by Dave Segal
on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Visuals at Q during Ben Klock's set reflect this blogger's 1:30 am mind state.
Night one of Decibel Festival was mostly devoted to the Hyperdub Records showcase at Crocodile. I arrived while Seattle DJ/producer/7 Deadly label head Jimi Jaxon was in middle of a dank, rugged set of future bass, grime, and rigorous, malevolent dubstep. The earth-moving low end made the air hemorrhage. Seriously. A nerdy-looking white dude in a SAD BOYS shirt (picture a frowny face in the O) did some frantic footworking throughout the set. It was pretty mind-blowing.
Ikonika gave me technostalgia.
Ikonika followed, and this young British woman stunned me with a torrent of old-school techno bangers straight out of an early-’90s Best of Plus 8 comp, all hard-pistoning rhythms and martial snare fills, with the occasional odd, festive melody. I haven’t heard her latest album, Aerotropolis, but if this set is any indication, I need to. Toward the end of her hour-long performance, the music moved into more ruffneck, experimental realms, but without losing the totally amped feeling. Stellar show.
DJ Spinn footworkin' it out on the hard drives of steel..
DJ Spinn, subbing for a reputedly injured in an auto collision DJ Rashad, began his performance by announcing, “We gonna turn this bitch up quick. Where’re all my weedheads at?” He proceeded to let loose the frenetic funk that we now call “footwork,” and the tempos elasticated sporadically and sometimes maddeningly throughout his 75-minute set. Dunno about you, but this seemed too long for this style of hyperkinetic music. Diminishing returns and all that. But it was cool to hear Roy Ayers’ “Everybody Loves the Sunshine" in the seemingly wrong context of mercurially shattered breakbeats.
Kode9 doesn't want to hear your shouts for "more Burial!"
By the time Kode9 took the stage at 12:15 am, I was feeling Hyperdub fatigue, but the 25 minutes that I heard of his heavy heavy sound system pressure was a visceral and cerebral thrill. It had the controlled chaos of a riveting sci-fi film.
Closed out the night at Q, where Ben Klock was Germanically filling the club with massive-sounding minimal techno. Q reminds us how great it is to hear ketamined bangers on a killer system. The invasive, throbbing bass frequencies made you feel as if you were in a huge pleasuring machine hurtling into deep space at 138-146 beats per minute.