Hrvatski | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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HRVATSKI

This Berklee dropout clearly loves the twitchy intensity of drum 'n' bass, but his frenetic electronic collages have little to do with dancing. On Oiseaux 96-98 (Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge) Keith Fullerton Whitman (aka Hrvatski, which is Croatian for "Croatian") uses breakbeats not so much for rhythm as for commentary. For instance: The breakbeat from "Amen, Brother," a late-60s funk tune by the Winstons, is one of the most heavily used samples in drum 'n' bass--so Hrvatski sticks it into nearly everything, until it loses its identity as anything but an archetypal sound. Beneath the spastic beat schemes--which rival Squarepusher's for giddy complexity at times--is a psychedelic symphony of electronically tweaked guitar arpeggios, brass charts, plucked piano strings, dissonant orchestral swells, and even twittering birds. Hrvatski's bold breakbeat-splattered cover of Pink Floyd's "Cirrus Minor" is worth the price of admission alone--not just for its conceptual cojones, but for how damn good the thing actually sounds. Salvo Beta and K-Rad, two of Chicago's more interesting experimental electronic outfits, open. Thursday, February 22, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

PETER MARGASAK

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