Kim Cascone, Taylor Deupree | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Kim Cascone, Taylor Deupree

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KIM CASCONE, TAYLOR DEUPREE

One of the most common complaints about pure electronic music is that it's too coldly precise. But in the last few years a number of artists have collectively developed an aesthetic, dubbed "glitchwerks," that entails using accidental or incidental clicks, distortion, static, and other by-products of sound as compositional building blocks. Compilations like last year's (Microscopic Sound) (Caipirinha) and the brand-new double CD Clicks_+_Cuts (Mille Plateaux) reveal the surprising diversity within this subgenre, from the brutally physical minimal techno of Pan Sonic to the abrasive soundbursts of Ryoji Ikeda to the crackly dub of Pole. Bay Area artist Kim Cascone has a long history in the experimental electronic-music arena, with ambient and industrial projects like PGR and Heavenly Music Group, but his last few albums are glitchwerks of a sort. He says the soft machine drones on his Blue Cube [] (Rastermusic, 1998) and last year's Cathode Flower (Ritornell) are crafted from sonic residue: he removes the original electronically generated sound source--like a painter rubbing turpentine across a finished canvas--and uses only what he can't completely wipe out as a starting point. Cascone is on the more delicate end of the glitch spectrum, and only on his second album do clicks and pings occasionally disrupt his gorgeous spacescapes. On the bill with him here this week is New York's Taylor Deupree, the compiler of (Microscopic Sound) and something of a techno Renaissance man--he does graphic design, runs his own label, 12k, and has made a wide range of music, from minimal techno to jazzy electronics. Spec. (12k), a recent collaboration with Richard Chartier, is a fascinating assemblage of skeletal beats, oscillating high-frequency squeals, snaky bass tones, clouds of hiss, echoey decay, and disintegrating electronic bleeps--which on "Specification.Three" sound like drops of water sizzling on a hot skillet. These elements form and develop in loose patterns; they're not amorphous by any stretch, but close listening is required to make sense of the din. Saturday, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Iara Lee.

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