Recent Press from Seattle’s best weekly news paper “The Stranger”
by Dave Segal May 19, 2010
Techno hard-knockers Knightriders Inc. and Harvard St. Mafia have booked Minneapolis DJ/producer James Hammer, whose aesthetic emulates his last name. His tracks pack blockbuster-action-flick dynamics and power; they’ll nail you hard to the floor.
Roman Zawodny’s Booming Techno
by Dave Segal
March 23, 2010
I—and probably you, too—have been sleeping on Roman Zawodny. Thankfully, the local hard-tekno crusaders of Knightriders Inc. are thrusting the elite Seattle producer into our consciousnesses. The platform is a new series called The Reserve, which happens every fourth Thursday at Contour and launches on March 25. This free monthly will spotlight Seattle’s overflowing stable of techno producers and DJs on a substantial sound system that can do justice to their big-room creations.
Zawodny has been booming on the Seattle underground electronic-music circuit for nearly two decades. His tracks have earned quality deck time with unimpeachable DJs like Derrick May, Carl Cox, Dave Clarke, and the Advent. It’s easy to hear why: Zawodny creates maximalist, punishing, 4/4 monsters that are geared to shoot massive doses of adrenaline in dancers. These beefy, speedy slabs aren’t subtle, but they are potently effective in instigating mass crowd movement and hysteria. Visitwww.soundcloud.com/roman-zawodny for more enlightenment (check out “Freak Musique” for ultimate proof of Zawodny’s powers of disorientation).
Surface Tension: JAK & Milkplant @ Re-bar March 12
Posted by Dave Segal on Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM
Check out JAK’s excellent Repercussions mix of hard-thrusting, stripped-down, sexy techno here [see tracklist below]. Also highly recommended are Milkplant’s smartly banging techno productions on his soundcloud page. This night is going to be massive (in a minimalist sort of way).
Loud vs. Quiet: Battle of the Megamixes and Crystal Hell Pool
by Dave Segal
If you have any interest in DJ culture, you’ll find Battle of the Megamixes to be a fascinating exercise in musical taste and manual dexterity, with entrants compressing as much turntable flair and as many mixes as possible into pressure-packed 10-minute bursts of creativity. The tight time frame prompts jocks—who’ve had a month to work on their routines—to maximize excitement and ratchet up their showmanship to peak levels. Which makes BOTMM run like a highlight reel of sounds and surprising juxtapositions—often with props.
This year’s battle features WD4D, Miss Shelrawka, Greg Skidmore, DJ Verse, Jimni Cricket, Kadeejah Streets, Rob Noble, and xben. This year’s competition will accept multiple DJ formats, including most digital applications, a move dictated by sponsor Rane that will surely anger vinyl purists.
One such wax enthusiast, DJ Introcut, will be judging the contest. He says that he’s “looking for smooth mixes, scratching/turntablism, creative track selection, mixing different genres, crowd reactions, the number of tracks played in a set, vinyl, and, most important, the DJs’ style.”
Last year’s BOTMM champ, Kristina Childs, is also judging this time. She notes: “Anyone can mix 10 minutes of the same bpm, but you gotta show me you can smoothly flow the gamut: hiphop, new wave, drum ‘n’ bass, house, Top 40. I’ll be looking for creativity and range, as well as technical mixing skills.”
“I’m going to focus on technicalities, originality, and the DJs’ ability to hype the crowd,” adds fellow judge Dave Pezzner. “A good DJ can mix songs and make people dance—but an amazing DJ has something new to bring to the table and should blow us away. The audience should have their fists in the air, and I should be on the edge of my seat. This is what I want to see from the winner.”
Said winner will go home with a new Rane mixer. You will go home with a mad mélange of music and deck tricks running through your mind. The event’s promoters, Knightriders, are even giving you a shot to scratch your way to notoriety by opening up the turntables from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. to all comers.
BOTMM, featuring showcase sets by M’Chateau and Travis Baron, happens Fri Jan 22, Chop Suey, 8 pm, $10 before 11 pm/$13 after, 21+; Crystal Hell Pool performs Fri Jan 22, Henry Art Gallery, 7 pm, $8/$10, all ages.
