This is the final Data Breaker. I'm off to Orange County, California, in late March to become music editor of OC Weekly. What can I say—I like stressful situations and hot weather. So, my work here is done. I wish that statement filled me with more satisfaction. It seems as if my exit is coinciding with yet another resurgence of excitement in Seattle's electronic-music community, and I'm bummed about missing loads of exceptional shows and new events—especially the Broken Disco monthly at Chop Suey, which debuts April 13 with John Tejada and other worthies.
But allow me to back up a bit. When I arrived in Seattle in October 2002, I was surprised to find scarce coverage of the city's bustling electronic-music activity, save for Nicolae White's Speaker Freaker column (Data Breaker's predecessor) and a sporadically published zine called Minty. I practically had the field to myself, and I relished the chance to chronicle this burgeoning scene in The Stranger. Every week brought new discoveries of excellent talent, both established and up and coming. What a change from my eight-year stint in Cleveland, which generated few homegrown stars (Jeff Samuel was one of the few exceptions; then he moved to Seattle—then to Berlin, alas).
Speaking of which, in the four and a half years I spent here, Seattle became the Berlin of the United States. (Not coincidentally, another Seattle producer—Bruno Pronsato—emigrated to Berlin last year to reap the bounty that that techno mecca affords.) As this decade has progressed, Seattle has become a fertile source of e-music greatness and a desirable destination for many world-class DJs and producers to flaunt their skills. And, of course, Decibel Festival justifiably has earned worldwide respect and acclaim throughout its three outstanding years of existence. What Decibel has accomplished in the audio/visual realm on its shoestring budget has been phenomenal.
For some, undoubtedly, my departure is cause for celebration—like having a tumor excised. So be it; I understand. I'm sorry if I failed to cover your night or neglected to review your album; I can't write about everything, although if I'd remained here longer, chances are I would have devoted ink to your project or event. Better luck with whoever takes over my beat.
While we're dwelling on negatives, here's a message to all the backstabbers and shit-talkers: May your Seratos die a thousand humiliating deaths and your vinyl warp each time you DJ. May your MySpace pages be sabotaged by nefarious hackers.
But let's not leave on a sour note. In this column, I would like to pay tribute to all the producers, groups, DJs, promoters, organizations, record stores, sound people, labels, and scene supporters that made my tenure here rewarding. In no particular order, I thank those who've moved on and those who continue to hold it down with panache. You all deserve boldfaced fonts and hyperlinks...
Jerry Abstract. Sean "Nordic Soul" Horton. Kris Moon. Kristina Childs. Randy "Caro" Jones. Steven "Bruno Pronsato" Ford. Jeff Samuel. Jeff "Lusine" McIlwain. Misha. Eddie Nonog. Andy "ndCv" Seaver. KJ Sawka. Ephraim Alexander (RIP). Greg Skidmore. Patrick "Electrosect" Haenelt. Paul Edwards. Jon McMillion. Tekgnosis. Bill "Burdfur Is Green Feathers" Finsel. Aron Schoppert. Lawrence "DJ Collage" Chatman. Ben "Splinters" Torrence. Bookmobile. Choncey Langford. Fortune Kiki.
Zach "Zapan" Huntting. Fourthcity. Shameless. Decibel. Sensory Effect. Lo_Fi. Kinoko. Filastine. Maga Bo. Infernal Noise Brigade. Jacob London. Matt "Mister Leisure" Corwine. Mat "Not Boyfriend Material" Anderson. Justin "Milkplant" Pennell. Ear Venom. Patrick "Syphilis Sauna" Urn. Noisettes. Joy Von Spain. Davey Schmitt. Riz Rollins. Greg Jaspan. Kid Hops. IQU. Kento. Steven Severin. Colin Johnson. SunTzu Sound. DJ Tawney. Mike "Boyd Main" Lakeman. Shawn "DJ Struggle" Krali. Eric "DJ FITS" Grandy. Fourcolorzack. DJ Recess. Lincolnup.
Kamran "Son of Rose" Sadeghi. Yann Novak. Wyndel Hunt. Tyler Potts. Hakea. Dragon's Eye Recordings. Truckasaurus. Foscil. Matt "DJ Introcut" Moroni. Light in the Attic. Supreme. Sureshot. Library Science. Lawnchair Generals. Prince Charming. Philosophy Major. MC Confuz. NAHA. Miss Kick. Brandy Westmore. Brian Willoughby. U.S.E. Cancer Rising. Specs One. Wall of Sound. Jive Time. Respect. Easy Street. Tone. Sonic Boom. Everyday Music. Zion's Gate. Platinum. Rainy Dawg. Vance Galloway. Jefferson Petrey. OseaO. Robert Rudas. Aaron Bolton. Adam "Syzygy" Kipnis. Matthew "Eluvium" Cooper.
Rama/Krnl.Panic. Scientific American. Mr. Piccolo. FCS North. Plastiq Phantom. KFO. David "Module" Farrell. Hidden Habitat DJs. DJ Supsence. Sublime Frequencies/Abduction. Na. Bonus. PlentyFace. Tom "Codebase" Butcher. Soov. Alex Ruder. Gavin Dahl. Scratchmaster Joe. Rafael Anton Irisarri. Donte Parks. Ario. Skye Williamson. Nicolae White. Steve Sawada. Kurt B. Reighley. Sam Mickens. Reita "Dialing In" Piecuch. Velella Velella. No Tomorrow. Electric Birds. Steve Fisk. Obelus. CHAC. Lance Lockarm. Ffej. Head Like a Kite. Travis Baron. Herzog. Amp Buzz. Anyone who augmented my headspace.
Sorry if I forgot anyone. See you at the next Decibel, I hope.