Everything's coming together for Kris Moon. His ascendance to the upper echelon of Seattle DJs and producers has been steady and gradual. The danger now is that he'll spread himself too thin. But Moon is such a competent cat that no matter how many DJ residencies he holds, no matter how many laptop battles he organizes, no matter how many club nights he helps manifest, he will always, one suspects, find time to craft exquisite tracks and hone the vaunted deck skills that have piqued this writer's interest for years.
Since moving to Seattle in 1998 and landing a job at Capitol Hill record shop Zion's Gate, Moon has established himself as a versatile DJ with impeccable taste. He went on to help shape the legendary, electro-debauched Robo.trash night and elevate the laptop-battle concept to global recognition while winning two of the competitions himself. Besides his frenetic itinerary behind Ableton Live interfaces and Technics, Moon also oversees the educational component of the Decibel Festival.
As a DJ, Moon has blown minds with his deep techno, dub, jungle, and even Top-40 hiphop (he keeps Fremont's Ballroom bumpin' on Fridays). For all his DJ feats, though, Moon may be even more dope as a producer. His opening sets for world-class techno artists Octave One and Richie Hawtin elevated Moon to VIP status in many observers' ears. Moon's new Kriegspiel Music CD-R reflects his fathoms-deep version of minimal techno, proving his adept assimilation of a most cerebral and chilled take on this Detroit-via-Berlin track construction.
"I think it is the material of mine that sounds the best," Moon says. "Basic Channel, Burial Mix, Pole, King Tubby, and Scientist are big influences for me. Fourthcity is going to launch an online store/distribution called Brushed Golden that [Kriegspiel Music] will be available through later this year."
As for the Bashment raga-jungle monthly held every third Friday at Lo_Fi with Rama (AKA Krnl.Panic), it seems like this event may be able to bridge the divide between Seattle's jungle and techno communities. "The demand for ragga jungle is strong in Seattle," Moon notes, "and Rama is the sickest fuckin' ragga jungle DJ in [America]. When we got an opening at the Lo_Fi, we took it. I think a lot of the techno kids end up coming down by guilt of association."
Moon also is excited about Bootylib, the new ghetto-tech/Bmore/crunk night he's starting March 23 with Krnl.Panic and Lincolnup at Baltic Room, and the April opening of a new club in West Seattle called Talaricos. Is it hard to reconcile going from KRAKT to these more mainstream, blinging styles?
"I think that there is a point in a DJ's career where the skills transcend the style," Moon observes. "DJs spin records because we love music and have a crack-like addiction to collecting bits and pieces of a puzzle with no limits."
Kris Moon plays KRAKT Sat March 11 at Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873, 9 pm–2 am, $3, 21+ and Oscillate Tues March 14 at Baltic Room, 1207 E Pine St, 625-4444, 9 pm–2 am, 21+. More info: www.krismoon.em411.com.
MONDAY MARCH 13
LOOK ALIVE Ryan Holladay writes to tell me about the new Monday night weekly, called Look Alive, that he and his band the Epochs are throwing. It's an interesting idea. While Brooklyn-based electronic-pop quartet the Epochs work on their album and get their live act together in Seattle, each member will take turns "spinning their favorite records of all genres as well as some of their own concoctions and remixes" at Chapel. Welcome to Seattle, guys, and enjoy the rarefied air up in Chapel's DJ area. Chapel, 1600 Melrose Ave, 447-4180, 9 pm–2 am, free, 21+.
JAPANESE ELECTRONICA RELEASES
So, three releases from Japanese electronic producers on U.S. labels recently arrived, enabling me to make dubious generalizations about the Japanese character and artistic demeanor. See you at the cultural-sensitivity training course...First, my favorite of the triumvirate: Chihei Hatakeyama's Minima Moralia (Kranky; kranky.net). It's incredibly hard to do what Chihei does without sounding like a New Age fromage peddler, but with precise acuity he finds the most spectral folktronic drones/tones to calibrate your mind to a perfectly balanced Zen state. Minimal Moralia's clarity and tranquility comfort the soul in this age of the Worst. President. Ever.Aki Tsuyuko's Hokane (Thrill Jockey; thrilljockey.com) is a soundtrack to a book of drawings by her. A protégé of Nobukazu Takemura, Aki Tsuyuko ekes out morosely wispy soufflés of electronic unpop. If there were radio stations devoted to mildly depressed 15–24-year-olds, Hokane would be in heavy rotation on them. Like a lot of music created by Japanese females, this disc suffers from excessive cuteness of voice and instrumentation (or benefits from it, depending on your temperament).On Journal for People (Carpark CD/DVD; carparkrecords.com), Takagi Masakatsu generates staccato pulsations and bright, dispersed digital tones that burble in Nobukazu's glittery slipstream. This is fragilely beautiful IDM that evokes childlike wonder. Journal for People immerses stately, impressionistic piano notes in pastel, watercolor digitalia, and then glitches up the production enough to avoid milquetoastiness. I never thought it would come to pass, but we're now in the age of IDM nostalgia. Nevertheless, Takagi pulls it off well.