Richard Pinhas | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Richard Pinhas


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On Tranzition (Cuneiform), Richard Pinhas's latest solo album, he and "laptop boy" Jerome Schmidt loop, delay, and distort his brief electric guitar phrases, piling them up into gorgeous oceanic swells. Prog-rock graybeards will of course be reminded of Frippertronics, the guitar-and-tape methodology that Robert Fripp and Brian Eno developed on the mid-70s albums No Pussyfooting and Evening Star, and Pinhas has already given credit where it's due: one piece on his previous solo album is titled "RF (For)." But Pinhas pushes the system much harder, pouring on loop after loop until the sound achieves a nearly impenetrable density; Antoine Pagnotti's overdubbed drums on Tranzition seem to hydroplane over its tidal surge, and the taped voice of sci-fi author Philip K. Dick on "Moumoune Girl (A Song For)" ascends from the depths like a bathysphere. Pinhas has used texts since the beginning: philosopher Gilles Deleuze, first his instructor at the Sorbonne and later his friend, read a passage by Nietzsche on Electronique guerilla, the 1974 debut LP from Heldon, Pinhas's protoindustrial prog-rock band. (After Deleuze died in 1995, Pinhas formed the duo Schizotrope with French cyberpunk author Maurice Dantec, who recited Deleuze's texts on the album Le plan.) This show is a pared-down version of the one that Pinhas and Schmidt have been staging in Europe, where readers perform against projected video backdrops of other writers and texts. At HotHouse, video projections of Deleuze and the late Hubert Selby Jr.--the writers' voices out of sync with their images--will run while Pinhas and Schmidt play. $12. Wednesday, July 14, 9:30 PM, HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo; 312-362-9707. On Tuesday, July 13, at 6 PM Bridge magazine will host a free discussion with Schmidt and Pinhas called "Philosophy, Electronic Rock, and Science Fiction" at 119 N. Peoria; 312-421-2227.

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