Also Tonight in Music: W.A.R.M.T.H. @ Re-bar
Posted by Dave Segal on Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 2:23 PM
W.A.R.M.T.H. (We Are Revolutionizing the Movement of Techno & House) is a new monthly dedicated to fostering the spirit and furthering the knowledge of Detroit-based electronic music. Sponsored by Culture Dispatch and Knightriders, W.A.R.M.T.H. tonight hosts local DJs Grindle, Trench, and 2DeepSoul (Trackmachine & Serendipity, a.k.a. Brad Peterson & Rai Scott) at Re-bar. Check the latter’s 1st Days of Spring mix on soundcloud for an understanding of their approach, which exemplifies 2DeepSoul’s musical moniker.
Action runs from 10 pm-2 am. Entry is free before 10:30 pm, $10 after.
Also Tonight in Music: Sea-Tec @ Chop Suey
Posted by Dave Segal on Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 2:50 PM
5 bones get you 5 hours of sophisticated boom-boom.
Techno Potluck Dinner Oct. 22 @ Re-bar
Posted by Dave Segal on Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 3:45 PM
Seattle techno promoters/DJ collective Knightriders host a potluck/dance party Thurs. Oct. 22 at Re-bar featuring Minimal Soul Recordings artists Orlando Voorn and Computer Controlled, plus KR resident DJs Travis Baron, GON3R, James Grindle, Trench, and M’chateau.
The event also celebrates the launching of Knightriders’ new website. Feasting and festivities run from 8 am-2 am. Cost is free before 10; $3 after. Bring some beets, enjoy some beats; bring some vegetables, enjoy some turntables. RSVP here.
Check out some of our press from over the past few years!
Lets start with a review of our very first Knightriders party ever:)
In the basement of the Alibi Room after midnight, a crew called Knight Riders assembled DJs from various scenes to play whatever they fancied. Clips from David Hasselhoff films were projected on the wall while too-loud bass competed with nasty ghetto-tech and ravetastic tracks from 1992. It was a free party, and there were all kinds of people there—travelers who found fliers at the Green Tortoise Hostel, weirdos from the Papa Roach show up the street, sexy androgynes with Bowie-esque dance moves. It made me think of my first night clubbing in Vancouver, at Shine. We just stumbled onto it, descended down some candlelit stairs and into a night of top-notch music. I’m happy to report that Seattle’s officially got that vibe going on.
Bug in the Bassbin
Keeping Boredom at Bay
Bug in the Bassbin
Halloween—No Tricks, All Treats
by Donte Parks October 24, 2007
Absolute Minimal Mondays at the Capitol Club brings a bit of a respite from the weekend’s debauchery, with a special dubstep edition on October 29. Sure, the night’s got a loungey vibe, but dubstep is deep, sinister music, certainly in the evil spirit of the season.
The Stranger Suggests
posted by The Stranger on October 18 at 11:00 AM
DJs are competitive buggers, even when there’s nothing at stake. But throw in a Rane Battle Mixer as a prize (plus local pride), and the claws really come out. Seattle techno crew Knight-riders hosts this six-jock competition that stresses old-school DJ skills like track selection (strictly from vinyl records), mixing, continuity, crowd response, and stage presence. Kris Moon, Kristina Childs, Same DNA, Jimmy Hoffa, Doughboy, and Trench will cram as many awesome cuts as possible into their 10-minute, mano-a-mano sets. Expect decknical fireworks. (Nectar, 412 N 36th St, 632-2020. 9 pm, $10, 21+.) DAVE SEGAL
Bug in the Bassbin
The Week in Review
by Donte Parks July 3, 2007
ABSOLUTE MINIMAL MONDAYS AT THE CAPITOL CLUB
Between the beginning of the workweek and recovery from weekend shenanigans, it’s a Herculean task to get people out on Mondays. Travis Baron is smart to keep his new Absolute Minimal Mondays at the Capitol Club pretty low-key, kicking off the evening with a CD-listening session before DJ/producers do their thing. It’s more a chance to hang out on the balcony with a nice cocktail and nice beats than a rocking party, but that relaxed atmosphere is what makes this night work. (414 E Pine St)
Posted by Dave Segal on Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 3:42 PM
Local techno promoters/DJs from the Knightriders squad interviewed Orlando Voorn and Angel Alanis (this week’s Data Breakersubjects; Alanis is in the photo at right) in advance of their Jan. 31 show at Baltic Room.
