clark. Warp’s 20th anniversary box set is not only one of the best reviewed collections of they year, it’s also a brilliant testament to the label’s vast catalog of ground breaking artists (i.e. Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Jamie Lidell, Nightmares on Wax, Prefuse 73, Autechre, Broadcast, Plaid, Battles, Squarepusher, etc).

In addition, 2009 witnessed the rise of Dubstep as a respected genre in the US through acclaimed UK labels like Hyperdub (Burial, Kode9, Joker, Zomby, Flying Lotus) and Tectonic (2562, Martyn, DJ Pinch, Benga) both of whom continue to blur the boundaries between Grime, Dub, West Coast Hip Hop and Detroit Techno. With the avid support of tastemakers like BBC Radio 1’s Mary Anne Hobbs and Low End Theory’s Daddy Kev (Alpha Pup Records) UK Dubstep and West Coast Glitch Hop / Hip Hop have both become quintessential styles on the electronic music frontline in the US. From Burning Man to this year’s Movement festival in Detroit, Dubstep and Glitch Hop have fully emerged in 2009 as a staple sound in North America.

Another emerging trend has been the Deep House and Tech House revival, which has been experiencing a resurgence the past few years as club-goers have tired of the heady, sterility of Minimal Techno and the frenetic, over the top sound of Electro House. Artists like Gui Boratto, Voodeux, Pezzner, Milton Jackson, Stimming, Mode D, Catz n Dogz, DJ T and Dixon have all helped in keeping underground dance music both sexy and musical.

Overall 2009 has been a phenomenal year for technologically driven music, proving that creativity is truly catching up with the tools used for musical expression in the digital age.

Here are my Top 15 albums of the year:

1. Animal Collective “Merriweather Post Pavilion” Domino Records

2. Various “Warp 20” (Box Set) Warp Records

3. Moderat (aka Apparat & Modeselektor) “Moderat” Bpitch Control Records

4. Fever Ray “Fever Ray” Rabid Records

5. Phil Kieran “Shh” Cocoon Recordings

6. Nosaj Thing “Drift” Alpha Pup Records

7. Jon Hopkins “Insides” Domino Records

8. Various “5 : Five Years of Hyperdub” Hyperdub Records

9. Lusine “A Certain Distance” Ghostly International

10. Grizzly Bear “Veckatimest” Warp Records

11. Gui Boratto “Take My Breath Away” Kompakt Records

12. 2562 “Unbalance” Tectonic Records

13. Modeselektor “Body Language Vol. 8” Get Physical Music

14. Tim Hecker “An Imaginary Country” Kranky Records

15. Voodeux “The Paranormal” Mothership Records

Salutations to the Soul at the Church of BASS

Posted in Events, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2009 by worldromper

The Transcendent Church of Bass is one of my favorite venues in Seattle, from the giant Andrew Jones artwork over the stage to the double toilet in the ladies’ room upstairs to the red cushion tent to the juice bar to the tiny little smoking patio. The energy here is always positive, the vibe is on and I have spent many happy nights spinning on the dance floor.

This Saturday night the Church of Bass is having a fundraiser called Salutations to the Soul to raise money for a new floor for their donation-based community yoga and meditation program.

Fifteen local electronic music crews are coming out to rock out two stages, one uptempo and one downtempo- check out this lineup:

  • Knowa Knowone
  • Lotus Drops
  • Andrew Luck vs. Dosadi
  • Ramiro
  • Kristina Childs
  • Rhines
  • Rob Noble
  • Jisaan
  • Jon Glist
  • Osiris Indriya
  • Nordic Soul
  • Waater Maark
  • Sweet Beets
  • Dope Labs
  • Crispy
  • Menami
  • Skoi Sirius
  • Jmeshelle

The benefit starts at 8PM with music and a silent art auction; suggested cover is $20 so come out to party with friends and support your community, and see the difference you can make!

If you would like to donate but cannot attend, please click here.

