Africa Hitech, Lazer Sword, Chris Widman, Jeff Pietro | Smart Bar | Dance | Chicago Reader

Africa Hitech, Lazer Sword, Chris Widman, Jeff Pietro Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., Nov. 17, 10 p.m. 2011

Despite its name, dance-production team Africa Hitech—made up of Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek, a couple veterans of Britain's 90s ambient-electronic scene—creates music that seems deliberately untethered to any specific place (or any specific time, for that matter). On its surface, this year's 93 Million Miles (Warp) is a collection of vintage electronic sounds assembled into relatively mild-mannered tracks; it could work as well blasted on the dance floor as it could played softly over the PA in a boutique hotel lobby. However, a closer listen reveals a tangle of spatial and temporal knots that beg for an even more detailed inspection—Ini Kamoze's 1984 dancehall single "World-a-Music" rubs elbows with postmillennial dubstep, classic Detroit techno merges with UK funky (itself a collision of house music and African-influenced syncopation), synthesizers replicating Congolese likembe melodies run up against vocodered vocals that could've come straight out of a Kraftwerk cut. A newer, slightly more directed effort, the Do U Really Wanna Fight EP, suggests what dancehall might end up sounding like if Jamaica ever falls to a robot uprising. —Miles Raymer Lazer Sword, Chris Widman, and Jeff Pietro open.

Price: $10

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