Decibel Festival Recap 2012

October 01, 2012

Decibel Festival was fantastic this year, as always. There were two nights where I picked less than stellar showcases but the other three I chose were beyond expectations. Not having a pass this year, I put a lot more effort into researching the artists before settling on events. It was a daunting task at first since I had heard of barely anyone on the extensive bill, however, with the Internet's help I discovered some amazing new artists and favorite new mixes by scouring Spotify, Soundcloud, XLR8R and Youtube (peep my pre-festival mix on Spotify). I got out on the dancefloor, absorbed a sh*t-ton of bass (with earplugs of course), and made musical memories to last a lifetime. Or at least until next year! Long live Decibel Festival!

Here are my favorite mixes and finds by artists of Decibel Festival 2012:

Mimosa rocked Showbox at the Market for the Bass Cadets showcase. "I'm just a 24-year-old kid living a dream", he said. Boy, did he get a giant room of people moving. A little bit dirty hip hop, a little bit dubstep...this guy rocked my socks off. Best show of Decibel Festival I experienced, hands-down.

Machinedrum & Braille make up the electronic duo Sepalcure. Their set at the Baltic Room for the Hotflush Showcase was forward-thinking and very danceable. Their sound is bouncy, bass-heavy and an interesting blend of influences: dubstep, twostep, African rhythms and house. Braille's solo set earlier in the night was fantastic as well—these are some of my favorite artists for sure.

George Fitzgerald came on after Braille and changed up the musical style a bit from future-thinking tribal/electro/two-step beats into more nostalgic house music—a gutsy move when people are grooving so hard and anticipating Sepalcure's set later— but he seriously rocked it. The crowd danced harder than ever, hands to the sky and good vibes all over the place. An abundance of pulsing bass and funky Daft Punk-esque electro sounds made this a memorable set. Looking forward to hearing more from this guy.

Because I had a bike race earlier on Saturday I couldn't make it for all of the Do Over, a free outdoor show at the Broadway Performance Hall, and I am still bummed about it. I showed up late and immediately fell in love; sun, beats and great people watching. LA beatmaker Nosaj Thing played a really good set that I was sorry ended so soon. I can only imagine how great Dam Funk, jRocc and the other Do-Over guest artists were!

Do-Over Bonus:

Best of Quantic Mix by JRocc

I didn't see Max Cooper play since he was on at the same time as Sepalcure but I loved this mix found on Twitter the day before the Festival started. "Over the course of an hour, Cooper frequently lays down a steady beat, but isn't afraid to move away from pounding rhythms to indulge in a melodic detour or a pop-minded impulse. Favoring sounds that are clean, even pristine, there's occasionally a sort of delicate feel to the proceedings, a sensation that's only strengthened by the producer's precise mixing." -XLR8R

Jerome LOL played great tunes to a sun-soaked late afternoon crowd at the Do Over. So I was excited to see him play again at the Friends of Friends Showcase alongside Groundislava, Salva and Shlohmo on Sunday night. He played great tunes for a while but seemed on the edge of something—possibly exploding—just before taking his set off a cliff. Pretty sure he got kicked out of the club for being too drunk immediately after an awkward finish to his set. Groundislava followed with some interesting song selections and better DJ'ing but he had a serious case of musical A.D.D. that made him hard to follow on the dancefloor. I didn't have the energy to stick around for the main acts. Not the best night at Decibel but I am still happy to have heard these guys.

Also, a LOL Boys mix I found & loved, with the exception of the Call Me Maybe remix. ;)

Favorite tune of the festival:

Bobby Womack - Love Is Gonna Lift You Up (Julio Bashmore Remix)

Friends of Friends label bossman Lazy Brow dropped this tune right before handing things off to Jerome LOL at the Baltic Room. The night went downhill after that but this tune will remain one of my favorites of the entire festival (and his whole set was fantastic).