Technology with attitude

KODE9 at Chop Suey: Come to the Dark Side, It Is Your Destiny

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GUEST BLOGGER: DANCEFEVER5000

First I just want to say that any condo owners on Capitol Hill who have ever complained about noise from clubs can go straight to you-know-where: I’ll even weave you a hand basket. You move into a vibrant and colorful neighborhood and then proceed to bland it down to the color of your khaki pants with your lame sheep-calls for quiet. What, do you want the neighborhood to be as boring and uninspired as your lives? Oh right, you do, because the kids out rocking it and having fun dancing to loud music for all hours of the night remind you how freaking lame and shallow your existence based on the pursuit of material goods really is.

Turn it down! I need a good night’s sleep so I can get up and go to work and make more money and upgrade my IKEA living space! YOU are what is wrong with American society. You are not happy, and you know it, and it pisses you off that we can be so fulfilled listening to beats with our friends and drinking cheap beer with nary a luxury SUV in the parking garage. It is not Chop Suey‘s fault that you hate your lives. Move to the Eastside already where you belong, start having kids and drop out of life.

WOW! Rant over! So I obviously thought the show should have been louder; but this is not Kode9 or Chop Suey or anyone’s fault besides the pansy-ass City Council and the Mayor and the aforementioned condo owners. I don’t know anyone who owns a condo near Chop Suey, but if you do, please by all means forward this link. I would love to chit-chat with the lame-O’s.

To be fair, I have a huge pro-noise bias; just about every night you can find me on the dance floor getting fresh with a speaker screaming “LOUDER! LOUDER!” at the DJ. I do prefer the loud side of life and will never understand how the wishes of one quiet-lover trump a dance floor of a hundred people who want it loud. I call bullshit.

On to the show review:

A big mix of people came out for the Tuesday night dubstep-mania; the crowd was filled with many random friends from different Seattle scenes, all there to check out what the legend Kode9 would throw down. I LOVE shows like this which mix up the cliques and bring people together, from the dreadlocked hippies to the hard-core breaks DJs to my work mates to a guy speaking French who just moved to Seattle that day from Belgium. The master of dubstep was brought to Seattle by Decibel which should make you tingly all over in anticipation for the upcoming Decibel Festival taking place in late September all over Capitol Hill, condo-owners be damned.

Dubstep is a weird genre which a lot of people don’t seem to get. I think it scares them. The wavering, syncopated sound was the first electronic music I listened to (unless you count the Gorillaz); I was living in New Zealand where the reggae scene is flipping redonkulous, off the charts, balls-out crazy- which means the dubstep party is right there behind it. I truly think that people who don’t like or don’t get dubstep are just scared of the bass whether they know it or not. More likely they are scared of what the bass will do to them, and maybe they should be because IT WILL MAKE YOU DANCE LIKE A FREAK. Deep down we are all bass sluts though, for real. I go absolutely crazy over the mad dissonant grooves; I have ‘give me the bass’ tattooed across my forehead in bold.

AND last night was the best dubstep show in Seattle I have seen in a while. I loved it all and had a freaking blast. Shocker, I know. Too big of a blast if you judge by my face-dragging this afternoon into work. Itchy and funkalicious sets by beautiful local boys Struggle and Kid Hops started the show at the perfect wobbly level. Call it blasphemy and get out the tar and feathers but I enjoyed dancing to Kid Hops’ set the most of the night. These two are absolute bad-ass DJs and you should experience them the next, and every, chance you get.

Kode9 came from another level though. His beats seeped out of a haunted home, crawling out of the dark shadows and up onto the dance floor, grabbing our ankles and our brains. His set was a searching introspection of the state of human existence, an aural illumination of the nihilistic free-fall through modernity that no one can stop. Kode9’s music speaks to a place in the furthest reaches of our consciousness, to the deepest parts of our heads and our bodies that still recall the tens of thousands of years of evolution when we danced to heavy drum beats on the African savannah in celebration of a hunt or a birth or a death. Humans love the bass, and no one can to deny it- just look at the surging popularity of all the bass-thick musical genres going on right now (ahem…glitch-hop, grindcore, laserbass…). It all goes back to the bass. Way back.

Kode9 goes there, with no reserves or apologies. He digs it up and lays it out raw and unfiltered. The lights stayed off at Chop Suey last night during his whole set which was perfect, as this was no laser-fest candy-kid acid-house rave. This was freaking serious. The wacky mix of minor chords and wonky rhythms made me wish I was dancing in a back alley of London, full of trash and buck-toothed rats and bums and leaky boxes, embracing the dirtiness of human existence, squatting in a filthy warehouse and making soup on a single propane burner to share with my new, unbathed friends. Yeah. It was that grimey and that real.

Kode9‘s music makes you embrace the dark side of human nature, the evil emperor within us all, a welcome out-breath for this sunshine-snappy girl. Dancing last night my knees just bent deeper and deeper until I was practically in the final stanzas of “Shout” (get a little bit softer now); perhaps it was my subconscious effort to get closer to the earth, the roots, the black dog within me. It worked.

So once again my show review verges on the philosophical over the technical; I am a recent convert to electronic music, I cannot call out tracks from mixes or drop names of festivals I went to back in ’95 or point out nuances in equipment. But I have an all-consuming, blazing passion for electronic music and I was not disappointed last night.

I left Chop Suey with a big fat smile across my head and spent the next three hours in Pioneer Square dancing my freckles off like a madwoman and it is safe to say that in writing this review my brain is not sunshine-fresh this afternoon. Evening. Though the mad beats should have been louder, Kode9 wrought his black magic on the crowd and brought to the surface an ominous and deep-seated feeling of grime and grit and filth which lives within us all and is an undeniable part of our psyche- even the shiny lives of the asshole condo owners.

Sorry yall, I read Sartre on the bus today. L’enfer c’est les autres. Just ask Harvey Danger.

Ya got something ta say? Think I’m full of it? Right on? Should shut the hell up about the darkness within us all? Do I write too damn much? Are you a black dog? Are you a condo-owner who is proud of your khaki life? For the love of dub, leave a comment.