A look back at Decibel Festival 7

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dB Fest 2010

Wednesday September 22nd, 2010 – Decibel was kicked off this year in style. Warming up the 5 day festival at Neumos,  the Ghostly International showcase was a winner. Armed with his trusty M-Audio Trigger Finger, Mux Mool kick started the evening with a jarring, gritty set.  Preparing for this year’s festivity’s I discovered Gold Panda. After having listen to his full length release on Ghostly I found myself genuinely excited to catch the man in action. Interestingly enough I found myself completely giddy on the dance floor.  Looking around, I caught glimpses of friends and other assorted party peps with smiles an there faces.  I knew their joy.  This was what I was waiting for.  Seattle’s own Lusine was up next.  Slipping right into en enjoyable tec-house set, Jeff got feet moving. I am so proud that we have so many fantastic producers living and creating right here in the Pacific NW!

No afterhours for me this year.  I made a point to get my rest, it was to be a long weekend…

Thursday September 23rd, 2010 –  The FlyLo showcase is tonight and I looked forward to catching Flying Lotus with his back up band.  But i was even more stoked to catch Truckasauras.  This was to be the Seattle band’s first live debut of material off their second and full length album “Quarters”.  Never disappointing, Truck came correct with a rich textured analog synth riffs and chunky beats that got the club stomping the dance floor early on.  But it was time to make it over to Pravda Studios for the highly anticipated live set by Ben Frost.  Early that day I decided to buy some nice ear plugs that were on sale at the the merch booth. At Ben’s set I was glad I had the foresight.  It was just a WALL of sound. Absolutely beautiful and dirty at the same time.  I was blown away. Even with the ear plugs.  The venue was perfect for this type of performance.  After a bite to eat I was off to see Flying Lotus.  Last years set was fantastic and this year I was expecting something a bit more like what his new album sounded like.  All in all I felt FL was a bit off.  The drummer was fantastic and so was his bassist.  FL looked like he was having a blast behind his laptop. The live set did make for a great vibe.  The dance floor was rocking butI left a bit early to catch a boat to the Island in order to rest up for a BIG Friday full of madness.

Friday September 24th, 2010 – One of the greatest feature’s of the festival would have to be the Optical showcases.  I was determined to get stoned and catch Robert Henke at Benaroya’s  Nordstrom Recital Hall. This is a is a world class venue for a world class performer.  I knew that if I could make it in time to find a seat and relax to the seminal sounds of Henke my hangover would be cured and I would be ready to take on the night.  I got there just in time to get a great spot.  After a late start I let the sounds and visuals wash over me like the ocean.  It worked! I felt rested and ready for anything.  After dinner I made my way back up to Capitol Hill for another night at Nemoes.  Tonight was all about Mount Kimbie and Modeselektor. I had also been listening to Mount Kimbe over the last few weeks non-stop and was really looking forward to catching them live.  I was not disappointed.  But it felt different.  More fluid, and stranger than the recorded works.  I wondered how much of what I was hearing was from the album.  All in all it was fantastic.  Modeselektor I had seen before, but this time their set seemed more playful.  Everyone was enjoying everything they played, and they both looked like they were having a blast! Moving quickly the 2 went from hit to hit.  The dance floor was dripping with sweet and bouncing like crazy.  It was a killer night,  I wish I had made my way to the Derek Plasaiko acid house party but i had to rest.

Saturday September 25th, 2010 – Slept, completely missed everything!  I was just to wiped out to do anything.  I heard Carl Craig and Kevin Saunderson killed it.  :(

Sunday September 26th, 2010 – Today I made it out to the Seattle Center to check out dB in the Park.  The sound was fantastic and the stage was a sight to see.  I heard that the windows in the Space Needle directly above were rattling.  This made me really happy.  I looked around and was surprised, I really didn’t recognize many faces.  Then I found the Beer garden.  I did not stay to long but I am really glad i made it out.  What a rad place to have a party right under the Space Needle!  After recharging the the phone, camera and myself I was off and ready to be inspired.  Tonight I looked forward to catching Fax for the second time and Monolake for the first time, if you don’t count seeing Robert Henke early at Optical.  The big surprise for me this evening would have to be Luke Hess.  I had heard great talk about is set at DEMF but I really had little knowledge about the man.  His set turned out to be a deep funk filled techno extravaganza.  Looking around the dance-floor I found so many familiar faces smiling.  With fists in the air we cheered on this Detroit techno maven. I was glade I caught this set.  I really needed it.  Monolake came on next and just slayed it.  Like he was slaying dragons in surround sound.  The ear plugs, again, came in handy for this one.  The visuals were stunning all throughout the festival. But I particularly liked Monolake’s visual artist Tarik Barri.  His work made this one of the most memorable acts for me this year.  Winding down we decided to move across the street to Sole Repair. People were milling around outside talking about some of the highlights of the weekend.  Inside, Detroit’s own Kyle Hall could be seen through the windows.  At only 19 years old the kid really shines!  Bouncing around and dropping just about the sickest house music I had heard all week he made me feel excited about whats to come for New American Electronic Music. There is just so much great talent around us.  Here in Seattle, around the NW, the US and abroad.  It’s really nice to walk away from a really great and well thought out festival like Decibel feeling inspired and refreshed rather than sad to see it all end.   I look forward to attending more events that inspire, that look to the future of electronic music going into 2011. And I look forward to hear about other new up and coming artist that test the bounders of the art.  Thanks Decibel! And thanks to all the wonderful smiling faces everywhere I went this weekend!

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