When: Thu., April 18, 10 p.m. 2013
Comparing a musician to Jimi Hendrix is so trite and cliched that no good critic should ever do it, but a number of respected colleagues have already joined me in making an exception for Abraham Orellana, the hip-hop/dance producer known as AraabMuzik. Not only is he fantastically virtuosic on his instrument of choice, the Akai MPC sampler, but like Hendrix he employs it to ends that turn all prior understandings inside-out. The MPC was designed as a studio device, but Orellana is one of a tiny handful of artists who’ve found a way to use it for massively compelling live performances—using its trigger pads to tap out rhythms of astounding speed and complexity in real time, stacking them into layers of sound, and then tearing them apart and reconstructing them into different shapes in front of your eyes. His recordings, such as the recent mixtape For Professional Use Only, offer an interesting hybrid of hip-hop and EDM, but his live shows—which annihilate outdated misconceptions about electronic music being a matter of “just” pushing buttons—are where it’s at. If you were fortunate enough to have your mind blown by his world-tilting performance at last year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, I think you can attest to that. —Miles Raymer Gus Karas, DJ Gordo, and Torio open.