Technology with attitude

Tech City Techno: Decibel Festival 2008

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Seattle is on the edge of an electronic music explosion, a fact that initially might seem highly incongruent to those living outside the Pacific Northwest as the city brings to the world-mind an image of a flannel-wearing latte-sipper writing folk songs on an acoustic guitar in the rain.

Look closer, though- behind that latte the gritty neo-hippie has an iPhone in her pocket which she will use to update her status on Twitter before riding her bike home and plunging into her makeshift studio to layer her soulful ballads with edgy electronic beats on state-of-the-art audio equipment. Seattle is the perfect stage for the next electronic music eruption; the city is poised on the sharpest razor blade of computer technology, which is now even more inseparable from music production and indeed arts culture as a whole than ever before. Art has been irrevocably intertwined with technology ever since humans used sticks to paint glyphs in caves, but now the indisputable union of music and art production with computer technology hits you in the face like a laptop on four shots of espresso. And there is no place in the world where this is more obvious than in the Emerald City of Seattle.

Epitomizing and propelling the burgeoning electronic music scene in Seattle is the fifth annual Decibel Festival which is a veritable rainstorm of kerosene on the fire of electronica that will fall on the city from September 25-28, 2008. The four-day annual Decibel International Festival of Electronic Music Performance, Visual Art and New Media will showcase over one hundred diverse artists from all over the world and will take place largely in the gritty and colorful neighborhood of Capital Hill in nearly a dozen venues. The Decibel Festival is one of the premier electronic music events in the U.S. and will be bringing big-name international acts like Jahcoozi, DeadMau5, and Carl Craig, nationally and regionally touring artists, and up-and-coming locals who are stoking the fires of the Seattle scene.

And the fires are blazing. The presence of Microsoft, Adobe, Google, and other tech companies in the area has helped to construct a buzzing culture of artechnology in Seattle, and a new animal has manifested at the threshold where traditional arts creation meets the production efforts of the future. Just as the mountains ranges and brisk waters of the Puget Sound meet to form a majestic natural environment, the tech-savvy ethos of Seattle has ignited the city’s electronic music scene and the fire is only getting bigger and louder. It is on this fertile ground where thousands of thousands of arts lovers in the international electronic music community will convene this autumn for the 2008 Decibel Festival to share their ideas on the future of the arts, experience a fantastic array of performers and artists, and shake some ass.

Tomorrow will see the image of the flannelled Seattle grungster replaced with a forward-thinking electronic artist using the world’s leading production technology to create experiences that we cannot even begin to imagine today. Combining the infinite nature of the human brain’s creative capacity with the ever-expanding technological tools at our fingertips, the future of the electronic art and music community in Seattle is as bright as snow-capped Mount Rainier on a summer day. Plus, all that caffeine really makes you want to dance.

For more information on the Decibel Festival, click here.