Nick Butcher of Sonnenzimmer, aka Rhybadi Credit: Nadine Nakanishi

In a 2013 Reader piece, Sarah Nardi described Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi—the two members of local art studio Sonnenzimmer—as “naturally predisposed to working in a language that others can understand.” The same holds true for the duo’s music, which orbits the twin poles of reflective, ambient pop and glitchy electronica (and is often accompanied with painstakingly designed packaging and album art). Late last month, Butcher released Saccadic, a new cassette from his solo project Rhybadi that mixes archival recordings from his youth in Tennessee overdubbed with new vocal and instrumental parts. On the track “Parked,” a dusted-off snippet of hard guitar riffing segues into woozy, booming beats that echo its tempo, as though the hazy new material is a half-forgotten memory of the old. The album is available as a pay-what-you-want download on Sonnenzimmer’s Bandcamp page, and the physical edition consists of two cassette tapes—one full of music and the other filled with concrete!

Local label Chicago Research is beloved by postpunk and electronica gloomsters far and wide, and last week it launched a new website ( that provides a streamlined way to browse its rapidly expanding catalog. This wolf recommends Chicago Research’s new T-shirts and hoodies, recent albums from bloodcurdling electronica acts Avenue Zero and Season of Life, and two newish full-length compilations that between them feature dozens of label-affiliated artists, including favorites such as Club Music, Civic Center, and Hen of the Woods.

Last week, veteran Chicago rapper Pugs Atomz dropped a compilation called Boom Bap on Michigan Ave. that collects material from the past ten years or so, including previously unreleased music, old favorites, and new songs. It’s a follow-up to his 2010 retrospective The Decade (released via UK label BBE), where he rounded up tracks from the 2000s. Boom Bap on Michigan Ave. features a dream team of guests, including Awdazcate, Primeridian, Psalm One, ShowYouSuck, and Rashid Hadee. Atomz is selling the comp in download-only and CD editions, along with commemorative T-shirts in a couple styles—it’s all available via Bandcamp.  v

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