10 DJS I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS WEEK

Posted in 10 DJS I AM IN LOVE WITH with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2009 by worldromper

DJs, Producers, Live Mad Scientists, MCs, Mutants, you know…

In no order, and I am going to update this once a week. 

  1. Daddy Kev
  2. Ill-esha
  3. Eprom
  4. Phidelity
  5. Fat Freddy’s Drop
  6. Nocando
  7. THE MOTHER FUCKING GASLAMP KILLER
  8. My Hollow Drum
  9. Nordic Soul
  10. Mimosa

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10 DJS I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS WEEK

Posted in 10 DJS I AM IN LOVE WITH with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2009 by worldromper

DJs, Producers, Live Mad Scientists, MCs, you know…

In no order, and I am going to update this once a week. 

  1. Mochipet
  2. Daedelus
  3. Flying Lotus
  4. S.P.E.C.T.R.E
  5. SamIYam
  6. OOah
  7. Nordic Soul
  8. Eprom
  9. Benchun
  10. Bassobese

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    DECIBEL PRESENTS: Dirty Dancing New Year’s Eve with Alex Smoke, John Tejada, Dave Pezzner, Michael Manahan & Nordic Soul

    Posted in Music News with tags , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by worldromper

    DECIBEL returns for a couple of nights so that we might once again dip our toes in the magic music wonderland that is OUR festival and celebrate the New Year community-style. Neumos on Capitol Hill once again plays host for two evenings chocked full of talent from previous Decibel Festivals, once again lighting Seattle in a frenzied blaze of electronic euphoria, and you are invited. 

    On New Year’s Eve we will greet the fresh start with laughter and open eyes as we celebrate, dance, and have some nasty, dirty fun together as a community. An evening of Dirty Dancing will showcase the fun and funky side of deep house, tech house and techno, creating a dance floor that is playful and party-ripe. Starting with the street-filthy beats of Decibel Festival Director Nordic Soul and co-producer Michael Manahan, you don’t even have to wipe your shoes before you step onto the dance floor and give yourself away to the beats- you know you want to anyway. Local soon-to-be legend Dave Pezzner then delivers funky grooves, tracks of dance riots that are also highly emotive and sensual. With nary a moment to wipe the sweat dripping from your elbows, it just gets better with an amazing live set from John Tejada and his minimal, musical techno. Alex Smoke completes the lineup perfectly, his deep and dark style a reminder that techno is indeed all about sex. Be ready for some filthy fun as you party with your friends on the dance floor during this amazing night of talented artists at the forefront of the electronic music community; you WILL get down and dirty and dance.

    DIRTY DANCING :

    NEW YEARS EVE

    Part II of “Micro dB”: a two evening event happening December 30th and 31st at Neumos, featuring some of Decibel’s favorite techno / tech house bookings from over the past 5 years, including…


    ALEX SMOKE

    Live :: Glasgow: Soma / Vakant Records
    http://www. myspace. com/alexsmoke1

    Decibel is bringing back a previous performing artist who enjoyed one of the biggest crowd responses ever- Alex Smoke, whose dark and funky techno will be the climax to the two-night New Year’s party. Based in Glasgow, UK, this classically trained musician represents a submerged European minimalism, rich with intelligent rhythms and fibers of emotion. Smoke produces deeply atmospheric experiments of sound, both random and created at the same time, helping to push forward the edge of electronic music. His most recent release from Soma Records, Paradolia, is infused with dark grooves and influenced by everything from grime to electro, even using some of his own vocals to support his beats. Smoke has once again proved that his talent for expertly merging sinister flavors with dance-friendly beats results in great success. His sound is dirty fun, a little bad and a whole lot good- and we all love to dance to the apparent incongruencies which flow together flawlessly, a sensual connection of the body, soul, and techno.


