When: Thu., Sept. 29, Fri., Sept. 30 and Sat., Oct. 1 2011
Signalfest alumni include fair-use legends Negativland and Baltimore-via-Asheville rising dance nerds EAR PWR. In the same inclusive, ambitious mode, this year's iteration features stages both in Raleigh and Chapel Hill and acts gathered from across the digital spectrum.
On one extreme, we have an experimental bill curated by Shaun Sandor and Bryce Eiman of 919 Noise (at Nightlight, natch). Mecanikill?'s deconstructed industrial freakouts, at Raleigh's Shakedown Street, play like a German expressionist painting come to life. On the other extreme, trance-inducing IDM sets by Tunnidge and Distal may change Players' booty club vibe to something more meditative, even if still grind-inducing. Considering electronic elements in more and more forms of popular music, the accessible acts falling between these poles are no surprise. Notably, Charlotte emcee Stranger Day's aggressive party-rap is refreshingly reminiscent of late-'90s hip-hop radio.
But even with a show at Cat's Cradle and dance parties all over, Signalfest doesn't take a top-down view of electronic music. Many performers are appearing to lecture or hold Q-and-A sessions at UNC's Kenan Music Building for Signal Sessions—ostensibly classes for aspiring electronic musicians. The locations and price structure are all over the board.—Corbie Hill