Ladytron | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Last week I finally bought a CD at full retail from one of those cavernous Mag Mile stores that borrows its retina-raping interior design from video arcades and casinos. It was worth it, though: no one else had Ladytron's new Extended Play (Rykodisc), which salts a bunch of remixes from last year's Witching Hour with a few non-album cuts. At this stage in their development, Ladytron are probably the most remixable group in the world. The combination of dense techno and substantial pop on their 2001 debut, 604, was as rewarding at the disco as it was through headphones, and the blaring rock beats and stinging, fuzzed-out synths on Witching Hour added yet another dimension to a sound that'd already evolved substantially in the interim. Plus the two vocalists aren't just sexy as hell in that otherworldly, Daryl Hannah-in-Blade Runner way, they're bona fide singers too. Practically any DJ--shit, even my aunt Berta--could take their material in one of a hundred different directions and sound like a genius. So why are the remixes on Extended Play so cautious? UK producer Jagz Kooner gives "Sugar" a cologne bath, a tight shiny shirt, and a couple of Tranxenes before spinning it around and shoving it back into the club--and the gnomic lyrics ("If I give you sugar, will you give me / Something elusive and temporary"), which resonated as rhythm in the grinding, fuel-injected original, sound a little silly with the rug pulled out from under them. Not that I care--this show is all Ladytron, all the time, with no pussyfooting DJs mucking things up. It's gonna kill. The Presets open. Fri 4/21, 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, sold out, 18+.

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