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Friday, September 21, 2007

First Impressions of Decibel Festival 2007

posted by on September 21 at 2:25 AM




(more to come, stay tuned)

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Yeah, that's how I felt--and I had to leave during Twitch to go to work. At least there won't be any working this weekend--just good music followed by more good music!
Oh, and can someone please please please kill the "If you wanna ride the white horse" song? Its the Hotel California of electronic music as far as I'm concerned (ubiquitous, boring and a crowd pleaser).

Posted by jeremy | September 21, 2007 6:38 AM

It's Switch, and I had to leave ~midnight as well to go work. SMD was off the hook and Switch was working me harder than a prison road-crew, but if I was going to have fun all weekend, I needed at least a few hours of shut eye.

Excellent billing this year, as usual. How was Diplo? Anyone?

Posted by langston | September 21, 2007 8:55 AM

Diplo was in fine form. He had some really excellent blends (Smashing Pumpkins over Bonde Do Role was great). Kids on stage going nuts for most of the set. Hell of a dance party, and an auspicious start for this year's Db!

Posted by Eric Grandy | September 21, 2007 9:50 AM

I found Diplo to be fun initially then irritating afterward.

This is a plea in general to party DJs:

YOU DO NOT NEED A MIC TO SLOPPILY INTERJECT YOUR ACTUAL SET TO SAY "WHADDUP CITY I AM IN, MAKE SOME NOISE", especially if you're not good at it. Hand gestures will do just fine, thank you.

I did like that Ed Banger style version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Is that a Diplo original? Or is it that Dirty Fonker/Eric Prydz one?

It was a fun night, but it was basically a tribute to Art Of Noise as far as repetitively triggering samples over and over and over and over over over over ov ov ov ov ov ov ov ov o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o....

cue silence and audience screams

Start the beat to cue more audience screams.

OK, that's Big Beat really. Art Of Noise is just the historial reference point. But that was the night pretty much. It was done very well for the most part.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | September 21, 2007 10:00 AM

Ah, the new big beat. But you make a good point: When is Db gonna book Art of Noise?

Posted by Eric Grandy | September 21, 2007 10:11 AM

SMD was really really good. The whole festival format is a double edged sword. You get to see a ton of acts, but don't really get to see them do a whole set (would have loved to see more of Diplo and SMD). Diplo seemed far less spontaneous than it was last year. He had to call people up on stage, instead of the overwhelming rush to the stage last year. It was also ended at 2 :( All in all it was fantastic though.

Posted by Mark | September 21, 2007 10:14 AM

It was an ok dance party early on and the acts were good but I left feeling a little underwhelmed especially by SMD. Love that record so much but live it kinda seemed like they didn't know what they were even doing. That one dude just stood there a lot. Also, Seattle still needs to learn to dance properly and not slam dance all over the place. Overall, it's rad to see this town getting into electronic music more.

Posted by Benski | September 21, 2007 10:17 AM

Is it just me who saw Simian Mobile Disco approach the stage and thought "Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari?"

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | September 21, 2007 10:39 AM

And to the "White Horse" hater...

You got to be a bitch.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | September 21, 2007 10:44 AM


I am almost a complete Art Of Noise snob. They released a brilliant EP and album, then they released an OK album and they've been pretty dull ever since.

Now if you're talking about Severed Heads or Yello, who had their peaks but still have the ability to bring it on, then I would be nodding until my head snapped.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | September 21, 2007 10:49 AM

to #4 - I think that might have been Freeland's.

Posted by J-9 | September 21, 2007 10:56 AM

i am throwing this out there to see what other people's opinions are but i was REALLY unimpressed with SWITCH. Early on in his set I realized he wasn't really beat match mixing. For pretty much every mix, he rocked a delay effect over the track that was playing and the faded over the beat from the next track. You might not notice it cuz that delay creates the chopped up sound that is used all over his productions. So I just kinda thought eh. He doesn't really no how to beatmatch. No biggie I guess. Then after about 30 minutes into his set I noticed we wasn't taking the cds out of the cdjs. He was just bouncing back and forth between them playing from the same 2 discs. Which means he just put all of his tracks together ahead of time and just connected them all together. And when I say his tracks, I mean it. I don't remember hearing anything but switch productions. I can do that at home.

[Thankfully though this wasn't as bad as catching PHOTEK back in like 2000 who was playing all his own stuff but trainwrecking like crazy]

I'll save any rant for the moment so I can hear what other people think of this but let's just say as soon as I figured that out. I left the room.

DIPLO killed IMO, but got a little lazy towards the end. That Smashing Pumpkins mashup took me back.

Posted by j-justice | September 21, 2007 11:16 AM

When it comes to a dance night, all I care about is hearing a good amplified mix of dance music with other folks who enjoy the same.

How they create it is only for electronic musician gearspotter types.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | September 21, 2007 12:59 PM

Last night was amazing fun but allow me to confess: If I have to hear Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Big Butts" one more time, I will vomit on the DJ's shoes.

Posted by Erika | September 21, 2007 1:22 PM

Ditto, j-justice; I was also unimpressed by Switch, but knowing next to nothing about the technicalities of DJing, I can only base this verdict on my lazy uninspired dancing. Diplo cured that with his imaginative, city-specific mixes, but you're right; near the end it just sounded like his Fabriclive CD.

Posted by KatieDay | September 21, 2007 1:25 PM

Being a synth guy myself I'm always hoping I'll see someone pull out some other instruments besides the turntables at one of these things. Does anyone do that? Also, props to Four Color Zak and Pretty Titty. I thought they were totally solid and great. Maybe better than some of the "headliners?"

Posted by Benski | September 21, 2007 4:10 PM

There's a DJ in Orange County named Dan Sena who'll bust out his guitar and play along to tracks he's spinning (including
Slayer tracks).

Posted by segal | September 21, 2007 4:42 PM

PLEASE...someone tell me about Chris DeLuca vs Phon.o....this sounds ridiculous.

Posted by cunei4m | September 23, 2007 12:48 PM

@Benski: I'm always hoping I'll see someone pull out some other instruments besides the turntables at one of these things. Does anyone do that?

Did you wander down to the VIP Lounge on Saturday? There were a couple of sets with live synths.

Posted by Mark | September 24, 2007 6:17 PM

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