According to ’rider Travis Baron, they’ll be discussing “topics that range from their introductions to the scenes, the move from DJing to production, and the current state of the music industry.” Knightriders will also be giving away four VIP tickets to the show.
You can hear the interview on KBCS 91.3 FM Friday at 11 pm or listen online here.
An archived podcast of the show will be available for two weeks directly after airing at
Voorn and Alanis Bring World-Class Techno to the Baltic Room
by Dave Segal
January 27, 2009
It’s been a while since the Baltic Room has hosted some world-class techno (Decibel 2008, to be specific), so let’s praise theKnightriders crew for booking local treasure Orlando Voorn and Chicago DJ/ producer Angel Alanis at this excellent but underutilized venue for electronic music.
Voorn began DJing hiphop and electro at age 12 in the Netherlands and won a Dutch DMC DJ championship in 1986. In the late ’80s, Voorn established ties with Detroit techno innovators via collaborations with Juan Atkins and Blake Baxter, as well as through releases on Kevin Saunderson‘s KMS and Derrick May‘s Fragile labels. Good luck trying to keep tabs on Voorn’s discography; he has about 20 years’ worth of recordings under nearly 30 aliases, including Nighttripper, Basic Bastard, Fix, No Guts No Glory, andManiax Traxx. However, his new label—Voorn Kollectiv, in conjunction with Juno Download—has been launched in order to release old, hard-to-find classics and new works, which should make your search easier.
With impressive timeliness, Voorn has posted on his MySpace page a midtempo, inspirationally melodic track laced with President Obama speech samples titled “Yes We Can,” which seems destined for anthem status—at least for Number 44′s honeymoon period. Like much techno influenced by the original Motor City masters, Voorn’s brand of the genre is both technically adroit and emotionally resonant, with Detroit-ian soul to burn.
One of the 2008 Decibel Festival’s biggest disappointments occurred when Voorn’s live set was thwarted due to technical problems. That setback will partially be rectified Saturday, as Voorn spins a set sure to be redolent of his own bold, thrusting tracks.
Angel Alanis has had artistic dalliances with an odd assortment of mainstream figures (Sinéad O’Connor), hiphop legends (Kool Moe Dee), and electro-house luminaries (Felix Da Housecat), revealing his knack for appealing to both casuals and true heads.
At his best, Alanis (who runs the A-Squared Muzik label) creates acidic, pounding tech-house that possesses a will-to-power vibe. This isn’t your standard “let’s all raise our hands when the diva wails and the piano riff cascades” dance music. Alanis’s productions have ingested steroids and copious quantities of Sparks (RIP); they sound like the sort of thing that fills the DJ sets of our own high-energy bruiser, Jerry Abstract.
This Chicagoan’s music may be short on subtlety and warm ‘n’ fuzzies, but it’s long on invigorating bass frequencies and Richter-scale beats that rarely go below 138 per minute. Basically, Alanis pushes the opposite of chill-out music. It’s kind of like how fellow Windy City DJ Bad Boy Bill would sound if he weren’t such a doofus: It’s perpetually peaking stuff. Alanis’s 2001 sex bomb “Do You Like the Way You Feel When You Shake?” will be on a lot of people’s minds—and asses—Saturday.
Angel Alanis and Orlando Voorn perform with Travis Baron, M’chateau, and Ctrl_Alt_Dlt on Sat Jan 31, Baltic Room, 9 pm, $10 before 11 pm/$15 after, 21+.
Dietrich Schoenemann and Erictronic’s 3-D Techno and IDM
by Dave Segal
May 5, 2009
Dietrich Schoenemann is a very busy man with a huge, quality-laden discography—but you’ve probably never heard of him, let alone heard his music. With that mouthful of a handle, he’s not exactly a household name, even among underground-electronic-music aficionados—although he has remixed Philip Glass’s “The Thin Blue Line.” So, much credit should go to the Knightriders andBonkers! crews for bringing Schoenemann to Re-bar on May 8.
