Decibel Festival Day 1 Journal: Hyperdub Showcase w/ Ikonika and DJ SPINN
Every year some lucky portion of the Decibel Festival faithful gets to play first with the new wave of bacterial infections that the fall coldsnap brings in. After successfully Emergen-C’ing myself out of danger the last few years, my number was unfortunately chosen for this tenth anniversary. But I wasn’t about to miss the Hyperdub showcase because of some silly sinus infection, so through a haze of expired opiates and complimentary cocktails I headed to the Crocodile on the first night of Decibel.
Wednesday’s crowd seemed evenly split between the Peter Hook and Friends showcase up at Neumos and the Hyperdub showcase in Belltown. But more important than any single act tonight was the feeling that Decibel was finally here: five uninterrupted nights of the electronic music buffet that has only grown in scope and in grandeur in its ten years. So while the Hyperdub brand prides itself on being heady and relatively obtuse, the crowd was simply ready to party.
With her steely gaze peering through bookish frames, producer/DJ Ikonika delivered this promised party, with a set that travelled up and down, sideways and back, throwing in gimmes like a remix of Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been” and Ciara’s “Body Party” for good measure. Year in year out, the crowd at Decibel Festival are notoriously receptive, and Ikonika’s surefire grooves were exactly what was necessary to start the night off on a good foot.
Though an unfortunate car accident took DJ Rashad off the bill, in his stead he sent his longtime partner in audio-crime DJ SPINN, whose fiery Chicago Footwork whipped the crowd into a frenzy. My mind was blown when in the midst of his blistering set he played “Everybody” off DJ Rashad’s I Don’t Give A Fuck EP, a tune that samples liberally from the “Best Cry Ever” YouTube jam. Long cuts of Kanye’s “Mercy,” rapping along to Pimp C, and coercing the girls in the audience to “work it” and “don’t quit” further cemented the full party vibe.
Unfortunately, at this time the Percocet was fading and my body slowly began to realize I was sicker than previously thought. I figure I’d bank some sleep time on the first night, with my eyes on the prize for the rest of the festival.