Giraffage, Maxxi Soundsystem, Pezzner, Lusine, J. Alvarez
DIAL UP OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES WITH "CHILLTRAP" DUDE GIRAFFAGE
Dial Up—a new weekly sponsored by No Sleep that happens every Wednesday at Q—looks like it'll be a zeitgeisty celebration of electronic music's more chilled, R&B-fortified realms. Resident selectors D'Nelski (KEXP and Hush Hush Records' Alex Ruder), Data Breaker favorite DJAO, and DJ Hojo possess deep knowledge of this territory, and headliner Giraffage (Charlie Yin) is one of the West Coast's foremost purveyors of heavily FX'd, post-hiphop lovemaking tracks, as releases like Comfort and Needs prove. Someone on the internet called Giraffage's music "chilltrap," and that coinage is just annoying enough to work for me. With Dutty Wilderness and visuals by Frankie Crescioni. Q Nightclub, 8 pm, free, 21+.
MAXXI SOUNDSYSTEM, PEZZNER
Just because we're in the deadest zone of the calendar year for clubbing doesn't mean the Decibel organization is going to hibernate. Oh, no. This is the first of two dB events happening this week (see below for the other one). All evidence points to Brighton, England's Maxxi Soundsystem (Sam Watts) filling Q's luxurious environs with sensual, panoramic house music that's low on cheese and high on tease. Bloke seems like a class act, as DJ support from moguls like Morgan Geist and Tiefschwarz attest. So is Seattle's Pezzner, a veteran of the house/techno scene who's escalated to world-traveler status over the last five years. His 2013 sophomore album, Last Night in Utopia, exemplifies sophisticated, immaculately detailed house music geared for illicit nocturnal activities. With Wesley Holmes. Q Nightclub, 9 pm, $10 adv, 21+.
LUSINE'S GLEAMING TECHNO POP, J. ALVAREZ'S HEADY ELECTRO
Seattle producer Lusine is the anti-Deadmau5 or the anti–Steve Aoki or the anti–[insert another style-over-substance EDM character here]. In other words, Lusine (aka Jeff McIlwain) is all substance, no flash or gimmicks. For more than 14 years, he's simply made very good electronic music, moving from industrial-leaning IDM to more melodic abstract electronica to smooth, pop-oriented techno and down-tempo styles. He's also scored a few films, including David Gordon Green's Snow Angels and The Sitter. Lusine's last two albums for Ghostly International—2009's A Certain Distance and 2013's The Waiting Room—have seen him flexing more ambitious melodic muscles and polishing his textures to a radiant gleam while keeping the beats punchy but never bludgeoning. Seattle's J. Alvarez (aka 214, real name Chris Roman) is a master of cerebral-yet-body-poppin' electro that doesn't sound embalmed in the atmosphere of Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" video—a rare feat in the 21st century. (All proceeds from tonight's show go toward the medical expenses incurred by Decibel Festival artist management director Blake Peterson.) With Nordic Soul vs. Michael Manahan. Re-bar, 10 pm–3 am, $10 adv/$15 DOS, 21+.