Atmosphere | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Atmosphere

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On You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having (Rhymesayers Entertainment), the fifth Atmosphere full-length, Slug remains as self-conscious and conflicted as ever, undercutting his battle-rap blasts ("Whoever put your record out must have needed write-offs") with disarming insecurity ("Don't worry, someday I'll be nobody too"). Sex is still a major theme, but the narratives seem to suggest that short-term hookups can be tenderly productive and emotionally instructive. Slug might just screw his way to enlightenment--or, as he puts it on "Get Fly," "I'm coming, I'm coming, I'm coming of age." Meanwhile the crew's less-heralded half, producer Ant--who's DJing an Atmosphere tour for the first time--continues to craft the deepest tracks in the underground. He knows when to announce a squeaky vocal sample as the hook and when to let it flutter underneath. He knows when a piano should echo with doom and when it should roll with gospel fervor. And he knows when to simply stand back and let a breakbeat do its business. Blueprint, P.O.S., and DJ Rare Groove open. Wed 10/5, 6 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212, $20. All ages.

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