Ghostly International Showcase – Showbox at the Market, Seattle – 9/29/12
Most people standing outside appeared to be wearing pressed slacks and watches; a different crowd than most of Seattle’s other electronic shows. But live acts, Tycho and Matthew Dear bring an air of sophistication, a sort of Teflon quality to repel the grime, wide eyes, and candy bracelets.
It was the 2012 Decibal Festival’s Ghostly International label’s showcase, featuring Matthew Dear, Tycho, and Lusine. If I was to unfairly generalize Ghostly’s artists, I’d say they’re polished, slightly minimal, more groove than hype.
The stage is set in an old ballroom, surrounded by the bar area on three sides. On a good night, the room is easily filled. Tonight was good.
Lusine, a Seattle-based producer was already was churning out mechanical melodies – think ratcheting gears and jangling boxes of screws – when we arrived. It was a brief, yet impressive set.
Tycho exudes a sort of burnt orange aura, fueled in part by the act’s leader, Scott Hansen, and the visuals based on his graphic design. Transparent blue hues overlapped with shots of women walking across sand dunes, hair flowing behind. The way he uses colors, the women could be walking on Mars.
The music and the visuals enhance each other, the mixture of floating melodies and slow-motion shots of waves breaking and receding. It’s calming shit. That’s not to say we weren’t getting down, but the set’s dips and peaks kept the crowd’s temperament even throughout. Granted, the bass still thundered and the weight of 1,000 knees bending down at once still wobbled the old wooden dance floor.
The band’s mechanics were impeccable, each part (synths, bass guitar, and drums) standing on their own to blend each song’s hypnotic appeal. The fact that Tycho didn’t headline was a blunder.
Matthew Dear finished the show with their Pac-Man soundtrack, driving-drum dance music. The microphone stands were adorned with white roses and the lead singer jammed the tambourine as much as anyone can jam the tambourine. There were vocal delays, a constant clicking high-hat, and pounding bass drum. Definitely the night’s most rage-able set.
If you don’t need chainsaw and car alarm samples to get down, Tycho is worth checking out when they come to town.