Tomorrowland | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


On Tomorrowland's 1998 debut, Sequence of the Negative Space Changes (Kranky), Ann Arborites Nick Brackney and Steve Baker take a scrappy punk approach to space rock, imaginatively transforming limited resources--single-note electric guitar lines, simple keyboard figures--into meditative sheets of sound. A persistent darkness and drifting clouds of corrosive noise keep the beatless proceedings out of Tangerine Dream airspace: the isolation-tank synth surface of "Dustbot" is punctured by slowly intensifying electronic gurgles, while under the ethereal placidity of "Saturn" gently clashing harmonies create a subtle but inescapable tension. And on their latest release, a 12-inch single for the San Francisco label Darla, they actually stream in some murky, robotic beats. The duo's performance this weekend will be flanked by a pair of Labradford side projects: front man Mark Nelson's Pan-American and the local solo debut of bassist Robert Donne--about which, according to his reps at Kranky, he's refused to divulge any details. Friday, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. PETER MARGASAK

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