Ada | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Microhouse--a genre the Village Voice rightly described as minimal techno disguised as house music--has gotten a lot less micro of late. The most common adjustment has been to plant microhouse's subtle beats and incrementally shifting textures underneath songs that are already popular. Sometimes this tactic fails--Superpitcher released a god-awful cover of "Fever" earlier this year. But other times it works surprisingly well, and that's true of the versions of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Maps" and Everything but the Girl's "Each and Everyone" crafted by Cologne DJ-producer Michaela Dippel, aka Ada, on her debut full-length, Blondie (Areal). Both songs' swelling buildups and slightly melancholy moods fit neatly with the rest of the album, and Ada's vocals are surprisingly affecting--she's a sharp singer whether she's cooing the surging melody of "Each and Everyone" over her own classic microhouse track "Blindhouse" or turning "Maps" into a lullaby. But the singing takes a backseat to Ada's production work, which is full of rich details, from the suffocating bells on the EBTG cover to the tingly clicks on "Livedriver" to the filtered hand claps and snaking 303 bass line on "Our Love Never Dies." Superpitcher headlines and Meiotic Soundsystem opens. Friday 11/12, 10 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-4140, $10.

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