Schoenemann started performing in New York City clubs like Danceteria and Limelight in the early ’90s while in his late teens. He came to many heads’ attention after he joined the techno group Prototype 909 in 1993 with Taylor Deupree and Jason Szostek. They went on to release some of that decade’s most riveting, exploratory techno (see 1993′s Acid Technology and 1995′s Transistor Rhythm). When P909 split in 1998, Schoenemann launched the Hidden Agenda label and focused his energies on solo production and DJing dance-floor-centric techno, while starting three other imprints. One of his productions, Trailer Park, under the moniker Unit Park with Deupree, featured some of the most lethal minimal techno of the ’90s. Showing diversity, Schoenemann also released an excellent disc of plutonian abstract techno in 2000, Shadowgraphs. His 2001 DJ mix An Agenda and a Beat revealed his uncanny ear for bleeding-edge, hard techno, including his own civil-rights-speech-enhanced anthem “19 Bullets.”
Schoenemann’s maintained his razor-sharp acumen as a selector while nurturing his labels and creative partnership with producerTony Rohr. As a mastering engineer, Schoenemann has access to exclusive dubplates, as well, so expect a unique, powerful set from him at Bonkers!—and with 3-D visuals projected behind him.
That same night, local producer Erictronic will be celebrating the release of his CD Disco Chronic Volume One, on Seattle’s Pleasure Boat Records. Disco Chronic follows in the wiggly slipstream of previous Pleasure Boat output by the Naturebot andPotatoFinger. That is, Eric-tronic is one of those knob-twiddlers who convert twitchy rhythms and a predilection for “wrong” textures into compositions that splutter, twinkle, and blurt with charming insouciance.
Yes, Disco Chronic is yet more wonky IDM, a deeply unfashionable style of late, but Erictronic’s keyboard dexterity and nostalgia-nudging, video-game melodies make his music instantly mood-lifting. Tracks like “Ignoblest of Beasts” and “Thanks for Having Babies” recall the quirky convolutions and unhinged tunesmithery of Bogdan Raczynski and Astrobotnia. Then “Ud_2″ comes along to upend the prevalent manic madness with a gorgeous fluty reverie. With Disco Chronic, the Pleasure Boat dynasty continues to gather steam.
Dietrich Schoenemann, Nerd Revolt, Travis Baron, Erictronic perform Fri May 8, Re-bar, 10 pm, $9 before 11 pm/$13 after, 21+.
Up & Coming
This Week’s Noteworthy Shows and Parties
Detroit Techno in the House: Punisher @ Baltic Sat.
Posted by Dave Segal on Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 4:32 PM
Everything I’ve heard online and from reports from people I respect point to tomorrow night’s live set from Detroit DJ/producerPunisher (Michelle Herrmann) being a must-see. She brings it cerebral, visceral, and minimal, and it’s all generated with glorious analog gear. Punisher has released 12s on Sean Deason’s Matrix label and has co-run Seismic Records with Vapourspace’s Mark Gage.
Baltic Room, 1207 Pine St, 625-4444, 9 pm-2 am, $10 before 10:30 pm/$15 after, Sat. June 6.
Robert Armani’s Stoically Ecstatic Techno and Killer Dubstep
by Dave Segal
Chicago producer Robert Armani has been making some of the most arresting acid techno in the world for nearly 20 years. His tracks are marked by urgent rhythms, ox-stunning 4/4 beats, and that Roland TB-303 croak that can seemingly modulate in infinite variations. There’s something archetypically Midwestern about Armani’s tracky tracks: They’re stoic yet ecstatic, all business in their desire to give you robust pleasure.
