Man Forever with So Percussion | Constellation | Experimental | Chicago Reader

Man Forever with So Percussion Recommended 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Image

When: Thu., July 10, 9:30 p.m. 2014

New York drummer John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions) founded postpunk band Oneida and plays as a hired gun with loads of other groups, including Spiritualized and Yo La Tengo; in his shape-shifting percussion-centered solo project, Man Forever, he adopts a microcosmic focus, obsessively and minutely exploring overtones, polyrhythms, metrical phasing, and other phenomena. His previous album, 2012’s Pansophical Cataracts, featured Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Greg Fox (Liturgy, Guardian Alien), and Ryan Sawyer (Stars Like Fleas) among its diversity of guests; pairs of percussionists played extended rolls on a single drum apiece, surrounded with intense, seething drones built from guitar and bass. The newest Man Forever record, Ryonen (Thrill Jockey), is a collaboration with broad-minded quartet So Percussion, formed in 1999 and currently consisting of Jason Treuting, Eric Beach, Josh Quillin, and Adam Sliwinski. They use all manner of electronics and embrace John Cage’s anything-is-music aesthetic (their unconventional instruments have included cacti), but perhaps most important they break with the musty formality that binds so much of the classical world, working with the likes of provocative electronic duo Matmos and adventurous jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas. In this context they stick to acoustic drums—setting aside programmed beats, tuned percussion, and digital processing—and they play with such rigor and precision that most rock drummers trying to follow along would end up wheezing and disoriented. Buzzing, ringing overtones emerge as each of the album’s two long pieces evolves, and the five musicians play in different time signatures at the same tempo, creating dense polyrhythms that rise and fall in intensity like waves rolling onto shore. Chanted singing weaves through “The Clear Realization,” and a single voice that sounds like Gregorian chant occasionally billows outward; on the 18-minute title track, a compact flurry of incrementally shifting patterns emits a kind of sonic radiance, heightened by vocal long tones that float in during the final five minutes. This Man Forever date is one of just a handful featuring So Percussion. —Peter Margasak

Price: $10

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