There was more music on offer than ever at this year's installment of Decibel Festival, Seattle's internationally renowned annual electronic-music massive, and it was impossible to see it all. I missed a shit-ton of dubstep, including Benga, Boxcutter, and Caspa; the Seattle debut of German deep-techno powerhouse the Wighnomy Brothers; and the raved-about afterhours sets from Martyn and Move D. So it goes. Here are the highlights of what I managed to catch:

At the opening gala at the Seattle Art Museum on Thursday night, Tycho played a sweet set, blissfully ambient but subtly upbeat, performing alternately as one dude hunched behind a heavily wired laptop and as a trio joined by a guy on guitar and another on Moog synthesizer. Pretty guitar-plucking samples swam around head-bobbing beats buoyed by big synth swooshes that reached almost Fred Falke–ian levels of elation.

I'd seen Daedelus before, but never on a sound system with so much insane, gut-busting bass as was at Neumos for the aptly named Bass Lovers Unite! showcase on Saturday night. The seismic low end really revealed some startling new depths to dude's delightfully spazzy sample-mashing sound. The best bits: the seasonally inappropriate but still anthemic "Fair Weather Friends" ("when the weather gets warm..."), the epic M83 buildup into a soul horn break, Beirut's "Elephant Gun" pitched up to make Zach Condon's iconic baritone moan an almost unrecognizably high-spirited chorus, all chopped and spewed over aerobic double-time beats. As always, it was a pleasure watching Daedelus tapping the light-up grid of his Monome, every trigger hit with the most theatrical, wrist-flicking flourish imaginable.

Speaking of spastic, omnivorously sampling sets and hyped-up jazz hands, Gaslamp Killer in Volunteer Park on Sunday was no slouch himself. His fast-paced and unpredictable DJ set spanned from spacey '70s jazz funk to dubstep to hiphop to krautrock to Jimi Hendrix to ESG's perennially sampled "UFO" and all over the place in between, with plenty of charmingly hammy patter on the mic throughout.

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As was the case last year, Decibel went out with a big bang for its closing night on Sunday. Tim Exile purveyed his off-brand of goofily menacing improvisational beatboxing and live vocal looping (imagine Max Tundra crossed with Jamie Lidell on some harsh acid). Reagenz played an elegant, understated set of deep-pulsing techno propelled by live drum machinery and analog synths.

The big blowout, though, came from German techno duo Alter Ego, whose every track deployed monster synth riffs and thick, thumping beats. Standouts included a sped-up, synth-giggling "Jolly Joker"; the pecking, rubbernecking tone bends of "Chicken Shag"; the relentless propulsive rhythm and fried filter squelches of "Beat the Bush"; the enveloping chords of "Gary"; and last but not least, the still unfuckwithable and aptly titled 2004 anthem "Rocker," which the duo played with a little extra wood block (the new "more cowbell"?). As expected, their set tore the place down, a perfectly exhilarating and exhausting end to another outstanding Decibel weekend. recommended