Experimental-music newsletter Tone Glow hosts an international streaming showcase | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

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Experimental-music newsletter Tone Glow hosts an international streaming showcase

Plus: Sunjacket drop a second album of synth-heavy indie rock, and RJ Lake soundtracks a video game about an alien airport run by dogs.

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Choi Joonyong, shown here at Seoul venue Dotolim in 2018, will perform as part of Saturday's Tone Glow stream. - COURTESY @DOTOLIM ON INSTAGRAM
  • Courtesy @dotolim on Instagram
  • Choi Joonyong, shown here at Seoul venue Dotolim in 2018, will perform as part of Saturday's Tone Glow stream.

Tone Glow became a must-read for experimental-music fans not long after editor Joshua Minsoo Kim (who's also a Reader contributor) began publishing it as a blog in 2015, and since December 2019 it's been an excellent online newsletter focusing on interviews and reviews. Even when Tone Glow writers talk to relatively familiar figures such as Shirley Collins, Jim O'Rourke, Young Marble Giants, and Annea Lockwood, their deep research and insightful questions make the conversations fresh and fascinating. Last November, Tone Glow began booking occasional streaming shows in conjunction with Experimental Sound Studio's Quarantine Concerts series, and the fifth of those concerts arrives Saturday, June 5. The six acts on the bill include anything-goes South Korean noisemaker Choi Joonyong, American composer Devin DiSanto, a collaboration between Scottish sound artists Hannah Ellul and Rebecca Wilcox, and a duo of New York-based multi-instrumentalist David Grubbs and Tokyo laptop-and-guitar improviser Taku Unami. There's a $10 suggested donation, and the stream will be available via the ESS Twitch account and website.

  • Choi Joonyong recorded this washing-machine piece for the festival Amplify 2020 during COVID lockdown last June.

Synth-focused Chicago indie rockers Sunjacket have barely released any music since their 2016 debut album, Mantra. But that changes Friday, June 4, when the trio plan to drop their second full-length, More Lifelike. Its songs drape plush, cinematic synth melodies over skeletal rock arrangements, and this wolf is particularly keen on slow-boiling single "Uptight," whose swirls of falsetto vocals rise from lean, propulsive drums and gently rippling guitar.

Gossip Wolf isn't a gamer per se, but the soundtracks to indie games can be pretty great! Last week Chicago musician RJ Lake released the official soundtrack to the irreverent adventure game An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs, made by Texas-based developer Strange Scaffold (whose next game will be called Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator). Lake has given his soundtrack the ludicrous name Dog Music (An Album Made by a Human Currently Named RJ Lake That Makes Up the Official Soundtrack for a Game by Strange Scaffold Called "An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs" and Is Good Music for Humans Who Like Music That Sounds Like the Kind Dogs Would Make If They Did That Kind of Thing), and it adapts sprightly retro video-game sounds into ambient textures and sugar-high pop melodies. The hiccupping hip-hop beat that powers "Complicated Words Like 'Darling'" even makes it sound like a hybrid with hyperpop!  v

  • The launch trailer for An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs

Got a tip? Tweet @Gossip_Wolf or e-mail gossipwolf@chicagoreader.com.

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