Darren Keen, Giant Claw, Quicksails | Empty Bottle | Dance | Chicago Reader

Darren Keen, Giant Claw, Quicksails Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Wed., Sept. 9, 9 p.m. 2015

Footwork has grooved its way into the hearts of folks outside Chicago, and among those who’ve taken to the ecstatic, idiosyncratic house subgenre is Nebraska-raised producer Darren Keen. In another life Keen made spastic, lo-fi pop as the Show Is the Rainbow and had a short-lived beef with Bright Eyes front man Conor Oberst, who (poorly) rapped “Disaster’s apparent / You won’t last here, Darren” during a guest spot on a hidden track from Criteria’s En Garde. Keen’s since ditched the goofier affections of his old project (and its name) as he’s gravitated toward the hyperactive, rhythmically complex sound of footwork. He’s got a knack for lacing together arrhythmic patterns that sound discordant—he makes them fit while keeping their distinct paces and incongruous affectations intact. Keen’s work won over local excellent Teklife producer DJ Earl, who remixed a track of Keen’s called “Higher” back when the cornhusker was still establishing his new musical path. Now he’s got his first full-length under his birth name, the brand-new He’s Not Real (released by Orange Milk, the imprint run by tonight’s opener, Giant Claw). The record speeds through its short run time thanks to the same never-ending sense of fun that elevates many of the best footwork tracks.

Leor Galil

Price: $8

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