Wanna make a blunted hip hop beat in five minutes? Look no further.
Downtown Seattle saw Nin Truong and his Luxe Riot studio revamp an unassuming branch of Beatty’s Bookstore into the Academy space. The book-filled front windows of the narrow but perfectly formed slice of terrace bridged the gap between Seattle’s city centre and the Academy’s international guests in its own wardrobe-to-Narnia style. There wasn’t much time to gaze around the surroundings though, as guests like ?uestlove, Larry Heard, Arabian Prince, D-Bridge, Theo Parrish, Hank Shocklee, DJ Harvey, and Steely & Clevie all opened their studio treasure chests and let us in on some of their methods and techniques. The studios were packed day and night, with Mr Hudson and Osunlade teaming up for piano-led beatstrumental “Amerika”, and Leon Ware and Bruno Morais crafting the sensual samba “Seed”, among many other jams.
When we weren’t in the studios, we took it to the streets. Kool DJ Red Alert gave us a masterclass in rainbow breaks, Steve Spacek got everyone involved and Kerri Chandler surprised a few at the back of the club as he walked around with his custom-built wireless laptop set up, in the middle of his set. One of the most ambitious concerts we’ve hosted was the ArRange performance at McCaw Hall, where four legendary jazz funk composers teamed up with six electronic producers for a mash of string ensembles, synths, drum machines and reinterpretations. Deodato, David Mathews and Clare and Brent Fischer provided the foil for Galaxy2Galaxy, Oh No, Kirk Degiorgio and Todd Simon to reshape the emotive core of their compositions into a previously-unheard brew, all mixed by a pair of the finest ears in the business: belonging to Bob Power. Amidst bowling, blizzards and goodwill digging, the Space Needle cut its own groove.