Decibel Festival of Electronic Music Performance, Visual Art + New Media 2015 Seattle – Preview Guide & Picks

September is my favorite month in the NW for two reasons: optional sweater weather and Decibel Festival. The value of the first should be self-evident to anyone who enjoys being comfortable and the second, well, that just so happens to be the topic of this preliminary write-up. Decibel has brought together some of the finest electronic music acts and video artists in the world to this blessed corner of the country for 12 years now, offering up a range of programming from sweaty late night techno parties to seated sound design demonstrations and audio-visual workshops and conferences. There are even boat parties for god’s sake, though good luck finding your way on aboard (they sell out fast). The important thing


Alice Cohen – Backwards Music Video (w/ Musician & Director Micki Pellerano Interview)

“[Director] Micki [Pellerano] focused on the lyric: “The planets open wide”, and we had the elevator going to different planets, rather than floors — each planet representing a different element of my psyche. It feels like this inner journey, activated by exploring and “trying on” these different aspects of Self, the way you would “try on” different clothing and identities in the mirror of a department store.” – Alice Cohen

“Each of the Spheres is associated with a certain astrological planet: Venus, Mars, The Sun etc. So the Kabbalistic system of psychic exploration was a suitable allegory for the concepts of self-exploration that Alice was referencing in her lyrics.” – Micki Pellerano, Director


Silicon – Personal Computer Album Review (Weird World / Domino)

In a world where our gadgets and devices open us up to an endless stream of novel sounds from around the globe and throughout history, it makes sense that there is sometimes more love and attachment for the machines than the people that made the music in the first place. And while Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers may wax nostalgic about seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan or saving milk money to buy Melvins’ records, music fanatics in the 21st century might be prone to ecstatics about their first iPod, Spotify playlists, Serrato decks, and Ableton controllers. It’s to be expected, really, and not necessarily a bad thing. These gadgets are pretty amazing, after all, and immediate access to all of


Autre Ne Veut – World War Pt. 2 Music Video (w/ Arthur Ashin & Director Allie Avital Interview)

“I suppose with the video for ‘World War Pt. 2’, we were going for cheap thrills on one level, but maintaining cognizance of what a funny looking little dude could communicate under these conditions in a human and emotionally salient way. Maybe I’m trying to be honest about what I represent to myself. Maybe it was a way to use explicit sexuality to expose the abject nature of bodies in relationship to one another. Regardless, the song is basically about the many burdens which we carry around with us.” – Arthur Ashin, Autre Ne Veut

“What’s cool about this concept is that everyone can relate to the image of an inescapable burden. I think Arthur thinks of it more as a self-imposed burden, whereas I’m more interested in illustrating a metaphor for dependent, blood-sucking intimate relationships, but it doesn’t really matter… it’s all the same, in a way. We only allow others to be a burden if we’re a burden on ourselves, and vice versa.” – Allie Avital, Director


FYF Fest 2015 Live Show Review: D’Angelo, Nicolas Jaar, Battles & More

FYF Fest 2015 can certainly thank its lucky stars that it fell on the weekend of August 22nd rather than the weekend prior, when the temperature in Los Angeles was near the sweltering 100s. Its highs in the mid-80s offered an enjoyable backdrop to all who attended the two-day festival at Exposition Park near USC. This year being my first time attending FYF, I will say right off the bat that it is a very welcome change from most festivals — which is quite a lot considering the current preponderance of them in every nook and cranny of the country and beyond. Perhaps the chill ass vibe of LA also has something to contribute the equation, but FYF is proof


Circuit des Yeux Live Show Review (Doug Fir Lounge, Portland)

Circuit des Yeux’s performances are like a guided tour through several decades of psychedelia; cherry-picked moments of visionary art rock, viewed through a classy romantic noir cabaret lens. The band is in full tilt as my girlfriend and I enter the Doug Fir’s rough hewn wooden basement venue, which is more sparsely attended and reserved than usual, maybe because it is a Wednesday evening. There is a respectful horseshoe formed near the front of the stage, where frontwoman Haley Fohr is holding court, cutting a striking figure, statue-like and shrouded in mystery, while a golden pageboy obscures her face. Fohr guides the maelstrom with only a 12-string acoustic guitar and her voice, which is probably the most immediately striking thing