KEYBOARD KID, KATIE KATE, AND KID SMPL, K?
Welcome to Data Breaker's special Decibel Festival edition. Decibel is Seattle's annual world-class feast of electronic music and digital art. It kicks off tonight with a cornucopia of excellence, including this "Beat Prodigies" showcase. Michigan producer Dabrye was one of Ghostly International's original stars, a gifted proponent of that triple-jointed, fractured-funk aesthetic people like Prefuse 73 pushed in the early '00s. Dabrye's been away for a while, so it'll be interesting to see what he's been brewing lately. Keyboard Kid and Katie Kate are new-school Seattle hiphop artists stretching the genre's parameters into fascinating shapes. Keyboard Kid—who can go ecstatically up-tempo and dewily down-tempo with equal finesse—is developing into one of the region's go-to beatmakers. Katie Kate is a double threat on the mic and the studio console, bringing brash feminine energy to a largely male domain. Kid Smpl is becoming Seattle's foremost purveyor of night-bus music, a forlorn, beautifully amorphous brand of computerized R&B that's striking deep, weepy emotional chords with sensitive souls. Barboza, 9 pm, $12 adv (free with Decibel pass), 21+.
DROPPING GEMS WITH BALAM ACAB AND DJAO
Portland's Dropping Gems label has been representing forward-thinking Northwest electronic music for a minute. Balam Acab is a key figure of witch house—a diaphanous blend of shoegaze, ambient, goth, and R&B. DJAO (aka Alex Osuch) is a local producer poised to blow up any night now. Remember last September when I called his Wuhn EP "an amalgam of My Bloody Valentine's hazy interludes on Loveless, Boards of Canada's Robitussin triphop, and the cavernous ooze of oOoOO"? DJAO's only gotten better since then. With Devonwho and Natasha Kmeto. Barboza, 10 pm, $12 adv (free with Decibel pass), 21+.
TECHNO CROONER MATTHEW DEAR GETS ROMANT(R)IC
Matthew Dear has proved he can whip people into frenzies with the laptop-techno approach and with the live-band setup. Singing like an American Kevin Ayers over organic, romantic, and mantric tech-house foundations, Dear is a new breed of club-culture crooner. With Tycho and Lusine. Showbox at the Market, 9 pm, $26.50 adv/$32 DOS (free with Decibel pass), all ages.
BRUNO PRONSATO'S TRIUMPHANT HOMECOMING
Berlin producer Bruno Pronsato (aka Steven Ford) returns to his former home base a bona-fide techno superstar. He's risen to rarefied heights through a prolific output of avant-jazzy techno that's as brainy as it is bawdy. In a genre flooded with anonymous-sounding artists, Pronsato's tracks immediately distinguish themselves with seductive vocal intonations, post-midnight ambience, and bubbly, funky beats. Don't miss Pronsato's Public Lover gig Sunday, September 30, with Ninca Leece at Neumos. It's even more boudoir-friendly than Pronsato's solo stuff. With Matt Tolfrey. Re-bar, 2:30 am, $17, 21+.
More info: www.dbfestival.com.