From the music-box melodies of Aphex Twin to the dewy-eyed romanticism of laptopper Jake Mandell, armchair techno has often skirted the edge of twee. But Dirk Dresselhaus, aka Schneider TM, dives right in. The Berlin producer's 2000 collaboration with KPT.michi.gan, the Binokular EP, featured "The Light 3000," a remake of the Smiths' "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" arranged for cheap-sounding, ping-ponging electropercussion, laptop crackles, and Vocoder. The track flirts with cheek, but its synthetic sheen actually fits the melancholy lyrics--you could call it emotronica. On Schneider TM's pop-savvy 2002 album, Zoomer, the musician brightens up his straightforward song structures and classic-pop chord changes with digital scrapes, robo-voices, and twinkling beats. The new 6 Peace EP (Mute) is highlighted by Zoomer's folkish "Reality Check," also presented in a frisky, drum 'n' bass-ish remix by Mogwai and David Jeck; the disc makes a useful introduction to the artist's work. Both "The Light 3000" and the more abstract glitch workout "Chotto Matte" reappear from Binokular; the recent acoustic-guitar-driven B side "Frogstears" is almost straight folk, complete with what sounds like an actual harmonica solo. Schneider TM is opening for Enon (see Spot Check) and headliners the Faint; the show is sold-out. Friday, May 16, 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Tina Winkhaus.