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Experimental musician Claire Rousay makes you listen to everything

Prolific experimental percussionist and electronic musician Claire Rousay has created a sprawling body of work that clunks and patters somewhere between noise and silence, music and abstraction. Her new release, Everything Perfect Is Already Here (out April 22 on Shelter Press), consists of two 15-minute ambient explorations that rustle and dissolve in gentle lyrical spasms. […]

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Asher White summons the euphoria of 2000s indie rock with Architecture Exuberant!

To make her whimsical new indie-folk album, Architecture Exuberant!, Chicagoland native Asher White used a dozen or so instruments—including, as she writes in the liner notes, a broken accordion and a drum set she bought off eBay. Her kitchen-sink approach—which also involved guiro, banjo, prepared piano, and ceramic plates—gives Architecture Exuberant! a charmingly ragged, bucolic […]

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Chicago experimental dance trio Purelink draw ecstasy from echoes on Puredub

As the trio Purelink, Chicago producers Millia Rage, Kindtree, and Concave Reflection explore the seams joining ambient music and dance. The tracks on Purelink’s 2021 Bliss/Swivel EP float like their rhythms are on the edge of dissolving (“Maintain the Bliss”) or transform the hyperactive sounds of drum ‘n’ bass into ghostly apparitions (“Head on a […]

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Thumbscrew are an all-star ensemble where no one is the star

The members of Thumbscrew are nonpareil instrumentalists. Drummer Tomas Fujiwara easily balances ornamentation and propulsion at any speed; double bassist Michael Formanek plays with a woody tone whose bulk belies his ability to invest each note with its own expressive inflection; and guitarist Mary Halvorson employs fluid phrasing and adroit manipulation of delay effects that […]

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Luke Titus and Cisco Swank graft jazz skills to beat-tape looseness on Some Things Take Time

Chicago drummer Luke Titus and New York rapper-singer Cisco Swank unite jazz, R&B, and hip-hop on their new album, Some Things Take Time (Sooper). Brief but stimulating, the record feels like a walk around the block as the neighborhood awakens. Swank and Titus are both young multi-instrumentalists and producers with prodigious backgrounds: Swank attended New […]