Decibel Festival almost killed me.

Friday kicked off with Simian Mobile Disco. I was initially disappointed they weren't playing a live set, as their live setup—a giant modular patchbay, a Korg MS-20, rows and rows of knobs—looks pretty impressive. But their DJ set was still a blast (I'd rank it as at least the second best of the night). They kicked off with Attack Decay Sustain Release opener "Sleep Deprivation," and throughout the set mixed about an even ratio of originals and other people's material. Highlights included the wildly fun "It's the Beat," the new Soulwax remix of LCD Soundsystem's "Get Innocuous" (as usual, a dance-floor killer from the brothers Dewaele), and the one-two punch of "Hustler" and Laid Back's "White Horse" set to a montage of a slow-motion galloping white horse and some serious '70s vintage coke dealers. The duo's mixing was confident and tight, and they looked to be having some fun when they weren't gently arguing over their CD booklet.

Switch stuck mostly to his own productions, including his awesome remix of Spank Rock's "Bump" and his ridiculous, pleasure-center assaulting "Apache" rework "A Bit Patchy." Switch's tracks are flawless, boasting truly sick beats and some of the gnarliest bass lines around. That said, Switch is a better producer than DJ—his mixing was functional but not impressive, though it was kind of nice to hear him noticeably adjust the occasional off beat, giving his twitching robot house an affable, human element.

Diplo's set wasn't the most technical I've seen out of him (his last Neumo's appearance, with his DVD scratching and beat-matching, was probably more impressive), but it was definitely the most fun. Kids rushed the stage to a remix of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Diplo showed more Seattle love, later dropping "Baby Got Back.") He mixed Justice vs. Simian's "We Are Your Friends" into "The Almighty Simon Joint." He played Technotronic. He played "Young Folks." He layered the Smashing Pumpkins' "Zero" over Bonde Do Role. He wrapped up with a mix of "Bombs over Baghdad" into Le Tigre's "Deceptacon." It was just that kind of crazy, populist dance party. And it was awesome.

On Friday night, Decibel suffered one unexpected low—Motor was denied entry at the border—but also one impressive high point in Truckasauras, who I gushed about here last week. Seattle's resident A/V geeks delivered as always. They debuted a new track made for Decibel that had more pulsing techno thump than anything the Truck has done so far—it was a more linear, less swaggering Truckasauras, a promising glimpse of the band's range and potential. They played two tracks with DJ Collage on the mic, the first of which, "Hold On," wins the award for best bass of the festival so far. Under the new Funktion-One speakers (a welcome permanent addition to Neumo's), the low tones rumbled up through the ground, vibrating my whole body. You forget how much of a difference those physical tones make until you feel them running through you—that bass instantly liquefies bones and loosens limbs, and suddenly you're moving. It's a good feeling.

Jacob London's electro wizardry reportedly killed up at Chop Suey, but I screwed up and stuck around Neumo's for Kill Memory Crash's vintage goth-industrial show. Kill Memory Crash has always kind of confounded me. They're on Ghostly International, one of the most prestigious, frequently forward-thinking electronic labels in the country, yet they're a total throwback—there's nothing about their sound that couldn't have been done in 1992. The band has been around since 1997, and they met in the mid '90s Detroit rave scene, so maybe they're just purists, rather than revivalists. Still, there's just nothing fresh about their sound, and I'm not old enough or of the particular disposition to feel any nostalgia for industrial's first wave. I couldn't get down with Guns 'n' Bombs' "all bangers" DJ set, though their remix and production work is fun and worth checking out.

I want to say that Jeff Samuel was the best performer of Saturday night, but my objective critical capacities were a little bit impaired by the time he tore up the Neumo's VIP Room. All I can say for sure is that I enjoyed the hell out of his techno-heavy set, and that the basement-level room was a fog of heat and humidity, packed with energetic revelers, and with just a few high-powered fans for relief. Upstairs, Speedy J played a fine set, more on the minimal side of things, and not quite as overwhelming as the rave reviews of his performance at last year's festival had me expecting. Red Pony's after-hours set at the Mercury was an unexpected highlight. I'd heard mixed reviews of her previous few live sets, but she was on point.

Frivolous and Phon.O—playing solo due to Chris De Luca also getting denied entry at the border—destroyed whatever hopes I'd had for a mellow Sunday night cooldown. Phon.O was especially fun, playing a set that wove seamlessly from German electro funk (Apparat's "Hold On") to crunk breaks to bumping electro, boasting bass at least as heavy as anything I'd heard at the festival.

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My ears are ringing. My body's aching. I can't wait for next year. recommended

egrandy@thestranger.com