I haven’t heard everything in Armani’s expansive catalog, which includes releases on labels like Djax-Up-Beats, Tresor, and Dance Mania, but what I have experienced makes a beeline for that peak-time zone when the effects of the drinks, drugs, and people’s biorhythms all seem to be culminating in a mass hands-in-the-motherfucking-air celebration. Dude’s output isn’t exactly subtle, but, damn, it gets the job done with admirable single-mindedness. And with “Circus Bells” (the Hardfloor remix, but still…), which I first heard on Laurent Garnier‘s X-Mix-2: Destination Planet Dream and which instantly blew my mind, Armani has created one of the most distinctive techno anthems ever. The man ain’t clownin’ around. Kudos to the Knightriders crew for booking this Windy City heavy hitter.
Knightriders Broker a Hard-Techno Trifecta
Posted by Dave Segal on Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 4:29 PM
Local promoters Knightriders have booked Chicago techno legend Robert Armani for the Baltic Room on July 4. This is a major coup; I don’t think Armani has played here in a long time, if ever. Knightriders’ other recent big bookings include New York producer/DJDietrich Schoenemann (ex-Prototype 909) May 8 at Re-bar and Detroit DJ Punisher June 6 at Baltic.
Knightriders are no doubt shelling out a lot of bucks for your bang(in’) techno; let’s hope Seattle’s ready for this influx of killer showcases.
Posted by Dave Segal on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 5:02 PM
Local techno crew Knightriders are throwing an audio-visual spectacular tonight in honor ofSIFF, whose film-bedazzled attendees they hope to lure to Re-bar so they can indoctrinate them to the secret knowledge of metronomic beats traveling at 128+ per minute. Killing Frenzy will provide the images while Red Pony (aka Rebecca West) will deliver a live performance of techno, and DJs Struggle (Made Like a Tree) and Travis Baron (Knightriders) will tagteam on the decks, as will wife/husband duo Saigon and Justin Byrnes under the name Tandem House. And much-loved spirit-lifter DJ Eddie will be spinning records from his vast, impeccable collection.
SIFF goers: You’re going to need to unwind after a long, grueling day of cinema absorbing. Final Cut can help you do that.
Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 10 pm-2 am, $9 with SIFF ticket stub/$12 without, 21+.
Up & Coming
This Week’s Noteworthy Shows and Parties
The Advent & Industrialyzer, Jerry Abstract, Travis Baron, 214, PotatoFinger, Greg Skidmore
(Chop Suey) British techno producer the Advent (Cisco Ferreira) has been pushing techno’s hard-line since around 1994, originally in a duo with Colin McBean, then solo from 2001 onward, and now with Industrialyzer (punchy Portuguese DJ/producer Ricardo Rodrigues). His productions have been massive, will-to-power affairs, combining finesse and aggression, and constructed for the most headstrong (and legstrong) dancers. The Advent is up there with techno warlords like Surgeon, Regis, and Cristian Vogel. Local pummelers Jerry Abstract and Travis Baron are the ideal choices to support the Advent & Industrialyzer, while Seattle’s PotatoFinger is the wild card of the bunch, an eclectic producer whose “Pixilated Mayhem” is too unruly to be described in the space allotted. Just see him. DAVE SEGAL
Acid-Techno Icon Woody McBride @ SUBspace
Posted by Dave Segal on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 4:08 PM
Wisconsin’s Woody McBride (aka DJ ESP) returns to Seattle to put on another veritable seminar in hard acid-techno DJing. Roman Zawodny, who records for McBride’s renowned Communiqué label, and KnightridersKnightriders Inc. jocks/promoters Travis Baronand Goner will also bring the heat. High-quality, banging techno, going after hours in a large underground space: It might take you back—or propel you forward.
SUBspace (formerly Bud’s Jazz Records), underneath 102 S. Jackson St @ 1st Ave,, 10 pm-4 am, $10 donation, 21+. RSVP here.
