Seattle isn’t the first city that comes to mind on a list of places that could entertain yacht parties year round. The window of opportunity provided by the city’s Indian summer was closing fast at two in the afternoon; the grey overcast sky threatened to dampen the mood at the Slow Boat showcase. A procession of fluorescent ravers made their way down the pier and onto the yacht, where Portland’s Alga-Rhythms crew was warming up the lower deck in anticipation. Up the stairs, Seattle’s Slowpoke DJ crew rotated in one by one, turning over thick bass line grooves from the stern of the ship.
I waited with great anticipation for the live performance of Tiger and Woods, this year’s hottest boogie edit-tainers from Italy. Logistically, the venue would not allow for late arrivals, and the yacht was too small for cabins, so the two performers had to be roaming around somewhere. I ended up finding the two producers before their set. They told me they’ve been making records for almost twenty years, and that they started out as DJs, but now they’re really focused on playing their music live to as many people as possible. Deniz Kurtel performed a reprise of her Saturday night set from Neumos before Tiger and Woods helmed the boat. The two producers performed with baseball cap brims down low while they reconstructed the bulk of Through the Green with sequencers and samplers.
Taking the club out to the lake was a refreshing change of scenery with clean air, ample amounts of natural light. The only challenge was trying to dance while the boat rocked—but it was hardly a downside to the entire experience. With a few hours to recuperate before heading out for the evening, I made my way over to the Triple Door. Downstairs in the theater, DNTEL and Erika Spring were performing, but without a ticket I could only lounge in the bar. DJ Shani filled the Musicquarium with selections from Nicolas Jaar and Matthew Dear among other pieces of downtempo shoegaze and electronica.
Eventually I made my way up to check out Kid Hops and Quadrant. The 2011 Decibel Fest fittingly closed out at the Baltic Room with a showcase of various drum and bass tunes. Minutes before I arrived, the show was stopped by some nasty footwork: an overexcited dancer tripped over a power strip and took the sound system offline. For the rest of the set, Kid Hops struggled with club engineers to reset the sound—something was definitely off kilter, but whenever the sound managed to cut in fully the crowd would respond in howls. The set harkened back to the days of old skool, drum and bass, and jungle: from the choice track selections, right down to the MTV Classic visualizations of neon strokes over a live video feed of the DJs and dancers. Snare drums cracked with the intensity of gunfire as the tempo shot upwards of 170 beats per minute. It wasn’t until the headlining act appeared that a whiff of something completely new and original filled the room. dBridge took the decks just after midnight with a guest MC; the two steered the party into dark and minimal territory, binding club and hip-hop style production with a UK and Jamaican sense of dread.