Decibel Festival 2014: Friends of Friends Showcase, featuring Salva, Nadastrom, Groundislava, and Deru + Effixx

all photos by Victoria Holt

Closing up Decibel Festival is no small task, but if anyone is up to the task and still ready to party after four previous nights of madness, it’s LA hip hop collective Friends of Friends. The group houses a brilliant group of young musicians, specializing in electronic, trap, hip-hop, and experimental music, all finding ways to integrate their focus with the others to make for a beautiful and complicated mixture. Friends of Friends continues to push boundaries on the west coast, keeping the melting pot of progressive electronic melting and morphing into something incredible. With Salva, Nadastrom, Groundislava, and Deru all in the same room for one last night, the Crocodile was packed out to finish Decibel in grandiose style. With this excellent collection of dance sets, we bid goodbye to another fantastic year with this well loved Seattle hallmark of a festival.

Friday night, we got to see LA producer Deru debut a brand new project in the form of 1979, where Deru’s music is accompanied by the film work of Anthony Ciannamea in striking form. Tonight, Deru returned to the Decibel stage for an encore set, focusing strictly on the musical side of things while Effixx provided the visual stimulation elsewhere. Deru’s set got the evening off to a great start.


Jasper Patterson has the best of both worlds, aligning himself equally between Friends of Friends and Shlohmo’s trap collective WEDIDIT. The two groups are both leaps and bounds ahead of their competition, trading the lead to each other on and off as time goes on. But Groundislava is a solid contributor to both, mixing an array of hip hop textures to create some really great stuff in the blurry space between genres. After a quick technical fix in the stage sound, Patterson threw down a furious set received by the crowd in the form of endless dancing. Groundislava kept the energy moving forward in great ways.


If Salva wasn’t enough, dance fans really had no excuses to not show up with Nadastrom on this bill too. The DC via LA duo of Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom covers an inhuman amount of dance ground between the two of them. Nada brings the Moombahton wonders, while the two trade coasts on hip hop beats to yield an intercontinental set of magic. Tonight, the two threw a great set, grabbing the crowd’s attention and getting everyone to press forward as far as possible.


Paul Salva has made a dedicated climb up the ladder in LA, and this year, it doesn’t look like there are many roadblocks left on his path. After a couple great years of epic DJ sets (see all of his Boiler Room dominations for evidence), great remixes (including probably the best remix of Bay area banger “Gas Pedal” there is), and a couple endeavors into original production, Salva is finally getting his name on some really fantastic tracks, the latest of which is “Old English”, with the impossibly cool but totally unpredictable vocal lineup of A$AP Ferg, Freddie Gibbs, and Young Thug. Salva isn’t done by any means, but it’s fun to see him take a short break to close out Decibel at the Crocodile tonight. Sure enough, the set tonight was solid gold, covering everything from west coast rap to Jamie Lidell’s “What A Shame”. Tonight’s Salva set lived up to his incredible reputation and closed out Decibel in fantastic fashion.

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