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decibel-festival

Decibel Festival, like many other contemporary festivals that straddle the dwindling line between underground and overground forms of dance music, was heavy (to say the least) on four-on-the-floor house and techno. In fact, the festival’s adherence to technical linearity was so strong that one could posit that the steady pulse of a kick drum defined Decibel 2014. From the late night Ostgut Ton showcase at Q Nightclub to Phuture’s TB-303 jams, house and techno from the world over could be found at Decibel, but the respective genres’ British and German constructions took center stage. This created something of a dilemma for a team looking for more rhythmic variance and, shall we say, a global purview than your standard techno bro fest. Fortunately, the Decibel lineup provided pockets of brilliance in the form of jungle, footwork, grime and kuduro, allowing us to indulge in gaudy, kick drum-heavy performances from T. Williams, Wolf+Lamb, Nadastrom and more.

On Wednesday night, Arca and Total Freedom, with music video art auteur Jesse Kanda providing visual accompaniment on a huge LED screen, took to EMP’s Sky Church with a vengeance, weaving syncopated kuduro and dembow rhythmic patterns into a number of contemporary pop hits. The Sky Church, a massive room in a corporate music mausoleum, is an odd venue to hold a genre and gender bending performance from three prodigiously talented artists, but a small, dedicated crowd, equal measures repulsed by and smitten with Kanda’s Vine compilation-meets-high concept body art, was up for the challenge proffered by the CDJ wielding deejays. A percentage of the crowd was even made up of holdovers from Max Cooper’s technically proficient, but disappointingly linear performance (the following night’s dancer-assisted showcase featuring Cooper was supposedly far superior) that preceded Arca’s takeover, a less surprising development than one might expect considering the breadth of interests and knowledge among the Decibel crowd.

Hit the jump for the totality of our Decibel coverage…

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Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone. While most of you are probably out getting into all sorts of illicit shenanigans, we’ve got a quick tidbit for you. Dutch artist Martyn, who released his latest album (Ghost People) on Brainfeeder, is featured in this week’s BBC Essential Mix. Pete Tong has managed to bring in quite a few impressive names to the show including Azari & III, L-Vis 1990 and Scuba, but this is by far my favorite of the bunch. The mix features exclusive cuts from Jacques Greene, Trevino and Jon Convex, who all happen to be on Martyn’s own 3024 label. The mix also features the new Four Tet/Burial track (“Nova”), some L-Vis 1990 and Boddika, transitioning from between techno and slower bass cuts with ease. Stream the mix below and check out the full track list after the jump.

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