Hefty Records Immediate Action Tour | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Hefty Records Immediate Action Tour

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Last year Hefty Records, the Chicago electronic music label operated by John Hughes III--aka Slicker--released a series of six limited edition 12-inch singles dubbed "Immediate Action." Packaged in white sleeves with release information stenciled on in spray paint, they were designed to allow artists to get their work out quickly, eliminating the normally lengthy period between the time something is recorded and the time it ends up in stores. Demand for the singles has since led the label to compile the records, four of which are out of print, on a two-CD set, which contains additional material and functions as a nice overview of the label's aesthetic. With one exception, the jazz-oriented acoustic-electronic blend of the Samadha Trio, most of the music can safely be categorized as intelligent dance music--experiments conducted in the language of electronic club music. Most of the beats arrive in complex, shifting stutters, the sort to inhibit rather than encourage dancing, and are combined one way or another with synthesizer melodies. It's not groundbreaking stuff, but it's done well. Four of the bands featured on the comp will perform at this rare label showcase: Earlier this year Slicker released The Latest, a major improvement over the clunky drum 'n' bass of 1998's Confidence in Duber; the twitchy but sumptuous beats tangle with melodic moods that range from hot-tubby sensuality to jagged paranoia. On their recent Fahrenheit Fair Enough, the New Orleans duo Telefon Tel Aviv apes Tortoise, mixing electronics with live drums and guitar or kinetic beats with serene fusiony melodies. And the Cleveland-Boulder duo Twine melds minimalist glitchiness with an ethereal melodic drift that on one of its 12-inch cuts grows rather Satie-esque. Beneath Autumn Sky, the fourth act on the bill, is the odd man out, wedding abstract instrumentals to pure hip-hop rhythms. Friday, November 16, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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