New Guitar Music at the Hideout Tonight | Bleader

New Guitar Music at the Hideout Tonight


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Travis Bird and Dan Burke
  • Travis Bird and Dan Burke
Dan Burke, best known as the sole constant member of the group Illusion of Safety, has been a fixture on Chicago's experimental music scene for decades, and along the way he's worked to support fellow musicians, both by drafting young, inexperienced players like Jim O'Rourke into his band and by releasing other folks' material through his Complacency label—he was the first guy with the foresight and good taste to put out records by Cheer-Accident.

His curatorial side gets another airing via an excellent new vinyl-only release called Offstrings. Burke is one of four guitarists on the collection, and all of them will be performing tonight at the Hideout in celebration of the release.

The other contributors to Offstrings are David Daniell (who plays with Rhys Chatham and San Agustin), Mark Shippy (Miracle Condition, ex-U.S. Maple), Travis Bird, and Michael Vallera (both new names for me). The five tracks on the record are neither particularly noisy nor dissonant, though they usually avoid standard solo-guitar tropes—with the exception of Shippy's warped piece, there's no fingerstyle action here. What holds the collection together is a shared attention to detail and an embrace of drifty atmospherics. That's not to say the music is ambient fluff, but rather that all the real-time activity is beautifully complemented by clouds of effects-enhanced harmony, drone, and texture. In some cases it's clear that a guitar is the main sound source, and in others it's much harder to be sure. Copies of the compilation, which has been pressed in an edition of 500, will be on sale tonight.

Below you can watch a video clip of a duet performance by Burke and Bird.


Today's playlist:

Karina Buhr, Eu Menti Pra Você (no label)
Tyshawn Sorey, That/Not (Firehouse 12)
Torkjell Haugerud/Eivind Mo, Slåttar Frå Telemark II (Talik)
Dennis Gonzalez Connecticut Quartet, Songs of Early Autumn (No Business)
Jutta Hipp, Jutta Hipp Quintet (Blue Note)