Sat Feb 21
317 NW Broadway
No one disputes the fact that Pacific Northwest producers are at least moderately influenced by our Vitamin D-annihilating rain, and its accompanying depression. Hints of this crabapple-gloomy weather are tangible in everything from the dank beats of Oldominion all the way to Strategy's rainy discohouse. On Pure Tone Audiotonomy Vol. 2, 16 producers fold heft, gravity, and humidity into their beats, ending up with a mostly great collection of West Coast electro, glitchy chill-out, honeyed downtempo, bedroom funk and soul, and way-out hiphop. This collection of Portland producers is a bit tighter than its more experimental, Mush-Records-oeuvre predecessor (Vol. 1). Though a few of the DJ Shadow-ier selections would benefit from more focus--it's got some monster tracks that take Portland-winter ennui to druggy aesthetic heights.
Many of the best cuts come from the Sickbay/Clan of the Cave Mack DJ/production crew, as with dr.ill's GRIiiimy "My Screen," a spacey, bass-in-a-vacuum slow jam that sounds like an early homage to Mos Def being cast as Ford Prefect ("Fuck a space station!"). Diss Company showcases its talented emcees with the hot "Vers," Where Jammotron and DJ Void cut up the sub-bass as "G-W-I-Z-S-K-I" reps P-D-X: "all-city/ 503/ Like Tri-Met to the Max." Elsewhere, Jammotron contributes a solo, minimal electro track trimmed with signature sub-bass, brassy synths melting in, slow and steady, like molasses. There's incredible diversity here, with Chango getting the garage on; DJ Copy and Jung submitting fantastic, laidback, jazzy blissouts; Eternal Golden Void and DJ Grimrock whipping out a smart and serious, scratching/cruising hiphop jam. Perhaps unsurprisingly, much of the comp is tinged with that syncopated throb that booty bass wrought.
And even with PDX's tinytown/two-degrees-of-separation-rule, many of the producers on this comp have never met; this weekend's Pure Tone Audiotonomy Vol. 2 release party will be their introduction. More evidence that some of our city's best beatmakers are holing up like Howard Hughes with Ableton, keeping their production from the world--and emcees, what?!