Dance music is supposed to be fun. Which isn't to say that there's no artistry or thought that goes into it, but a lot of musicians get so caught up in their "grand vision"—in inherently geeky production techniques and mountains of jargon—that they forget what inspired them to create in the first place. Overthinking isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is odd when discussions of dance music leave out any mention of dancing. That's what makes producers such as Knifehandchop so refreshing: His intelligent genre amalgams hide within a sweet candy (raver) shell, appealing to both headier and dance-oriented sensibilities.

Knifehandchop (real name Billy Pollard) rose to fame out of Toronto, with early tracks such as "DanceMix2000," an indulgent work that coupled pop-music snippets with raved-up hardcore. His string of sometimes-legal releases led to KHC becoming a staple of Oakland's Tigerbeat6 label, where he combines electro, breakcore, hiphop, and ragga on his most recent full-lengths.

Rockstopper, KHC's collection of new and previously released Tigerbeat6 material, buckled under the weight of its excesses, its relentlessness making for an exhausting yet entertaining listen. The 2004 follow-up, How I Left You, maintained the same ambition but made for a more cohesive listen, taking cues from dancehall and techno on some tracks, bludgeoning with its crazed snares and chopped samples on others.

Since then, Knifehandchop has moved away from the album format, returning his attention to the world of singles and 12-inches and giving the breakcore tendencies a rest. "Dirty New York" replaces the dancehall of many KHC tracks with hypersexual hiphop, hinting at ghettotech but existing as a booty breed all its own with its repeated refrain of "How you know dem hos?" "Weed Wid Da Macka," a split release with party favorites Modeselektor, is a return to form, with Ninjaman's vocals forming the basis for the nerd-ragga gem. Most recently, KHC released his remix of Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip's "Thou Shalt Always Kill," an accessible dirty electro number that should find popularity outside of the traditional Tigerbeat6 demographic. The creative departures are no doubt informed by Math Hooker, and the post-genre dance parties he's been throwing in Toronto for the last two years.

One of the most obvious elements of Knifehandchop's music is his adoration for each of the genres that compose his tracks. Treating those genres as musical Legos, Knifehandchop's live performances are incredibly dynamic affairs, showing off a more rave-informed mashup experience by touring his entire catalog. Knifehandchop played as part of a Tigerbeat6 showcase on his last visit to Seattle, upstaging label head Kid606's booty-IDM with his varied set and causing a rush to the merch table. Expectations are high for his return, but between the new material and increased party-rocking experience, Knifehandchop is all but certain to please, whether your purpose is to dance or deconstruct.

Knifehandchop plays Broken Disco on Friday, May 11, at Chop Suey. Check for more information.

Get Out!


With few exceptions, the world of drum 'n' bass remains incredibly male-dominated, and the exceptions are often still noted as much for their looks as their prowess behind the decks. While Reid Speed receives that superficial attention (she's hot), her versatility is what's made her the club staple she's become, displayed tonight with two sets, one breaks and two-step, the other drum 'n' bass.

Last Supper Club, 124 S Washington St, 748-9975, 10 pm—2 am, free before 11 pm/$10 after, 21+.

The first One Night Stand had the house set out until the wee hours, an unofficial start to the weekend. The roster of DJs is different this time around, with Wesley Holmes, Johnny Fever, Marty Mar, and Fortune Kiki providing the beats, but the night should still provide a respite from the work week whether you come early, stay late, or both. Neumo's, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467, 9 pm—2 am, free, 21+.


Detroit's Berg Nixon (Ryan Crosson) has seemingly made a deal with the techno devil, gaining the attention of both the Trapez and M_nus labels after only a year of production experience and receiving no shortage of glowing praise since. In the crowded world of minimal techno, Crosson has managed to one-up even the veterans to which he's compared, setting him up as one of the genre's up and comers. This Seattle stop is part of a last wave of stateside dates before a "temporary" move to Europe. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873, 9 pm—2 am, $10, 21+.


Dubstep continues its spread into the Seattle club landscape with the debut of this new monthly, which will surely push the limits of the Baltic Room's sound system with its chest-crushingly deep bass. The night separates itself from the pack with the live ragga toasting of DJ Collage. Baltic Room, 1207 Pine St, 625-4444, 10 pm—2 am, $3, 21+


Thanks to their frequency, weeklies like Proper are all to easy to take for granted. Regardless, Proper's roster of Seattle's finest house DJs makes it well worth the trip to Pioneer Square. Merchants Cafe, 109 Yesler Way, 935-7625, 10 pm—2 am, free, 21+.