Decibel Festival on Resident Advisor

Here is the piece where I contributed as part of a team for this year’s Decibel Festival. This is my first piece for Resident Advisor. Below are quick clips that I shot with iPhone…Depicted are Fennesz (w/Lillevan), Monty Lake (who proceeded Carl Craig and the amazing Kevin Saunderson) and the growing-on-me Oneohtrix Point Never.

Other Random Festival Thoughts:

Room40: Rafael Anton Irisarri on stage (also one of the organizers of this festival). Bow to guitar, broadly spread drones, rumbled through space, inside Pravda Studios (a photo/video space?)…abrupt shift in cacophonous cadence into near silence, way too short 15 min set. Then on stage is Australian label master Lawrence English (had a nice chat with him beforehand). Sounds like a heavy rainstorm on a tin shed, overly percussive. Deep bass drone feel through floor which he suggested lying on (many did, most of 175 person crowd). One long note chamber symphony. Wind tunnel w/harmonics. Soften nicely towards end with not really any break right into Grouper (she’s from Portland!). At first taking English’s set and slowly stretched it’s tones seamlessly. She played lengthy string drones lead into a smoky silk vocal treatment (almost indistinguishable from an instrument with faded watery guitar. Devastating. Apocalyptic….People slowly meandered back into seating for Ben Frost, but I left the room.

Flying Lotus show at Neumos was packed to gills. A complete collage of sounds, hardly as smooth as the records though still somewhat of a crafty jumble.

Mark Van Hoen combined religious and Africana dance rhythms twisted together….out of video of movement/body clips. Image of Ian Curtis was kind of awkwardly disturbing, caught only between vocals. Extatic, lost. Paired with imagery of Karen Carpenter (both suicidal).

At Neumos Shlomo pumped fat chunky faded beats mixed into clacktracks reverberating over yellow dotted and lined video content. Having fun the whole time as he danced staccato in between to beats. Tall and lanky his sleeves ran almost to his fingertips.

The Optical II set included Noveller from Brooklyn on guitar. Blending Japanese distant harmonies, foot pedals, whir/buzz. Sharp cut into shoegazer poppy rhythms, somewhat silky. Guitar treatments, went from bubblewrap sounding into a coming storm, cowbells creating a metallic dissonance. Trance inducing.
Her third piece was more ambient.

Fennesz w/video artist Lillevan created a symphonic barrage, with exuberant string jams. The set shot through decibels stealing raw back – leaving the room dry as a bone. Perfect, cryptic and serrated video accompaniment. They had an encore: including an addition of Rafael Anton Irisarri on treated guitar. It was all quite dreamy. I’m a bit Speechless. Then rather newcomer from Editions Mego, Oneohtrix Point Never whose set was much more improvisational sounding, using vocal as source, treated with old school synth sounds. Atonal with harmonies, discordant, a bit melancholy. While wearing a coalminer single light on his head (good for him) he created long stealthy passages, deep with bass. Left me a bit drunk.

Later that night at Neumos Tijuanan Fax played over very steady dance beats laid down some vibrant guitar riffs, long tones with elegant echo. Dark dance vibes with a unique reverberated structure. Saw him about 4 or 5 years ago and his sound has matured dramatically. Playing into a pitter-patter almost like the theme from the original Dr Who series – like a soundtrack for the room. He then heated it up with funky percussion. Oh most definitely!

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