Portland has been changing a lot in the last decade, much to the chagrin of both long-term residents and more freshly minted transplants, who've coasted in on the myth of Portland as "the place where people in their 20s go to retire." While message boards may be flooded with complaints...

When Bonobo included Khruangbin's "A Calf Born In Winter" on his 2013 Late Night Tales mix, he placed the strumming, shuffling, soulful instrumental between some late night ambient classical piano and his own "Get Thy Bearings", a silken smooth soul jam with UK chanteuse Szjerdene. Somehow, it all made sense,...

With a Prince-like smoothness, in slides LA Priest on "Occasion", the album opener for Inji. Without pretension and full of confidence, "Occasion" is immediately arresting -- the perfect blend of lip-biting vocals and sexy-slow bass and guitar lines that twirl back and forth, in contrasting harmony from one ear to...

Side projects: so many musicians these days seem to have at least one other creative outlet outside their primary endeavor. Whether it's for reasons of inspiration, camaraderie, money, a need to stay busy, or any combination thereof, keeping a couple irons in the fire seems to be the thing to...

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." - 1 Corinthians 13:11, King James Version
Kissinger Album Review
Childhood's End, by the Croydon, UK producer Kissinger, is the first of a two-part space opera, soundtracking the loss of innocence for a planet, a society, and an individual. It shares its title with a famous sci-fi novel by Arthur C. Clarke, where humanity meets its doom at the hands of an extraterrestrial race that look like the Biblical devil. Kissinger's record, however, isn't as bleak or as dystopian as Clarke's novel, reminding us that growing up needn't be all bad. You're able to do what you want, go where you please, eat dessert for breakfast, stay up all night, and decide where you'll live or who your friends will be. In a lot of ways, adulthood is just the best parts of childhood, refined and taken to their logical, and awesome, conclusions.
Natasha Kmeto
A couple years ago, I asked Decibel's founder Sean Horton how he manages to make an appearance at every single one (or almost every one) of the showcases during Decibel Festival. His advice was simple: "Don't drink, don't do drugs, don't eat, DON'T STOP!" While this may indeed work for Sean (is he a robot?!), I am but a mere human and had to abandon at least one of his key tenets (I'll let you use your imagination as to which ones). Overall, I felt like my Decibel Festival 2014 experience was less cohesive than in past years, but that may have just been due to my own headspace; I had a hard time settling for just one showcase each night, so ended up show-hopping far more than I ever have at Decibel. Here are a few of the performances & showcases that stood out. Natasha Kmeto @ EMP Sky Church for the Opening Gala; Photography by +Russ
See all Decibel Festival Coverage
There are hardly any electronic instruments on Punish, Honey. Instead, Vessel's Sebastian Gainsborough built an arsenal of homemade instruments, including flutes made out of bike frames, sheets of metal, and "harmonic guitars". Punish, Honey is an industrialized suite: clanking, stomping, sparking, twitching, pounding. But instead of the giving the sensation of a migraine -- which is sometimes produced from hyperfrenetic digital constructions, as with some of the recent work from James Ferraro -- Punish, Honey is like walking through a factory full of mechanized automata, like a textile mill animated by Jan Svankmajer. Like The Sorcerer's Apprentice, if he had brought jackhammers and bellows to life, rather than broomsticks.
Vessel - Punish, Honey Album Review
On KOCH, Lee Gamble is a man more concerned with apparitions and possibilities than he is with cold hard reality. His music flows from some unknown source beyond the file, generating ephemeral .wav forms in real time that hint at sound or structure without revealing their intent or congealing into form. They sound as though they might never have been recorded -- and yet there is direction; there is consciousness. KOCH is hardly anything, really, and yet is a whole lot at the same time; it is a beautiful mystic bowl ready to be filled with another's consciousness. It is as much abstraction and concept as it is tangible product, as much particle as it is construct.
Lee Gamble - Koch Album Review
Kevin Martin has been at the forefront -- and the margins -- of extreme electronic music and bass culture for over two decades. He's worked in genres as diverse as jazzcore, industrial, grime, dub, and dubstep, while staying rooted in the punk/post-punk ethos, making some of the most adventurous and aggressive music across a staggering array of monikers, pseudonyms, and collaborations.The Bug - Kevin Martin Musician InterviewWith this year's Angels & Devils, the highly anticipated follow-up to 2008's London Zoo, Kevin Martin has resurrected one of his most beloved and influential projects, The Bug. London Zoo employed an arsenal of extreme bass weight, grime-y urban vocals, and abstract sci-fi electronic to reflect the paranoid, claustrophobic world of CCTV London, and the album caught the attention of the wider world at a time when the simulacrum of the internet and social media was really building a head of steam. This brought Kevin Martin's dystopian worldview to a wider audience than ever before, right in the midst of the dubstep explosion. While the rest of the world was busy subverting dubstep's militaristic potential into a formulaic commodity, The Bug sounded fresh, distinctive, weird, warped, and wonderful. As electronic music has become increasingly codified and quantifiable in the mainstream, this placed Kevin Martin in a precarious position and raised the question: just how would he build the follow-up to London Zoo?