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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Terrain goes electric with Dark Wave Disco night

Water Monster is among the synth bands participating in Dark Wave Disco at the Washington Cracker Co. building. (COURTESY OF GRACE LINDSEY / COURTESY OF GRACE LINDSEY)
Water Monster is among the synth bands participating in Dark Wave Disco at the Washington Cracker Co. building. (COURTESY OF GRACE LINDSEY / COURTESY OF GRACE LINDSEY)

As if the folks at Terrain didn’t already have enough on their plate, with their namesake event, Bazaar and WinterBrrrZaar, and nearly half a dozen programs, like Window Dressing and the Pop Up Shop, they’re adding another event to the list.

Dark Wave Disco seeks to celebrate all things synthesizer.

Before you ask, yes, Spokane has a synthesizer scene.

Events Coordinator Kent Ueland admits that the city can sometimes take a while to catch up with the times, but over the last couple years, more and more local bands have begun to incorporate synths into their music.

“There’s an actual scene of bands who not only use synthesizers but use them well,” he said. “They’ve split that gap of ‘We’re behind’ but then when we get it, we’re every bit as good.”

The inaugural, all-ages Dark Wave Disco, sponsored by Icicle Brewing, will be held today at the Terrain building.

The event features performances by Ueland’s band Hoaxes, Mini Murders, Water Monster and Minneapolis’s DJ Drug Lord.

Dark Wave Disco will also feature Organisynth, a table-sized sequencer up to nine people can play at once, which Anne-Claire Mitchell and Thomas Ruble originally created for a Richmond Art Collective installation.

“I think it’s cool to get people who maybe don’t know each other to create this off-the-cuff music landscape,” Ueland said.

Thanks to Tobias and Chelsea Hendrickson, who run local nonprofit Technological Taxidermy (Tagline: “Modular Synthesis for All”), Dark Wave Disco will also feature a synthesizer workshop.

“He was a no brainer,” Ueland said about booking Tobias, who performs as Mini Murders. “If you say the word ‘synth’ in Spokane, Tobias magically appears.”

Depending on the popularity of the first Dark Wave Disco, Ueland hopes to hold discos about three times a year, inviting other local bands, as well as those who have moved away, like the Dancing Plague of 1518, to perform.

But Ueland feels good about Dark Wave Disco’s chances.

“It starts as a robot then you turn it into something more organic by adding a human element,” Ueland said about playing synthesizers. “It’s attractive. Art injects something into something else and I think synths are a really cool way to do that.”

If you go: 7 p.m. Friday; Washington Cracker Co., 304 W. Pacific Ave.; $10, available through Eventbrite.

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