Expatriates Fred Lonberg-Holm and Jaimie Branch return to Chicago, and they’re ready to party | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Expatriates Fred Lonberg-Holm and Jaimie Branch return to Chicago, and they’re ready to party

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Cello and electronics player Fred Lonberg-Holm, who lived in Chicago until 2017, and Norwegian drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg are the Party Knüllers. The name of the duo is a bit deceptive; their freewheeling approach to improvising is more like a friendly (but not too friendly) game of street ball than Andrew W.K.-style headbanging. But they do adhere to one rule of partying—no matter how much fun you’re having making music, it’s even more fun when the right friends join in. On Party Knüllers’ 2013 LP Four Images of Wank (Hispid), Jim Baker uses his synthesizer to add code-violating electrical zaps to the duo’s skittering feints and elbows-out collisions. Party Knüllers X Jaimie Branch at the Casa, a download-only recording of a 2018 concert with the formerly Chicago-based trumpeter (available on Bandcamp), is more mercurial. At first Branch’s quick trumpet jabs challenge the flow of Lonberg-Holm and Solberg’s running game, but within minutes she’s using extended techniques to meld her instrument’s voice with either of theirs. This concert is part of the trio’s second American tour, but it’s the first time they’ve played together in Chicago.   v

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