Capitol Hill’s annual celebration of beats, bass and scratches set to kick off tonight.
Since its inauguration in 2003, the annual Decibel International Festival of Electronic Music Performance, Visual Art and New Media has hosted more than 700 musicians and performers in some of Seattle’s best-known venues. This year’s five-day, 31-show extravaganza promises to be a truly eclectic event.
We’ve chosen a few stand-out sets to profile for the 2011 festivities, but make no mistake — any Decibel Festival show you attend will get your head thumping. A full 2011 Decibel Festival schedule is available online. If you would like to purchase a festival pass that gains you access to most of the performances, you can buy one online for $200.
Red Bull Music Academy Night
When: Thursday, Sept. 29
- Bonobo / DJ / 12:30 — 1:30 a.m.
- Opiuo / Live / 11:30 p.m. — 12:30 a.m.
- Quantic / DJ / 10:15 — 11:30 p.m.
- DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid / DJ / 9 — 10:15 p.m.
Bonobo (aka British DJ, bassist and producer Simon Green) has been wowing crowds with complex, melodic trip-hop since the release of his debut album, “Animal Magic,” in 2001. Bonobo’s sound is best characterized as a hyper-kinetic fusion of harmonious vocals, subtle instrumentals and a myriad of samples — all brought home by a head-thumping bassline, plucked by Green himself. Though he’s toured with a full orchestra since 2004, Bonobo’s 2011 Decibel performance will consist of an hour-long DJ set.
Preceding Bonobo’s set will be three equally dynamic — albeit, lesser known — acts. The show will be kicked off by DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid, a Portland duo that expertly incorporates the sounds of South Asia into danceable jams. They will be followed by Quantic (aka Will Holland), a UK-based producer whose signature blend of funk, jazz, reggae and cumbia has garnered a massive worldwide following. Second-billed Opiuo, known for their psychadelic take on dance-hall dub, is also no stranger to fanfare, having produced tracks for Muti Music, Rottun Recordings, Empathy Records and several other reputable electronic labels.
Neumos | 925 E. Pike St., Seattle | (206) 709-9467
No Sleep Till Brooklyn
Where: Showbox Sodo
When: Friday, Sept. 30
- Moby / DJ / 12 — 1:45 a.m.
- Alexi Delano / DJ / 10 p.m. — 12 a.m.
- Blondes / DJ / 9 — 10 p.m.
Every millenial remembers Richard Melville Hall, aka Moby. The catchy, soulful ballads produced by this Harlem-born wunderkind — “South Side,” “Porcelain” and “We are All Made of Stars,” to name a few — proved ubiquitous during the techno heyday that was the late 90′s. Now, the little bald vegan is poised for a comeback, with an album and a book of photography released earlier this year (both of which are titled “Destroyed”). Those interested in electronic music should mark Saturday’s No Sleep Till Brooklyn show on their calendars; Moby’s 105-minute set will give them the opportunity to truly see a master at work.
The Blondes, a Brooklyn-based pair with a style reminiscent of Daft Punk and Basement Jaxx, will kick off the show with an hourlong live set. They will be followed by Alexi Delano, a Chilean-born, European-raised house staple that has been inspiring audiences to shake it since the late 80′s. If ever there was an occasion to break out the glow sticks and tech vests of our bygone youth, this is it.
Showbox Sodo | 1700 1st Ave. S., Seattle | (206) 652-0444
Future Funk Boat Party
Where: Islander Boat Cruise
When: Saturday, Oct. 1
- Château Flight / DJ / 4:45 — 6:15 p.m.
- Jimpster / DJ / 4:45 — 6:15 p.m.
- LawnChair Generals / DJ / 3 — 4:45 p.m.
- Pezzner / DJ / 3 — 4:45 p.m.
- Joel Pryde / DJ / 2 — 3:30 p.m.
- Ramiro & Jordan Strong / DJ / 2 — 3:30 p.m.
Look, with all these electronic shows inside crowded clubs, chances are you’ll need some fresh air by the time Saturday rolls around. Luckily, Islander Boat Cruise has just the cure — a 5-hour Lake Washington jaunt that will feature DJ sets by six world-class scratchers. From Parisian duo Château Flight and England’s own Jimpster to local favorites Pezzner and LawnChair Generals, the Future Funk Boat Party promises an afternoon you won’t soon forget – but don’t wait until Saturday to buy your ticket, as space is limited and this show is not covered by the Decibel Festival pass.
Islander Boat Cruise | 1611 Fairview Ave. E., Seattle