Broken Disco Celebrates Seattle's Rich Talent Pool
This month's Broken Disco hearts the 206's deep pool of techno talent—so deep it extends to Berlin, where ex–Seattle resident Jeff Samuel now operates. The world-class DJ/producer headlines a bill larded with a surplus of skillful rhythm technicians.
I've written plenty about Lusine (aka Jeff McIlwain) in this space; suffice it to say that he consistently produces excellent, vividly detailed work, whether in the techno, IDM, or ambient veins (he'll be focusing on the former for Broken Disco). He's nearly done with his next album for Ghostly International, the follow-up to the melodically beautiful, rhythmically sophisticated Serial Hodgepodge, its remix counterpart Podgelism, and the ambient opus Language Barrier. Besides this show, Lusine's spring will be, uh, very eventful, with appearances at elite fests Movement (Detroit), MUTEK (Montreal), and Sónar (Barcelona).
Dave Pezzner—who's also playing MUTEK this year—recently has been branching out on his own after building a sterling reputation (with Bob Hansen) as half of left-field Seattle house duo Jacob London. Solo, Pezzner plies a slightly more serious brand of tech-house than he does in JL, while maintaining that group's slyly irresistible wiggle-ability. With acclaimed 12s on Freerange and Om and the stomp of approval from top-tier DJs like Steve Bug, Laurent Garnier, and Peter Kruder, Pezzner is on his way to a fruitful solo career. (Bonus symmetry: Pezzner has remixed Lusine's "Two Dots" for a soon-coming Ghostly release.)
As anyone who's witnessed Samuel behind the decks can attest, the native Ohioan has been blessed with golden ears and superb mixing abilities. His high demand on the international techno circuit can be attributed to sets that encompass the upper crust of bangers, experimental cuts, and festive, should-be anthems. The man simply doesn't allow dull or cheesy tracks to enter his domain. Samuel's performance at last year's Decibel was transcendent, and his mixes for labels like Poker Flat corral whatever material's making the most discerning heads bob and weave. This should be an outstanding homecoming (of sorts) for Samuel.
It's not chamber of commerce-y to declare Seattle one of the hubs of quality techno, as this edition of Broken Disco confirms. The many weekly and monthly nights happening (Oscillate, Bonkers!, Stop Biting, etc.) prove electronic excellence abounds here. Trouble is, it seems this music's producers outnumber the consumers of it. But most cities should have such problems...
Recommended shows this week: reliably deep, bubbly, and hypnotic Canadian tech-house DJ Jay Tripwire, plus Jeromy Nail, Chad Neiro, Don Tonic (Fri May 15 at Deep Down Lounge, 10 pm, $5, 21+); Shift Dubstep Session with L.A.'s 12th Planet and locals Lukki and Pressha (Fri May 15 at Contour, 10 pm, $5 before midnight, 21+).