We all know the origins of electronic music lie in famous cities like Berlin, Chicago, New York City, Detroit and London. But now that technology has proliferated, little mini-scenes are sprouting up like mushrooms everywhere. Not every city develops its own novel sound, but some places are pretty fun to party in.
There should be a North American- wide database of the Top 5 dance clubs in each major city, Top 20 DJs in the city, plus links to where you can find information on less mainstream musical venues. It would be searchable by EDM genres. If you had a Lear Jet and were thinking “duh-dubstep,” you could use the database to figure out which city you’d fly to that weekend for some duh-dancing.
Enter NorthwestTekno.org – the Northwest Electronic Music Community. Founded by Kimberley Dietemann in 1999, it’s a listings database for clubs and parties, and a forum where anyone and everyone in the Pacific Northwest can share and search EDM events. The purpose of Northwest Tekno is to bring together and grow the regional electronic music community with useful online forums.
As it turns out, there is definitely a small, burgeoning scene in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, Portland and Vancouver BC are places where lots of musical collaboration and experimentation are happening – oh, and plenty of dancing! Besides the main clubs, there are underground networks you have to dig around to locate.
Being more of a classic grunge/alternative indie town, Seattle has also embraced EDM culture. Among traditional venues like Trinity Nightclub downtown, you can hear dubstep, drum n bass, electro and hip hop on any weekend. The Last Supper Club enjoys a reputation as one of the city’s foremost nightclubs, offering a steady diet of progressive house and electro as well as showcasing prominent west coast DJs like Jon Lee, Kryspin, Josh Quest and Joey Roxsville. The city’s always possessed a huge DIY vibe, so popular hangout spots like the Fremont White Rabbit, a music café, transform into live entertainment venues featuring EDM and DJ nights. The Lo-Fi Performance Gallery is a spot focusing exclusively on experimental audio and dance music.
Even more encouraging is the creation of an EDM and experimental audio festival called Decibel, only three years old, but gaining in strength. The festival invites internationally-renowned acts to entertain sold-out audiences on Capitol Hill. Local producers and DJs are fully invested in keeping the EDM scene fun and alive in Seattle.
Ravelinks.com is the place to go for information on upcoming parties in Vancouver. You’ll find directions to popular clubs and parties, underground or after-hours.
Home to a huge underground DIY and fetish scene, Vancouver has enthusiastically embraced electronic music as a method of expression. The city boasts a large network of DJs playing house, trance, techno and electro. Club 23 West (so cool they don’t even have a website) in Gastown hosts some of the city’s best underground club nights, including Organix Psytrance Fridays and the notorious Sin City fetish party twice a month.
Club 816 is an after-hours electronic music club, maintaining a crop of regular DJs like Jesse Creed, DJ lace and DJ Bubble T playing trance and house, as well as a stream of popular guest DJs: NY-based DJ Billy Carroll, Argentina-born DJ Dan De Leon and DJ Mike Cruz of Chelsea NYC. Gorg-o-mish, an after-hours-only club, features trance, techno and progressive house.
Vancouver’s thriving experimentational scene is supported by organizations like New Forms Media Society, Vancouver New Music and East Van Digital. These groups nurture and connect artists from across musical and technological genres, encouraging the development of innovative sounds.
Portland has been moving into the EDM scene as well. Closer Electronic Music Festival is a successful four day, multi-venue music event featuring a showcase of talent. It focuses exclusively on underground electronic music.
The triangle of Portland, Seattle and Vancouver offers plenty to explore in terms of EDM. All are cities with a thriving core of musical motivation, artistry and eclectic experimentation. Keep track of Northwest Tekno if you want to put your fingers on the pulse.