When attempting to describe electronic music, natural and organic are usually quite far down on the list of adjectives used. But Saturday's Decibel Fest 2015 Sublime Showcase showed Seattle how the natural and organic can be beautifully integrated into cold and computing machines to make captivating music. The stacked line up of Gilligan Moss, Manatee Commune, Taylor McFerrin and Bonobo all uniquely showed the sold-out Showbox just how sublime electronic music can be. Gilligan Moss has been gaining traction since touring with Glass Animals and releasing a great remix of their track "Gooey". The producer showed that he has plenty more in his arsenal than just a one off remix though, playing his frantic version of electronic music with the help of one other musician. Reminiscent of a hyperactive Bonobo, Gilligan Moss has a good sense of how to make repetitive appealing, creating tension in his tracks that is escalated in the live setting. While the New York-based producer's set was impressively live for such a new artist, I couldn't help but imagine what it would of been like with another musician or two and live drums. It will definitely be exciting to see where this guy goes, as he is making some addictively creative music and backing it up with quite the live set up.
Washington native Manatee Commune took the Showbox stage next with his always impressive one-man set up. Every time he plays a show, it seems that he has mastered another instrument or added something new to his live set. Dancing between drums, guitar and violin, he expertly accented his electronic music with live instrumentation. His creativity with organic samples is always refreshing, and the addition of live instrumentation just takes his music to the next level. It's clear why he is going on tour with Emancipator, and next time he is in the Showbox it very well may be for a headlining show.
Filling the shoes of Bobby McFerrin is no small task, but Taylor McFerrin showed the Showbox that he is more than up to the job. The Brainfeeder artist looped his own beatboxing, sang and played jazzy keys, proving he was more than capable at delivering his jazz drenched electronic stylings as a one man show. The otherworldly music paired with the well curated lights to create a fluid set that quickly had the Showbox crowd swaying in a trance like state.
Bonobo was last on the bill of Sublime, as Simon Green was set to close out the night spinning tunes. When the lineup was initially released, it was surprising that a DJ set was headlining a night filled with so many good live acts. But as the night waned on, Green definitely validated Decibel Festival's choice. Transitioning from Bonobo tracks to more energetic house and back again (with the occasional remix thrown in), the set was well balanced and a blast in a venue full of Bonobo fans.
One prominent feature of Decibel Festival is the way its schedule breaks down into rather meticulously set showcases. Unlike most other festivals, in which entry to one location likely grants access to every stage, Decibel also sells individual tickets to each show as an alternative to more expensi…
In the ocean of electronic music at Decibel, we found some hip hop beautifully integrated in. Beat Alchemy on Saturday night at the Crocodile, focused around Mick Jenkins and was a brilliant mixture of hip hop and electronica.