When it comes to laptop battle champions, there can only be one. Over the course of the year, a half-dozen regional champions have been found in their respective home cities. Now it's time for them to come together in Seattle to determine which of them will earn definitive bragging rights as the 2007 Laptop Battle Champion.
One of the most interesting parts of the national battle is hearing regional tastes collide. Historically, frenetic Squarepusheresque IDM has won over Seattle, but this year's regional champion was Dave Pezzner, half of house/techno duo Jacob London (who bested his partner in crime Bob Hansen in the final round). Representing the rest of the nation is Austin's DXM, Dallas's Cygnus, Philly's Jason Carr, NYC's Mr. Andersonic, and Atlanta's Dr. Maximillian Rheinhardt, collectively covering techno, IDM, drum 'n' bass, dub, and even booty music with their various outputs. While Pezzner has the home-field advantage, he has little room to relax, as these competitors are bringing new sounds to Seattle battle audiences—and just as importantly, the judges aren't all local.
The competition is only part of the event. Vytear, Kris Moon, and Vincent Parker will show off their laptop skills throughout the evening as well with sets of their own compositions. And instead of sending an amped, intoxicated crowd home for the evening, an afterparty will offer music not constrained to three-minute segments. The laptop battles have always catered to the more cerebral inclinations of its audience; stepping up the party aspect of the event is a good idea.
Lawnchair Generals are Seattle house's hometown heroes. Sure, we've got no shortage of fine producers and DJs in town, but Lawnchair Generals (Peter Christianson and Carlos Mendoza) have made the leap to the world stage, appearing on high-profile mixes and alongside house's elite. For all of the attention, the duo have maintained their love for Seattle and are now making a stop at Rebar on Friday, November 30, as part of the release tour for their first album, Around the Block, which collects some of their best productions and remixes to date.
Closing things out with a rare drum 'n' bass mention, the press info for the new Commix album, Call to Mind, says that it's going to change the face of the genre the same way Goldie's Timeless or Roni Size/Reprazent's New Forms did. Incredibly lofty claims—surprisingly, the name-checking duo have created a drum 'n' bass album that actually represents new ideas for the genre, with synth washes and bleeps that point to a definite techno influence. You may have given up on drum 'n' bass, but this album shows that there's still life outside of the overly aggro techstep that rules the day. Hopefully Commix will be equally ambitious when they play the Baltic Room on Tuesday, December 4.
The 2007 Laptop Battle Championship is Sat Dec 1 at CHAC's Lower Level, 9 pm–2 am, $10, 21+. Afterparty details available at the battle.
Lawnchair Generals play Fri Nov 30 at Rebar, 10 pm–2 am, $10, 21+.
Commix play Tues Dec 4 at the Baltic Room, 9 pm–2 am, $8, 21+.