2895472379_a5cf7192c0.jpgCarl Craig photo by Jeanine Anderson from the Strangr Flickr pool

Seattle local and new Ghostly signee The Sight Below got off to a late start at the Baltic Room's Ghostly International showcase last night, which already had a line out the door at 9:30. Once he got started, though, it was sweet—slow motion, television tube distorted video clips looping above his head while he drew washes off smeared guitar sounds and minimal beats out of his laptops. The comparison that's coming up most with this act is the Field, and while there are some similarities to their dreamy, shoegazy sounds, their methods and their results are markedly different. Where the Field builds his ambiences out of discrete, finely-chopped microsamples, the Sight Below generates his using guitars and pedals, leading to one indistinguishable mass of sound just punctuated by bass, kick drums, and hi-hats. The Field is pointilist, creating the illusion of a constant sound by getting your ears to fill in the blanks, while the Sight Below is impressionist, blurring sounds together with no space left over to fill in. It was a good show to start the evening with, as conducive to spacing out as it was mildly warming to the dance floor.

Up at Neumos, Audion took over from Orlando Voorn, who left him with some low volume loop (and one sudden, jarring stab of sound), practically dead air and hard to tell if it was the tail end of Voorn's set or just some fiddling around between sets music. In any case, Audion had to bring the room up from almost nothing to peak hour, and his set was sensibly one long, unfurling build-up, starting with the more minimal sound typical of Audion's most recent releases and transitioning into harder and more acidic material in the end. The set did its job, stirring the dance floor in anticipation of Carl Craig, but I think it peaked early during a passage where a vocal sample saying, "Burn it down" looped just off time with Audion's bass pulse, beats, and synth lines.

Carl Craig took the stage to some big, bombastic classical fanfare. He dropped the beat and his set was instantly on 10, jumping right into peak hour thump with no delay and staying there for the entirety of his set. He played "Spastik" and "the Bells" and a lot of techier tracks in the first half of his set, switching to housier numbers marked with perfect piano chords, like "Strings of Life" and "Good Life," towards the end. A lot of times you don't know what to expect with the "legends" of a genre—will they lean more on their status than on the sharpness of their skills? But there was no need to worry about Craig; he was fantastic. It was honestly just the most relentless DJ set I've seen in a long time—it wasn't the longest set in the world, but it still never, ever let up for even a minute, it was just on. Afterwards, Sean Horton hopped on the mic to thank the performers and the crowd and direct revelers to the afterparty, and his voice was just shot. One more day left, and it looks like it's going to be gorgeous—time to go get me some BBQ.