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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Technical Difficulties

posted by on September 22 at 14:02 PM

Rage and the Machine Showcase - Neumo’s

Decibel is a hell of a festival, but like any fest, it has its peaks and its pitfalls. Last night, Decibel suffered one unexpected low—Motor was denied at the border— but also one impressive high point in Truckasauras, whom I’ve most recently gushed about here. Seattle’s resident A/V geeks delivered a fun, confident set as always. They debuted a new track made for Decibel that had more pulsing techno thump than anything the Truck has done so far—it was a more linear, less swaggering Truckasauras, a promising glimpse of the band’s range and potential. They played two tracks with DJ Collage on the mic, the first of which, “Hold On,” wins the award for best bass of the festival so far. Under the new Funktion 1 speakers (a welcome permanent addition to Neumo’s), the low tones rumbled up through the ground, vibrating my whole body. You forget how much of a difference those physical tones make until you feel them running through you—that bass instantly liquefies bones and loosens limbs, and suddenly you’re moving. It’s a good feeling.

It sounds like I should’ve then gone up to Chop Suey for Jacob London, but I screwed up and stuck around for Kill Memory Crash’s vintage goth industrial show. Kill Memory Crash has always kind of confounded me. They’re on Ghostly International, one of the most prestigious, frequently forward-thinking electronic labels in the country, yet they are a total throwback. There’s nothing about their sound that couldn’t be done in 1992. The band has been around since 1997, and they met in the mid ’90s Detroit rave scene, so maybe their just purists, rather than revivalists. Still, there’s just nothing fresh about their sound, and, I’m not old enough or of the particular disposition to feel any nostalgia for industrial’s first wave. I won’t get into the band’s aesthetic, ‘cause whatever, for some reason I like the militaristic goth thing when Adult. do it (irony, maybe? maybe). I will say that the electronic drums (you know, the ones with the black rubber hi hats) were entirely unnecessary—they would’ve sounded better with traditional drums and just a Roland spd-20 (or similar drum pad) or sequencing for the electronic drum sounds. They did have one song with a pretty hot acid bass line, though. But I wish I’d seen Jacob London’s electro wizardry, or at least checked out the party in the basement.

Finally, there was a DJ set from one half of LA’s electro duo du jour, Guns’n’Bombs. Maybe it was the bad taste left in my mouth from Kill Memory Crash, the small crowd, or some lingering exhaustion from Thursday night’s massive blowout, but I just couldn’t get down with dude’s “all-bangers” assault, so I split. That said, their remix and production work is fun, well worth checking out.

Ah, but today is another day of Decibel, with an Ambient Landscaspes at Town Hall, Sensory Effect’s showcase of impressive local and regional talent at Baltic Room, and the always satisfying Dirty Dancing showcase at Neumo’s. You can check out some recommendations here and here.

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