APHEX TWIN/LUKE VIBERT
If you think it's pointless to go see electronica live, you haven't experienced Aphex Twin. While his latest LP, Richard D. James Album (Sire/Warp), vigorously mixes hyperkinetic low-tech beats and quasi-classical melodies with a strong dose of cornball humor, there's no reason to expect the same when he comes to town this weekend. Over a long (for techno) career he's shown that he can sculpt a groove with the best of 'em, but he's happier keeping listeners on edge, never letting his complex rhythm programs take the obvious route. Opening for Bjork at Metro two years ago, armed only with a pair of turntables and some simple electronics, he veered from kitschy lounge music to noisy, punishing beats to experimental abstractions. Unfortunately, this time Aphex Twin headlines over the Sneaker Pimps, a vacuous rock trio posing as hard-edged trip-hoppers, and generic British alt-rockers Linoleum. But in tiny type at the bottom of the bill is an incentive to come early: Luke Vibert, who's made abstract instrumental hip-hop as Wagon Christ and cinematic drum 'n' bass as Plug, will DJ between sets. Although his forthcoming album, Big Soup (Mo' Wax/ffrr), released under his real name, is a dull letdown, his previous work indicates superb musical instincts. Saturday, 7 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield; 773-472-0366 or 312-559-1212. PETER MARGASAK
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Aphex Twin photo by W. Mustain/ Luke Vibert photo by Steve Double.