Not content with arranging the biggest Decibel Festival in its five-year history back in September, Sean Horton (aka Nordic Soul) is resurrecting his elite electronic-music brand for one last heck-raising hurrah in 2008, filling the last two nights of this mostly sad annum with sizzling lineups. It's doubtful there will be a better New Year's Eve entertainment option for those who like their electronic music brainy, body-moving, and bacchanalian.
Tuesday's bill, dubbed "Best of Bass: DB 2008 Highlights," kicks off with locals Seed and NovaTRON performing live. NovaTRON does that bass-samurai/dub-funk thing with panache—somewhere between Machinedrum and Scorn. L.A. producer Deru kills it every time he plays here, and somehow I doubt he'll forget his A game for this shindig. Deru's sexy-MF glitch-hop stands out like a, well, you know, in a morass of awkward-ass Poindexters working similar territory.
Philadelphian mellow electro-house seducer KiloWatts will likely not leave a dry pore (or panty) in the club. Headliner Jesse Rose (Dirtybird, Get Physical, Made to Play) jets in from Berlin to flaunt his leftfield house sensibilities for a DJ set sure to be on the quirky and rambunctious tip. Don't be surprised to hear Rose's collaboration with Hot Chip, "Forget My Name," and other highest uncommon denominator crowd-pleasers.
Wednesday's "Dirty Dancing" bill starts with Seattle stalwarts Nordic Soul and Michael Manahan dueling in a 2x4 DJ set. Their epicurean tech-house selections will transition nicely into Dave Pezzner's live performance. Half of the world-renowned Jacob London (the funniest house-music act in the biz), this local producer has been generating buzz for his punch-drunk tech-house productions. Check the three-part "Almost Here" for proof: It's deep yet playful dance-floor gold. Los Angeles techno legend John Tejada is one of those producers at whom other knob-twiddlers gawk in awe over his technical wizardry—usually done with old-school hardware. He's a master at subtly melodic, rhythmically intricate techno; Tejada's going to blow a lot of minds (but understatedly). His biggest club anthem is a self-fulfilling prophecy: "Sweat (on the Walls)." Last but most, Glasgow's Alex Smoke has been infusing minimal techno with maximal sound-design detailing and orchestral drama over the last few years to growing acclaim. You may wish you had a few extra hands to throw ceilingward while Smoke is onstage.
Go to Micro Decibel and you'll be saluting Horton and company on NYE, but probably cursing them by the evening of January 1, when your bass-battered, beat-sozzled head realizes what hit it. But it'll be worth the bangover. Happy '09, champ.
Jesse Rose, KiloWatts, Deru, NovaTRON, and Seed perform Tues Dec 30, Neumos, 8 pm–2 am, $15 adv/$20 DOS, 21+; Alex Smoke, John Tejada, Dave Pezzner, Michael Manahan vs. Nordic Soul perform Wed Dec 31, Neumos, 8 pm–2 am, $20 adv/$25 DOS/ $30 for both nights, 21+.