Attention dance-music aficionados yearning for a warehouse party featuring hard-as-fuck techno played on an eight-cabinet Turbosound rig: Seattle promoter Dan Dagen feels your pain. Therefore, he's booked two of America's toughest DJ/producers to realize his ambition to host in our city artists who possess the drawing power to lure the masses to Europe's premier techno venues: New York/Berlin's Adam X (performing live) and Portland's Bryan Zentz (DJing).
Dagen is a diehard champion of underground electronic music (and a bedroom DJ with excellent taste), and he's gone to great lengths to organize the type of show rarely thrown in Seattle due to logistical hurdles such as noise levels, the procurement of a punishing sound system, and an off-the-radar space—approximately 2,000 square feet—to accommodate it all.
Explaining why he went to all this trouble to book these in-demand artists, Dagen says, "I put [Zentz] in the short-list class of truly big-league producers of the Northwest, the caliber that would actually draw crowds at Tresor in Berlin. Adam X is doing this rhythmic noise/EBM/industrial/techno sort of sound on a similar frequency to what Pan Sonic, recent Monolake, British Murder Boys, etc. do. [It's] a very raw and aggressive style that somehow finds a way to be highly infectious on a dance floor. I like the brutal, scary techno that manages to make people dance.
"A lot of people bemoan the state of the scene," Dagen continues, "but have no intention of lifting a finger to do anything about it." He's lifted a helluva lot more than a finger, and consequently, many asses are gonna shake till the wee-est of hours on November 22.
Check out Dagen's DJ mix (as Spirals) at www.thankyouforlistening.org (go to the Uninfected Techno post).
For a group named after two of the most heinous drugs extant, Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak—Wim Plug, Oscar De Jong, Mark Kneppers (they expand to a septet live)—aren't really a mind-altering proposition. They made inroads in the States with their 2005 album Boogie Angst, which is much more boogiecentric than angsty. The disc abounds with easily digestible (yet not cloyingly so) lounge funk laced with blaxploitation-soundtrack flourishes and big beat gestures. This year's Plastic People contains the kind of amiable house music and breaks cuts favored by radio jocks like KCRW's Jason Bentley. The single "Squeeze Me" comes off like the Crystal Method jamming with Tom Jones; the chorus—sung by Ben Westbeech—recalls the late-'60s hit "You've Made Me So Very Happy" (made famous by Blood Sweat & Tears and Lou Rawls). It's slightly left of middle-of-the-road fare for casual fans of dance music. Noted musical authority Perez Hilton described K&S as "Amy Winehouse meets Moby." So now you know.
Adam X, Bryan Zentz, Mathew Anderson, Brandon Plank, and Spirals perform Sat Nov 22, a Seattle warehouse, 854-5370, 9 pm–5 am, $15, 21+; Kraak & Smaak, Nordic Soul, and Michael Manahan perform Wed Nov 26, Nectar, 9 pm–2 am, $10, 21+.