Up & Coming
This Week’s Noteworthy Shows and Parties
(Re-bar) The artists on this bill offer a warehouse full of hard and heady techno. Local duo Uncommon Forms (Wisconsin émigrés Milkplant and Sone, who also run the excellent From 0-1 label) bring that Midwestern burliness to minimal techno’s streamlined groove science. Indiana-based Kyle Geiger has earned support from banging-tekno magistrates like Drumcode label boss Adam Beyer and the savvy folks who book Berlin’s Berghain club. His sets strike a motivational balance between the hard driving and the festively minimal, with strange textures and percussive accents festooning the uptempo kick/hi-hat action. Check out Geiger’s mixes at http://www.kylegeiger.com for a representative sampling of his exquisite taste and momentum building. DAVE SEGAL
Posted by Dave Segal on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 2:02 PM
Knightriders Inc. has booked Audion (aka Ghostly International/Spectral Sound recording artist Matthew Dear) for the Triple DoorMon. Nov. 16. This date is part of Audion’s Hecatomb Tour, which features some spectacular op-art visuals and mesmerizing lighting (courtesy of Audion art director/cover designer Will Calcutt and artist Eno Henze) along, of course, with Audion’s throbbing, ram-rodding, psychedelic techno productions. Prepare yourselves for an intense, extreme audio-visual experience.
The show’s 21+, with tickets $15 adv/$18 DOS; $30 gets you a VIP Ghostly Prize Pack and choice seats.
Audion’s Audio-Visual Dazzle, J4CK17 Debuts, Bonkers! Exits
by Dave Segal
November 11, 2009
As one electronic-music night ends, another begins. Sayonara, Bonkers!; greetings, J4CK17 (aka JACKIT). Thus the balance of Seattle’s underground electronic scene is maintained.
Bonkers!—led by promoter/musician Ian Scot Price—has championed adventurous producers and DJs for the last two-plus years, most of it IDM, but also electro, techno, ambient, experimental, and other styles. The legendary monthly is going out large Friday, with a finale called In Search of the Bass Crystal. Past Data Breaker stars PotatoFinger, Ya No Mas, and Splatinum should bring the hyperkinetic, post-jungle madness; eccentric electro; and foundation-threatening, grimey bounce, respectively. Jacob Londonmember Hanssen has been doing some very interesting things in the narrow but fascinating space where techno and house conjugate.Future-bass-music impresario Ill Cosby—who runs the Car Crash Set label and hosts a badass show on glitch.fm—has been toasting speaker cones with his own ominous UK funky/dubstep-inflected productions. Expect them to enter influential BBC disc jockey Mary Anne Hobbs’s rotation any week now.
Price says that he and his crew will focus their energy on their Pleasure Boat label, make music alone and together, and throw shows whenever they feel like it. They’re not finished dunking Seattle in awesome sounds just yet.
J4CK17 is the latest caper by local DJs/promoters Knightriders Inc., who specialize in powerful techno for headstrong extroverts. KR’s honchos describe J4CK17′s concept: “This series was influenced by the early days of underground music in Detroit, where you would hear Chicago house, Detroit techno, industrial, hiphop, ’80s rock, disco, electro, etc.” This new venture’s debut spotlights KR fixtures Goner and Trench, plus recent Seattle-via-Russia transplant Hi Octane (aka Ilya Makedon). Judging by his mixes, Hi Octane displays the brainy yet banging aesthetic that makes Knightriders events sweatfests, but he’s into subtler, more soulful styles, too.
Last but most, Audion (Ghostly/Spectral Sound guru Matthew Dear) will take over the swanky Triple Door Monday with what promises to be an overwhelming audio-visual spectacle that Dear has dubbed the Hecatomb Tour (see www.audion.me for eye/ear dazzle). With a set consisting of stroboscopic op-art spirals pulsating on three screens, Audion surfeits eyes as much as he does ears. Essentially, Audion creates some of the raunchiest and most machinelike dance music ever—the soundtrack to scorching-hot mechanical sex… on potent hallucinogens. When not in full-on thrusting mode, though, Audion’s music tilts toward the ominous side, as epitomized by the epic creeper “I Am the Car.” Regardless of style, Audion will likely bring the most intense, senses-saturating experience the Triple Door has ever hosted.
PotatoFinger, Ill Cosby, Splatinum, Hanssen, Norse Rarebit perform Fri Nov 13, Re-bar, 10 pm, $5 before 11, 21+; Hi Octane, Goner, Trench perform Sat Nov 14, Re-bar, 10 pm, $8, 21+; Audion, Pezzner, James Grindle, Travis Baron perform Mon Nov 16, Triple Door, 10 pm, $15 adv/$18 DOS, 21+.