Actually, 2005 was one of the best years ever for Seattle's electronic-music scene. The Decibel festival improved financially and artistically from 2004's inaugural event; several genius producers and DJs played our town; Red Bull Music Academy set up shop here for a month; Orac Records unleashed several classics, including label co-honcho Caro's excellent debut album; Bruno Pronsato released a ton of essential 12s on myriad internationally respected labels and gigged in Switzerland, Germany, France, Mexico, Turkey, and the U.S.; and Jeff Samuel and Lusine also racked up plenty o' air miles and continued to produce covetable vinyl releases. I could go on, but you don't wanna hear all this heartwarming jive. Let the moaning commence... I regret the following:
• That many excellent techno shows this year drew meager crowds: Michael Mayer, Ada/Metope/Superpitcher, Derrick May, Richie Hawtin.
• That I didn't witness every show on Jamie Lidell's fall tour. His devastating gig at Neumo's rocketed soul music to another, better world.
• That I don't have a recording of Son of Rose's Broadway Performance Hall set during Decibel. The Seattle laptop artist upstaged world-class glitch/ambient producers Fennesz and Tim Hecker.
• That I can't stay up as late as I used to... without artificial stimulation.
• Feeling ambivalent about a lot of the music I heard in 2005. Well, kind of...
• Not working more on my lamentable DJ skills.
• That ambient musician William Basinski ignored my request for an interview. His subsequent show at On the Boards was gorgeous and otherworldly—and it alienated about half the audience, who were mainly there to see Antony and the Johnsons, Devendra Banhart, and CocoRosie. I also regret short attention spans and closed minds.
• Missing Public Enemy/Son of Bazerk producer Hank Shocklee lecture at Red Bull Music Academy in November. I must've been doing something frivolous like writing Data Breaker.
• The French language, which I butchered while I was in Montreal for the Mutek festival.
• That Ricardo Villalobos, one of my favorite producers ever, flaked on his Mutek commitment for the second year in a row. Those "he missed his flight" excuses are starting to sound mighty dubious.
• That it would take a team of 10 people working 'round the clock for a year to digitize and transfer my music collection to an iPod... or six.
• Trance. Please. Die. Now.
Finally, some regrets from Mat Anderson, one of Seattle's foremost house DJs/producers/impractical jokers: "Cocaine. Drinking. Going to [Miami's] Winter Music Conference and yet somehow missing the conference. Getting kicked out of the Showbox during the Richie Hawtin show. Mucking about with all the wrong girls. Having a dealer who delivered. Winning the race to the free clinic." DAVE SEGAL