    JOHN TEJADA
    Live :: Los Angeles: Poker Flat / Palette
    http://www. myspace. com/johntejadasounds

    John Tejada is one of the most thrilling electronic acts to experience live; this epic minimal master creates art with the dance floor in mind, his sound ranging across many genres and tempos but always hitting the mark. Born to a pair of classically trained musicians, John played his first gig at age 12, was producing in high school, and later turned down his acceptance into art school like any great artist should. This most-productive of producers now resides in LA between world tours and bears the torch of the So Cal techno community, although the diverse artist has produced many genres from drum and bass to house. You can expect this owner of record label Palette Recordings to tear up the floor of Neumos with his musical techno, leaving mouths open and feet sore. A fantastic billing alone, Tejada packs a destructive punch and adds a ripped flavor to the bill of Decibel’s “Dirty Dancing” New Year’s Eve party.


    PEZZNER

    Live :: Seattle: Om/ Freerange Records
    http://www. jacoblondon. com

    Dave Pezzner is a beloved local superstar as well as an internationally respected producer and composer, and is getting so hot that it is only a matter of moments before he explodes like the bombs he drops. As half of the popular Seattle duo Jacob London, Pezzner was part of the wildly successful Decibel in the Park showcase at this year’s festival and also regularly engulfs dance floors around the city with a signature groovy, funky tech-house feel. Fourteen years of world tours and live performances, fifteen releases on vinyl and at least thirty remixes put Pezzner at the top of his game, with his most recent release on Freerange Records touching on a more sensual and organic house sound. With heart-quickening mixes and deeply emotional music, Pezzner brings his characteristically impassioned and sexy sound once more to hungry listeners and further imbeds his role in the developing Seattle scene and the electronic community around the world.

     

    MICHAEL MANAHAN vs.
    NORDIC SOUL

    2 x 4 DJ Set :: Seattle: Starborne / Decibel
    http://www. michaelmanahan. com
    http://www. myspace. com/nordicsoul..

    Michael Manahan is an essential and vital element of the Left Coast electronic music community; he nourishes the underground not only with his deep and phat-funky tribal house sets but also with his immense contributions to the exploration of consciousness and spiritual evolution through art and music. This DJ, performer, producer, and space cowboy is also the co-founder of the Oracle Gatherings, the co-producer of the Decibel Festival, as well as the co-producer of the electronic music stage at Hempfest, the world’s largest reform protest. Also the owner of Starborne Productions, Manahan is an innovator and a leader of the Seattle dance community and tribal culture; a mainstay in the scene whose presence always ups the love whether he is spinning dubby house, hard techno, glitch-ridden breaks, spacey downtempo, or just hanging out being himself.

    Nordic Soul has long been enamored with artistic expression, the creation of music, and the technology that fuses it all together, much to the benefit and evolution of the world of electronica and the underground culture that surrounds it. His healthy obsession began at the age of eleven in Detroit with the gift of his first guitar, got a kick in the ass with the purchase of a keyboard and drum machine during his teenage years, and continues to the present as the king of Seattle techno exists as the founder and director of the Decibel Festival. Known to his friends as Sean Horton, this DJ, producer, performer, and programmer brought a distinct and dirty Detroit flavor with him to Seattle in the mid-90’s and the musical zeitgeist of the city has been forever transformed by his presence. Nordic Soul has deeply impacted the electronic community not only through his work for the annual Decibel Festival but also by slaying Seattle dance floors year-round. His emotionally charged sets are infused with live instrumentation and ripe with the mélange of organic and synthesized tones, all riding on top of heavy bass lines. The resulting music is a living, hybrid creature with a rich sense of soul that delights in its own existence. A lover of many musical styles, Nordic Soul’s interest and roots in hip hop, IDM, industrial, and dub contribute to his current musical palette that straight drips techno into the mouths of the waiting audience, thirsty for the unrelenting madness and unabated aural penetration that is electronic music.

    10 DJs I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS WEEK

    Posted in 10 DJS I AM IN LOVE WITH with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2008 by worldromper

    DJs, Producers, Live Mad Scientists, MCs, you know…

    In no order; and I am going to update this once a week. 

