Radian, Cleared, David Daniell | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Radian, Cleared, David Daniell Early Warnings (Music)

When: Sat., May 28, 9 p.m. 2011

On their most recent album, 2009's Chimeric (Thrill Jockey), Viennese instrumental trio Radian use different tools—Stefan Nemeth largely forgoes his usual synthesizers in favor of electric guitar—but continue to sculpt meticulous music that exploits the tension between relentless rhythms and weird, grainy, abstract sounds. On the opening blast, "Git Cut Noise," Nemeth's feedback-rich guitar noise and Martin Brandlmayr's lean, exact drumming—judging by his style, he's listened to a lot of This Heat—both seem over-the-top and almost improvised, but everything Radian does is painstaking. Though they rely on raw, unpredictable, and even accidental sounds, they edit, transform, and rearrange those sounds endlessly. Many of the tracks are built from seemingly incidental noises—indeterminate electronic buzzing and humming, the pop of a guitar cord being plugged into a live amp, the twitchy scratching of wire brushes on the head of Brandlmayr's snare drum—many of which would end up excised from most groups' songs. But Radian find musicality in them, transforming them into surging arrangements. On "Subcolors" they process a single guitar chord over and over—first it's just the flat, dry sound of strings struck by a pick, followed by the same chord amplified by what might be different combinations of the instrument's electronics, and then finally the sound is truncated and treated digitally to become something almost entirely new. That repeated, mutating chord, edited into a similarly shape-shifting rhythm, overlaps with Brandlmayr's precise drumming and atmospheric vibraphone to create a kind of terse, hypnotically throbbing funk. This is Radian's first Chicago show in six years, and considering how well they've translated each previous record to the stage, I can't wait to hear it. —Peter Margasak

Price: $12

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