Kim Hiorthoy, Martin Horntveth | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Kim Hiorthoy, Martin Horntveth

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This gig is a showcase for the Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound, the electronic-music-oriented little brother to Rune Grammofon, the most eclectic label on the Scandinavian free-music scene. A number of musicians affiliated with the imprint will make their Chicago debuts: Kim Hiorthoy, known primarily as the graphic designer responsible for the minimalist look of Rune Grammofon's releases, makes music on the side. On Hei he delivers a pleasing, modest set of bedroom electronica whose primary influences seem to be Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada. The beats are small and skittery, establishing a claustrophobic post-techno atmosphere that's repeatedly disrupted by jagged rhythmic pileups; the pretty, quasi-classical melodies that happen simultaneously make a nice contrast. It's not the most original approach, which makes Hiorthoy's occasional use of chopped-up spoken word all the more welcome. More impressive is Fast Motion, the solo debut by Martin Horntveth--leader and drummer of Jaga Jazzist, a ten-piece group that explores the intersection of fusion and electronic music. The new record features a decidedly raw, in-the-red strain of electronica that combines the crunching, twitchy beats of Funkstorung (with whom he's collaborated), horror-movie melodrama, white noise blasts, and woozy synth melodies. Both Hiorthoy and Horntveth will perform live sets, and Chicagoan Kevin Drumm (who has a release forthcoming on Smalltown Supersound) and label proprietor Joakim Haugland will DJ. Tuesday, March 19, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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