The lineup at Decibel Festival in Seattle this year is better than ever. The huge range of artists are a diverse definition of today’s worldwide electronic music community.
Here are a few personal top picks for this week.
Starkey – Showbox at the Market – 9pm – All-ages
Philly producer Starkey makes edgy dance music and rich, velvety downtempo tracks. “Stars” with Anneka showcases Starkey’s talent for the cinematic.
(*Starkey also plays Saturday on the Island Cruise Ship in Seattle as part of the Decibel Festival. And if you are visiting Seattle, you really must party on a boat.)
Star Slinger – Neumo’s – 9pm – 21+
This Manchester digger (a DJ who searches for old samples in record crates) mixes vintage soul and pop songs with electronic beats. He’s also a master remixer. His Volume I collection is available for free download here! My favorites are “Gas” and “Mornin’.”
Dam-Funk – Crocodile – 9pm – All-ages
L.A.’s “Ambassador to Boogie Funk” creates sexy space music with funk riffs, tripped- out dance beats and warm acoustic elements.
Erykah Badu with Cannabinoids – 7pm – All-ages – Paramount
If this live video is any indication, one of the greatest singers our our era is going to do jazzy riffs with a live band, DJs and her own theremin. I’ve seen her live once before and it was life-changing.
Matthew Dear – Showbox at the Market – 9pm – All-ages
Electronic producer Matthew Dear’s songs echo of 80s artists like Bowie and Soft Cell. The beats are updated, but the sentiment is the same. Read my write-up on Matthew Dear here.
DJ Shadow – with Bonobo! – Showbox Sodo – 9pm – All-ages
Bay Area legend DJ Shadow mixed sample-heavy electronica and warm, psychedelic melodies to construct his landmark release Endtroducing. His textures are mellow and deep. The samples are thoughtful and theatrical. DJ Shadow also has the visuals synced to his turntable!
Bonobo is more based in world rhythms with live vocalists. If you are lucky it will be Andreya Triana.
John Talabot – Neumo’s – 9pm – 21+
Barcelona artist John Talabot’s work is mostly dark and edgy with long, pulsing soundscapes. My favorite songs of his are a mix of club beats and soul, like on “Destiny” and (with the incredible Temptations riff) “…So Will Be Now.”
Yppah – Crocodile – 9pm – All-ages
California producer Yppah drafts tracks that flow like Massive Attack. This song features Seattle artist Anomie Belle.
Get tickets and the full lineup for Decibel Festival at dbfestival.com.
Tune in to DJ Michele Myers Friday nights at 9pm on KEXP radio. Music Historian and Producer, Michele’s made over 200 radio stories for KEXP Documentaries. She’s written scripts, lesson plans and features for Experience Music Project, University of Washington and NPR.