Pita | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Pita (aka Peter Rehberg), the Vienna-based co-owner of the influential electronic-music label Mego, is a pioneer of laptop music--he released Seven Tons for Free, with its glitches and its serene yet clipped synthetic melodies, back in 1996. Since then his music has grown darker, louder, and more violent, and his sense of scale and dynamics has become even sharper; he sets moods and textures against one another to create a single masterful picture. His roots are in techno, but he's also a fine improviser, as demonstrated in his Chicago gigs with Christian Fennesz, in the largely electronic free-improv group MIMEO, and in his trio with Fennesz and Jim O'Rourke, Fenn O'Berg. His more recent collaborations, with Ramon Bauer on Passt (Touch) and Zbigniew Karkowski on Pop (Tochnit Aleph), explore the extreme side of laptop fuckery: Pita and his partners judiciously unleash brutal squalls amid ever morphing streams of fractured digital humming, grinding, and rumbling. But Pita's solo work best showcases the full range of his abilities--on last year's Get Down (Mego) sound files collide, flow, and overlap, as disfigured melodic shapes, tangled-up beats, and penetrating tones explode in a furious barrage. The music is often amorphous, but both the changes the synthetic patterns undergo and the order in which the sounds follow one another create some carefully considered surprises. For his solo debut in Chicago, Pita will premiere music from Get Off--the follow-up to Get Down and 1999's Get Out. Friday, March 21, 9 PM, 6Odum, 2116 W. Chicago; 312-666-0795 or 773-227-3617.

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