    1. Ctrl_Alt_Del
    2. Noisemaker
    3. Nordic Soul
    4. novaTRON
    5. PrEssHa
    6. Kadeejah Streets!
    7. MC Anton Bomb
    8. Goner
    9. Recess
    10. Lovevirus

    Decibel New Year’s 2 Day BLOWOUT

    Posted in Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2008 by worldromper

    The 2008 Decibel Festival of Electronic Music, Visual Arts and New Media was a beautiful celebration of creation, four crystalline autumn days at the end of September when thousands of artists and music lovers converged together to dance and party, their joyous shouts of ecstasy forever affecting the course and future of the electronic arts. It was a booming bass note that reverberated through the international community surrounding this deliciously modern version of human creative endeavors. From around the world, the Pacific Northwest, and the Emerald City we all came together in a gritty little neighborhood in Seattle to dance like wild animals and be inspired, energy bouncing off of each other like popping firecrackers. Artists walked off of each other’s dance floors invigorated by their fellow creators with fresh motivation to take their own arts in new and different directions. Crowds hung their mouths wide open in amazement after discovering a new DJ, a new genre, a new love. Locals came out in full force and had their minds blown by their very own city and the culture that sizzles here despite the rain. From headliners like Carl Craig and Deadmau5 to local superstars like m.0 and Dave Pezzner, the Decibel artists straight laid it down, giving all they had and then some. A city festival by the people and for the people, Decibel left us sweaty and smiling, with new music in our ears, new friends in our hearts, and a new way of experiencing the world, because that is what great art does. 

    Now, a few months later, as Decibel passes hang off rear-view mirrors and key chains around the city as talismans of precious memories, the festival returns for a couple of nights so that we might once again dip our toes in the magic music wonderland that is OUR Decibel Festival and celebrate the New Year community-style. Neumos on Capitol Hill once again plays host for two evenings chocked full of talent from previous Decibel Festivals, once again lighting Seattle in a frenzied blaze of electronic euphoria, and you are invited. 

    Night one is appropriately labeled Best of Bass as live electronic musicians speak to the deepest echoes in our souls with their unrelenting, lead-heavy bass beats that pull your heart and feet towards the speakers. Be warned though- your mind may not have a choice in the matter, and as the BPMs increase throughout the night, so will your lack of composure. Local dubby trip-hop artist seed eases you into the time warp from the jungle and just in time because next novaTRON will be bringing you beats unlike any you have ever heard from his mindplanet via the TronBox, and as you grind down into the dance floor in the furious motions of a maniac, try to remember that he was once a human too. Deru then delivers his energetic and sensual sounds, getting you ready forKiloWatts who continues your bass beatdown old-school style and turns the velocity up one notch to visceral. Keep up with this master mind-breaker and you will find yourself alive and sweaty and ready for Jesse Rose , whose techno will do no less than blow the very roof off of your head, leaving you spinning and kicking and bouncing out of control- we call it dancing. 

    On New Year’s Eve we will greet the fresh start with laughter and open eyes as we celebrate, dance, and have some nasty, dirty fun together as a community. An evening of Dirty Dancing will showcase the fun and funky side of deep house, tech house and techno, creating a dance floor that is playful and party-ripe. Starting with the street-filthy beats of Decibel Festival Director Nordic Soul and co-producer Michael Manahan, you don’t even have to wipe your shoes before you step onto the dance floor and give yourself away to the beats- you know you want to anyway. Local soon-to-be legend Dave Pezzner then delivers funky grooves, tracks of dance riots that are also highly emotive and sensual. With nary a moment to wipe the sweat dripping from your elbows, it just gets better with an amazing live set from John Tejada and his minimal, musical techno. Alex Smoke completes the lineup perfectly, his deep and dark style a reminder that techno is indeed all about sex. Be ready for some filthy fun as you party with your friends on the dance floor during this amazing night of talented artists at the forefront of the electronic music community; you WILL get down and dirty and dance.