Pyrotechnics @ Hengst Studios, 8/1/08 Review by Miss Jade

Pyrotechnics Review.
It did cross my mind that I could sum this up in 3 simple words:

Pyrotechnics was FIRE.

But then again, there’s way too much to say about this party. It was one of those nights that reminds me of why I love dance music. When every element of the experience sits in perfect sync with everything else� each artist’s style flowing into the next one’s, everyone screaming for the drops in unison, every performer totally connecting with the crowd� you just can’t take it for granted.

I know I’ve said it before, but I can’t get over how slick this venue is. There’s no harsh or obnoxious lighting, it’s stylishly designed, and the main room (complete with hardwood floors and sexy curtains) is intimate but roomy enough to get down. Plus, the outside deck is a godsend for fresh air (or nicotine�your choice) after a sweaty dance floor session.

Around 9pm, I arrived to find a crew of early birds snacking on yummy treats whipped up on the grill the night before. It was a nice and mellow start to the night, as loading up on things like food and audible conversations is at times missing from my nights out. Yay for techno BBQ’s!

I wandered into the main room to check out the tag team between Uncommon Forms (Brian S & Milkplant) vs. Sweatbox (Panty Control & Ctrl_Alt_Dlt). All 4 DJs are artists off the new local label From 0-1, and each one of them brought a distinct energy and style to the mix that blended diverse elements of this forward-thinking techno sound.

Starting with some extra-funky beats and layered sounds, Milkplant laid down a vibe that was perfect for easing into the night. The tracks were heavily laced with robotic noises, off-beat bleeps, and big pads. Some moments were gritty, others were melodic. Dropping in Booka Shade’s classic track “Mandarine Girl” definitely got the crowd moving in the right direction�

Pantycontrol kept the beats going with a string of chunky, booty-shaking records with a darker feel. Sharp bass stabs and creepy atmospheres were laid out over deep beats, which later gained momentum and become more in-your-face. The room was quickly filling up, but you could tell things were just getting started.

Brian S was the next selector up, serving up a tasty blend of ominous basslines, chest-thumping kicks, and bitcrushed synths. The beats were aggressive yet cleanly produced, with the occasional reverbed and delayed high percussion adding forward movement. These pushing rhythms kept pumping up the dancefloor, and the energy showed no sign of slowing down.

Maintaining it on the late-night tip, Ctrl_Alt_Del came on with his unique take on the minimal sound. Blending funky rhythms (think clean beats with dubby hi hat crashes and old-school snare rolls) with big wooshes and dirty basslines, his set was a nice way to round out the tag team throwdown.

Next on the decks was Dr. Mr. M (Knightriders Inc.), who played a jackin’ set with lots of syncopated beats and distorted synth lines (nerd note: resonance and cutoff are your friends). There were lots of detuned melodies and electro basslines going on, which built up the now-packed dancefloor.

Justin Byrnes (Lab-77, From 0-1) changed up the vibe with a smooth set of upbeat and pumpin’ tracks. He laid down bangin’ beats with an underground sound, scattered with twisted, spacey breakdowns. There was a bouncy tech-house feel to his set, sprinkled with hints of evil in the bass and melodies.

Soma Recordings artist Let’s Go Outside (PDX) rocked an energetic live set with a steady build up, later exploding into hypnotic minimal techno. Whispering synths, sweeping effects, and driving basslines cohesively melted together, while sexy vocals added a nice organic touch.

m.0 (From 0-1, Innerflight) started off his live set with warm ambient pads ebbing and flowing through the speakers. Then came the arpeggios and dark basslines on top of these atmospheres. Dubby chords meshed with scary acid lines; hard beats were mashed up with gorgeous synths. The set flowed seamlessly, with dramatic changes (like a beat that drops right on your dome) and subtle ones (the cutoff frequency slightly creeping up). It felt like a story, from beginning to end, narrated from different points of view.

Closing out the night was Travis Baron (Knight Riders), who played a set covered in grime and distortion. Screeching synth lines and big-room beats kept the energy up, while deep sub bass added another rhythmic layer. The selection was just right to keep the afterhours vibe going.

I just gotta say, the atmosphere of this party was simply unreal. Everyone was not just moving, but dancing HARD and screaming during every breakdown. We were all on the same wavelength� and that’s an unspoken connection that you just can’t describe.

Special thanks to Knight Riders for putting on such an epic event with amazing talent, sound system, food, and vibe�Pyrotechnics definitely showed Seattle what Friday night’s all about!

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  • Contact Knightriders Inc

    Travis Baron - Curator/Director travis.baron@gmail(dot)com http://twitter.com/Knightriders *********************** James Grindle - A&R/Project Manager: gconscious@gmail(dot)com http://twitter.com/Gconscious ***********************
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