Technology with attitude

Kinetic III Moves the Pacific Science Center

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On Saturday evening at the Pacific Science Center there was not a lecture on chemistry, a school bus tour of the Science Playground, or a 3D show at the IMAX. Seattle’s science museum was instead filled with the kinetic energy of hundreds of dancers, musicians, and artists who came together to raise hell at the annual event Kinetic, produced by Infinite Connections. The night was a living, breathing, dancing mix of beats and butterflies, dinosaurs and digital remixes, tide pools and trance, electronic music and museum madness.

This year’s Kinetic III was a much anticipated party; Northwest Tekno had over 1300 posts (BUMP! SNAP!) devoted to the event, lasting from 9PM to 4AM. The dance party started off with a flashy fire performance and for the first three hours all of the exhibits in the Pacific Science Center were open; everyone ran around like kids checking out the big museum. In the Tropical Butterfly House girls with glittery green hair caught bright blue butterflies on their pink fishnet-covered palms and boys with fauxhawks and chains in their faces gently pet starfish and nudibranchs in the Saltwater Tide Pool. Some of the ravers brought pillows and blankets to lay on the floor at the midnight laser show, and plenty others brought cash for the three bar areas set up, one incongruently in a children’s play area. The outside smoking section was huge and stocked with tons of picnic tables so the dancers could catch their breath and a Camel in the cool night air under the glowing purple arches of the Science Center and spaceship Spaceneedle.

But this party is all about movement, and music and dance dominated the Kinetic experience. In fact the kinetic energy produced by the dancers could probably have powered the museum for a week. The three main stages played trance, house, and electro; everyone could find their home groove and everyone did.

The Uniting Souls animal house was the first music room encountered, and househead deejays Ramiro, Derrick Deepvibez, and Jay West put four on the floor with live music accompaniment from Ari Joshua on guitar and Sklobot on saxophone. The crowd responded well to the mix of electronic beats and live instrumentation; it’s a melange many don’t get to hear too often though they should. Around the corner in the Insect Village was the IOSIS Art Party with an intriguing variety of visual art and all the trance and psy-trance you could ever want to freak out to. Blue Spectral Monkey and Osiris Indriya amongst others kept the dance floor freaking out for hours, only the Madagascar hissing cockroaches seemed indifferent to the progressive sound vibrations saturating the room, which is probably a good thing. For chilling out, the Dinosaur Room was the place to be with floaty, dreamy downtempo provided by the Chickenhed Crew.

I found my home for the night on the dance floor in the Broken Disco Electro Playhouse; the lineup from the four music collectives Decibel, Fourthcity, Sensory Effect, and Shameless was on fire and the dance floor was straight going off for hours. Novatron vs. Shapeshifter was a battle where everyone won; Jerry Abstract and Nordic Soul spun as Abstract Soul and the crowd loved it, especially the glow-stick girls in the back. Headliner Knifehandchop from Toronto did not disappoint but the killer set of the night was delivered at 2AM by Naha, who lathered her side of the museum into a fevered frenzy with her eclectic breakcore style and energetic, inspiring performance. Packed with smiling faces, flailing arms, and crazy legs, the mad delirium on the floor was the best dance riot of the night thanks to Naha’s potent beat flinging. Such was the consensus at the afterparties which raged after Kinetic III for hours and hours; most people’s comments went something like this: “OMG did you catch Naha’s set? It was F*ING INCREDIBLE! INSANE! My legs are so sore now. Can you pass me a beer?” etc. Missed Naha? Catch her this Saturday night at Photosythesis 0.2 at the Transcendent Church of Bass battling glitchmaster Noisemaker which will be a supersick war of whomps, a blitzkrieg of bass and a barrage of booty shakin’. I wouldn’t miss it if my feet were missing.

Parties are always more fun when there is something anarchistic about them, the fun lovers who go out and dance for hours every week aren’t your typical black- and beige-wearing limp celery sticks on the bus going home to watch sitcom reruns. We want unconventional experiences and atypical nights that will add up to amazing, unique lives. Mainstream is a dirty word; average days are unacceptable. Closing a museum like the Pacific Science Center for a giant party is like throwing a rave in a church; bucking the establishment reminds us that we’re not all clones, no sheep here, we are alive and we dance all night to remind ourselves that life is short. Like children, our priority is to play and have fun, and the positive energy and happy hearts produced at the Kinetic III prove that just maybe we are onto something.

And no one at Kinetic III will ever forget that night; most are no doubt already planning to attend Kinetic IV as well as Magnetic IV this fall, Kinetic’s sister celebration hosted by the same music collectives. The party was a bit pricey, $21 presale and $30 at the door, but well worth it as you not only receive a huge musical experience to imbibe but also have the whole Pacific Science Center to explore. My only tiny moan about Kinetic III is this, and I think you will all agree: the party should last until 6AM. Then again, they don’t call me Dance Fever 5000 for nothin’.

Do you agree with me? Think I’m full of it? Whose set did you think was the best, and how would you make the next Kinetic even better? Comment below and let me know!