Implodes' overdue debut, fingerstyle prodigy Ryley Walker, and a 'moving painting' at Chicago Opera Theater | Three Beats | Chicago Reader

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Implodes' overdue debut, fingerstyle prodigy Ryley Walker, and a 'moving painting' at Chicago Opera Theater

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INDIE | A party for Implodes' overdue debut

It took them three and a half years, but on April 20 local four-piece Implodes finally released their debut album, Black Earth (Kranky).


The drone-psych group started in late 2007, when guitarists Matt Jencik and Ken Camden (coworkers at Reckless Records) started playing acoustic jam sessions together. Both were into fingerstyle folk guitar and various guitar-based African styles, none of which seems like a logical precursor to the often glacial, feedback­-soaked tunes on Black Earth. But Jencik listened to other music too, and he was working independently on songs informed by a sound he'd envisioned before writing a single note.

"I was really into black metal at the time. A lot of it is atmospheric and almost like shoegaze," he says. "I wanted it to be kind of like the Jesus and Mary Chain, but almost a metal version of that." Written on acoustic guitar and then cloaked in distortion, this material became the basis for Implodes.

Though Black Earth has been available less than a month, most of its songs have been in Implodes' repertoire in one form or another since the first few weeks of the band's existence. Some have been released already too, albeit on cassette and in extremely small editions—in July 2009, for instance, Plustapes issued a self-titled collection of Implodes demos a couple weeks before the group made its live debut at the Whistler.

Implodes celebrates the release of Black Earth with an 8 PM show Sun 5/8 at Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln; Brain Idea and Alex Barnett open, and cover is $10. —Leor Galil

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