XLR8R - logo

Decibel Week 2012

Decibel Festival: Things We Loved, Things We Liked, and Things That Needed Work

Last week, XLR8R hopped on a plane to Seattle to check out the city's annual Decibel Festival. Admittedly, we were pretty excited to partake in the festivities; after all, we did just dedicate an entire series of content to the long-running festival. With nearly 200 artists on the bill, there was a lot of to see over the five days and nights of Decibel, and it wasn't all just DJs playing banging beats in dark nightclubs—although, yes, there was plenty of that. However, there were also concerts, A/V showcases, boat parties, after-hours events, panel discussions, gear workshops, and more. Without question, the 2012 edition of Decibel was the festival's most ambitious to date; that said, there were times that the festival's organization cleary chafed under the weight of that ambition. Nonetheless, it's hard to fault the Decibel team for reaching a bit beyond its grasp, particularly when so much of the festival was innovative and decidedly unfocused on the mainstream (even the electronic mainstream). More importantly, most of the week's events—the nighttime showcases in particular—were downright fun. … Read more »

Rewind: DJ Shadow

There are endless treasures in DJ Shadow's deep discography. Although his career stretches back much further, the legendary turntablist first struck gold with his 1996 full-length debut, Endtroducing....., an all-sample album that continues to inspire nearly two decades after its release. Since then, Shadow (a.k.a. Josh Davis) has released several more acclaimed records, as well as a couple of collections of lost gems, and has worked with everyone from Cut Chemist to Little Dragon to Talib Kweli. Ahead of his headlining performance this Saturday at Decibel and the release of his new best-of collection, Reconstructed: The Definitive DJ Shadow, he took us on a trip through his lengthy, wide-ranging back catalog, starting with his early singles for London-based label Mo' Wax, all the way through his recent archival projects. … Read more »

Trainwreck: FaltyDL

For this Decibel-themed Trainwreck, we talked to Brooklyn beatmaker FaltyDL—who performs tonight at the Global Selektors 1 showcase at Re-Bar—about the time he destroyed his own passport while on tour in Italy. It's a cautionary tale about the dangers of getting drunk and playing with your only legal document in a foreign country. "It's all because of alcohol," he says, describing the nightmare that inspired his new no-drinking-on-tour rule. … Read more »

Top 10 Things to See at Decibel 2012

As to be expected, the 2012 edition of Decibel has a lot to offer in the way of cutting-edge and underground electronic music. Touting a truly international roster of artists to make up its five days and 30-plus showcases, the Seattle expedition of "electronic music performance, visual art, and new media" requires a bit of pre-planning for those looking to make the most of it. With that in mind, XLR8R has put together a list of the 10 most essential events to fit into one's Decibel week—study up and plan accordingly. … Read more »

Podcast 266: Max Cooper's Decibel Mix

As most XLR8R readers are likely aware, the annual Decibel Festival is descending upon Seattle this week, and bringing with it a stunning array of electronic artists. Given our excitement about the festivities, we're running a special series of Decibel-themed content throughout the week, and have elected to include our weekly podcast as part of that. Making that choice was easy; much harder was actually choosing an artist to do said podcast, as the festival line-up literally features dozens of producers and DJs whose names have appeared on XLR8R over the years. In the end, we decided to go with someone who might seem a bit unexpected—Max Cooper. Admittedly, the UK producer isn't someone whose name loudly rings out. Much like his music, the man's profile is understated, to say the least. Yet he's also a seasoned artist who continues to turn out quality music; his lengthy discography is full of releases that can ostensibly be categorized as techno, albeit a melodic, cinematic strain of techno with hints of glitch and a quiet elegance that's unique to the genre. … Read more »

Building Decibel: An Interview with Sean Horton

Seattle's Decibel festival is set to get underway this week, marking the ninth edition of the annual West Coast gathering for forward-thinking electronic music acts and devotees. Since its humble beginnings in 2004, Decibel has steadily grown in size and reach each year, and now stands as one of the US' most comprehensive electronic-music festivals dedicated to showcasing underground and emerging talent. Still, Decibel's rise to prominence is a somewhat unlikely story, built from a truly grassroots organization and run by music lovers and volunteers under the guidance and curatorial prowess of Seattle DJ/promoter Sean Horton, the festival's founder and director. Throughout the week, XLR8R will be posting a series of Decibel-related content, and we figured that there would be no better way to begin than to chat with Horton himself, who provided some insight into what drives the festival and how it has managed to consistently evolve throughout the years. … Read more »

Follow us on...

Get the lowdown weekly newsletter

XLR8R Downloads Player