Article By: Chris Burlingame
Photos By: Megan Dapper
On the second night of Decibel Fest, the most buzzed about event was the Flylo and Friends showcase at Neumos, headlined, naturally, by the brilliant Flying Lotus. The show had been long sold out but word got out that an additional fifty tickets would be available when the doors opened, with that line at 8:30pm stretching most of the block. Sometime around 10pm, the club was quite full and the energy from the crowd and performers were feeding off of each other, providing a euphoric feeling for most in the packed room.
Seattle’s Truckasaurus was the first to go on, shortly after 9. Four guys hunched over laptops, synths and drum machines made some fantastic beats while the two monitors showed campy clips from movies and TV shows. Exaggerating campy pop culture has always been part of their MO, with the visual component here featuring clips of Ghostbusters, Sylvester Stallone movies or clips of Hulk Hogan; one looked like a bunch of people running from a bad drawing of Seattle’s Smith Tower. Their beats synced with their visuals almost perfectly (most obviously when a it coincided with one image of someone turning a knob on an old transistor radio). Truckasaurus just released their latest album, Quarters, digitally recently. They took the name from a former video arcade nearby, which only accentuates the 8-bit sounds they sometimes employ.
Samiyam followed Truckasaurus and early in his set joked that because it was so early he’d just play some cartoon sounds. However, when he displayed his skill at mixing hip hop beats, the crowd responded most favorably. Sometimes he’d rhyme along with some of the verses in the songs he played, turning down the vocals and replacing them with his own and other times he’d point out “this is some new Samiyam shit right here.” Samiyam is an LA producer and DJ who works with Flying Lotus on the name FlyamSam. He’s set to release an album on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label shortly.
The Milwaukee-based Lorn was next and has also put out his first release, Nothing Else, on Brainfeeder. The operative word for his set was “bass”. Like nearly every performer who took the stage this night, they weren’t bound by genre (if you wanted to hear drum and bass or dubstep or techno exclusively, it wasn’t the ideal show for you) and most of the beats were syncopated and didn’t follow any specific patterns (though it was density of Neumos that was a bigger hindrance to dancing than not following the disco 4/4 beat). Lorn’s set was varied and showed a lot of influences and pulled from a lot of sources, including some (like dubstep) mentioned above.
Eskmo was on next, and by that point the audience was quite excited to both see him and know that Flying Lotus was up next. Recently signed to Ninja Tune (where his next album will drop next month), Eskmo has also released music for Planet Mu and Warp Records. Reportedly, Eskmo was hand-chosen by Flying Lotus to play the Brainfeeder Sessions, which, directly or indirectly, led to his signing with Ninja Tune. Though denying his music is dance music, the audience on the floor was trying to carve out their own space in Neumos to move. By that point, they couldn’t wait to see Flying Lotus, who took the stage a little after 12:30.
Flying Lotus’s set was a little abbreviated, now scheduled for an hour instead of the previous 90 minutes but the crowd was thrilled to get to see the sometimes Thom Yorke collaborator in person. He played with a live band to the crowded Neumos audience of somewhere around 700 people (with dozens more outside listening and watching through the open door). There was a euphoric sense in the room when he took the stage and nothing felt expected, regardless of how many times you heard Los Angeles or Cosmogramma. It was the perfect finale for a fantastic show that started out great and proceeded to get better until every last person shuffled out of Neumos.
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