Decibel Festival 2012: Day One (bvdub, Dabrye)Posted by Mark Naborczyk
Filled with excitement, nerves and low levels of idol-worship I was frantic going into tonight. My body and mind had been preparing and anticipating the start of Decibel Festival for months now, counting down the days and hours until I could pick up my festival pass and be immersed in our city’s finest festival.
Of course, and I should know this by now, whenever you amp yourself to that extent something’s bound to get in your way and slow you down. Thanks to King County Metro’s unofficial motto of “we’ll get you there…eventually” and problems while picking up my pass from the festival counter I’d already missed Demdike Stare’s live re-scoring of the awesomely trippy and erotic horror film La Vampire Nue and the beginning of the Beat Prodigies Showcase.
After regaining my composure with the help of some $1 Rainiers and cheap whiskey I headed over to the dB in Dub Showcase at Neumos to catch the final moments of Cyanwave’s set before bvdub took the stage. The first thing that hit you upon entering Neumos was the aural explosion coming from the surround sound audio system they installed for the evening. Let me reiterate – a surround sound concert audio system. . As bvdub set up I was preparing myself for a soft ambient show, a mellow start to the night, raising me on a cloud that I’d be floated around on for the rest of the evening. What typically is lush and expansive ambient-dub turned into an all enveloping wave that consumed your being. The beats and bass were rising from the floorboards like the souls of past shows trapping you in a hypnotic groove.
After leaving the warm textural embrace that was placed around Neumos I bounced around to a few venues checking out the Drum N’ Bass showcase at the Baltic Room and back to Neumos to see the start of Monolake but all of this was just filler before what I considered the apex of Wednesday night – Ghostly International’s beat pioneer, Dabrye at Barboza. Equipment malfunctions delayed the show from it’s original 12:45am start time to 1:15am but when the first beat hit everyone got down, chants of “Deeeetroit” and “Detroit make the world go ‘round” (referencing his penultimate track with J-Dilla) were filling the space and everyone lost their inhibition and cares. Last night’s show felt like a homecoming of sorts, with Detroiters and Midwesterners spread throughout all embracing one another and pointing to where they were from on their Michigan-shaped hand, it brought me back to that hole in the wall club I snuck into in Detroit when I was fourteen and first saw Dabrye – when the first beat was placed inside my now electronic loving heart. Dabrye, after all this time, brought me back to the basics and re-explained what’s so special about the electronic music scene. Besides the great music, it’s the community this music has created.
Amazing first day now on to day two!