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.
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.
I 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-
Deadmau5 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.