My mailbox overfloweth with electronic-music releases. Forthwith some thoughts about six notable ones.
ANOTHER ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN, Patience (n5MD; n5md.com). With remarkable ambient albums being as plentiful as good news from the Middle East, Patience is most welcome indeed. AEM (Jase Rex) beautifies and tranquilizes your headspace with understatedly graceful melodies and alluring textures that recall placid IDM's mid-'90s heyday. Patience is aural wheatgrass, and I mean that in the best way possible.
ALEC EMPIRE, Futurist (DHR; digitalhardcore.com). Empire's decline has been tragic. Once one of the most innovative, diverse, and exciting producers working (proof: The Destroyer, Low on Ice, Hypermodern Jazz 2000.5), the ex—Atari Teenage Riot frontman has become a boring rock-star wannabe. Futurist is brittle, bloviating baloney that's the opposite of its title and as embarrassing as Primal Scream's latest hackneyed attempt at "rebellious" rock. Time to reevaluate, Alec.
FLUORESCENT GREY, Lying on the floor mingling with god in a Tijuana motel room next door to a veterinary supply store (Isolate; isolaterecords.com). Shocker disc of the year. Obscure Bay Area producer Robbie Martin debuts with an astonishingly bizarre collection of writhing, agglutinated tone poems (think EE Cummings cut up by William Burroughs while Farmers Manual and Zoviet*France improvise—on DMT). It is the soundtrack to the extraordinary visions you see when you ingest drugs whose names you can't spell or pronounce.
MAGDA, She's a Dancing Machine (M-nus; m-nus.com). Magda follows in Richie Hawtin's micromanaging, hundreds-of-edits-per-hour style with this new mix CD. Most of the techno atoms she uses to build her minimal-techno masterpiece come from Hawtin's potent M-nus roster (Marc Houle, Ryan Crosson, Plastikman, Run Stop Restore, I.A. Bericochea, Magda herself), but she also weaves in several cuts by Seattle luminary Bruno Pronsato as well as glittering strands from Duoteque, Larry Heard, DJ Koze, Pantytec, Metro Area, and Villalobos. The effect is like burrowing into dance music's internal organs and discovering what makes them tick, thrum, gurgle. Magda's mix facilitates a new appreciation for minimalism's deceptively bustling activity.
RAN SLAVIN, Insomniac City CD/DVD (Mille Plateaux; mille-plateaux.net). Highbrow German label Mille Plateaux is back! Like Electric Birds and Pan American, Israeli audiovisual artist Slavin creates emotionally evocative ambience with synth drones and spacious guitar spangles that conjures urban anomie with subtlety (think the opposite of Hollywood scoring). The accompanying visuals for Insomniac City are suitably hypnotic and ominous.
TRENTEMØLLER, The Last Resort (Poker Flat; pokerflat-recordings.com). If raves were introverted, interiorized events that occurred strictly within one's head, they would sound like Trentemøller's The Last Resort. The Danish producer creates gorgeous, subdued techno that uplifts in the most muted, nuanced way imaginable. This limited-edition double disc already feels like a work historians will be citing as a classic of mid-'00s microhouse.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 1
TOMMIE SUNSHINE A collaborator with DJ Hell, Felix Da Housecat, Mylo, James Murphy, and Arthur Baker, this graybeard makes kids half his age go wild in clubs with his action-packed remixes of indie-rock songs while getting booked to DJ hoity-toity fashion houses' soirees. Life is good for Tommie Sunshine, who transforms everything he touches into boldfaced, italicized fun. He describes his music as post-apocalyptic disco punk and his MySpace tagline is, "There are plenty of lines, but nobody's waiting." You are so there. With Barry Weaver, Figo, DJ Franki Chan, DJ Colin. Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000, 9 pm—2 am, free, 21+.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 2
DJ ASSAULT, RANDY JONES, LINCOLNUP Because Seattle didn't get enough "Ass & Titties" the last time he was in town, Detroit's DJ Assault returns to throw more booty-bass tracks in your sweaty faces, you gluttons for bunishment. Playing against type, Seattle's Randy Jones comes to the decks with his own take on the excitable style of techno that strenuously endeavors to induce gluteus maxima into oscillating in a most agitated manner. Plus Lincolnup, who runs the Bootylib monthly at Des Amis, has a PhD in Funknology. Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000, 9 pm—2 am, free, 21+.
BATTLE OF THE MEGA-MIXES The concept: 10 of the region's top DJs get 10 minutes each to spin whatever the hell they want before an esteemed panel of judges (DJ Eddie, Module, and a "celebrity guest judge"). The two highest-ranking jocks then square off in a "death match," which the audience judges. The winner receives a new Rane TTM 56 DJ Mixer. Anything goes, and with competitors like Kris Moon, Nordic Soul, Kristina Childs, Samuel Kirkland, Introcut, DJ Recess, Scratchmaster Joe, and others wheeling and steeling, surprising thrills are sure to abound. More info: myspace.com/megamixbattle. Baltic Room, 1207 E Pine St, 625-4444, 8 pm—2 am, 21+.
BUMBERSHOOT PODCAST Hear me ramble off the top of my head about some of the acts (Jamie Lidell, Lady Sovereign, A Tribe Called Quest, NOMO, etc.) that I recommend checking out at www.thestranger.com/bumbershoot.