Could this be the cure for what ails you? Dr. Troy, head of Seattle-based reissue label Medical Records, is hosting a dance party called Pop Surgery with Nathan Chambers. They're filling a rarely examined void in the city's club circuit, namely, "little-heard coldwave, minimal synth, and Italo-disco jams," as Chambers puts it—basically, the pretechno synth music Medical champions. Pop Surgery is a free event held in the Rendezvous Grotto, a good-vibe-y basement spot that should be utilized more. While some of the territory explored by the good doctor and his assistant has gotten love from the erstwhile Re-bar monthly Trouble Dicso, Pop Surgery looks like it will cut a bit deeper and wider into the electronic-music underground (pun intended, as always).
Upon request, Dr. Troy sent me a long list of artists who'll probably get deck time at Pop Surgery. They include early Human League, John Foxx, Giorgio Moroder, Alexander Robotnick, John Carpenter, Crash Course in Science, Cluster, early Kraftwerk, Visage, and Deutsche Wertarbeit. Sounds like we're in for a heady, cool night. Thanks, Doc.
Philadelphia DJ/producer Josh Wink is a veteran of the '90s acid-house wars who's gone on to make some better-than-expected minimal, dubby techno as well as a sporadically great song-oriented record that sometimes veered away from his strengths—basically, hypnotic, low-slung, sexy dance-floor jams. Wink's Profound Sounds series of mixes proves he's still a keen facilitator of bare-bones techno that won't leave you dry—in other words, "Sprung Minimism" as a track title on his 2003 album 20 to 20 has it. Any jock with Jeff Mills and Hardfloor tracks consistently in his sets deserves your attention.
N-Type has cooked up mixes for prestigious DJ franchises like Dubstep Allstars (he did Vol.05) and Rinse (he did 09). With such lofty credentials, the London-based N-Type certainly has access to the newest, finest tracks from upper-echelon dubstep artists. The aforementioned discs feature N-Type's predilection for the rougher end of the bass-music spectrum—which means sets heavy with cuts by Skream, Benga, Coki, LD, and Headhunter, and performances laden with rugged beats, internal-organ-shuddering bass frequencies, glowering atmospheres, and the odd soulful vocal interjection. Dubstep DJs from London are like techno producers from Germany, distance runners from Kenya, and foul, unbalanced news from Fox: You're pretty much guaranteed the crème de la crème of whatever they're peddling.
Pop Surgery happens Thurs Dec 2, Rendezvous Grotto, 9 pm, free, 21+; Josh Wink performs Sat Dec 4, See Sound Lounge, 9 pm, $10 before 11 pm/$15 after, 21+; N-Type, Kid Hops, Michael Manahan, Grym, Aksion perform Wed Dec 8, Chop Suey, 9 pm, $10, 21+.