MSTRKRFT | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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These two Toronto dudes really want you to understand their love for the synthetic--there's not a single warm tone on their new debut album, The Looks (Last Gang). This perverse fixation on canned, sterile sounds makes MSTRKRFT's vocodered penis-pump disco almost charmingly funny, especially when you know it's the work of guys with one foot in a sweaty, hairy rock band--Jesse Keeler plays bass in Death From Above 1979 and Al-P is DFA1979's producer. On The Looks they sound like they've just discovered computer programming and it's totally blowing their minds: the tracks are all obnoxious, hyperactive, raved-out glow-stick-and-strobe-light music, minus the undertones of scuzzy-kid VapoRub hedonism you get at an actual rave. It's not exactly innovative, but it doesn't take originality to crowd a dance floor. MSTRKRFT headlines this night of DJ sets, which is an official Intonation Music Festival preparty. Fellow electro-techno wiseacres Chromeo (who play the fest on Saturday; see guide on page 20 and local DJs Bald Eagle and Jordan Zawideh open. Fri 6/23, 10 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-4140 or 312-559-1212, $10.

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