When Chicago multimedia artist Gregory Bae died suddenly in 2021, he left behind a shattered artistic community. Among the grieving was his friend Kikù Hibino, a sound artist whose work has been heard in venues such as the Chicago Cultural Center, Lincoln Park Conservatory, Elastic Arts, Hairpin Arts Center, Hyde Park Art Center, and Experimental […]
Experimental metal trio Locrian break their seven-year silence with the exploratory New Catastrophism
Experimental metal trio Locrian have spent the past 17 years branching out into unknown realms, but lately they’ve been reexamining their roots. Formed in Chicago in 2005 by guitarist André Foisy and keyboardist Terence Hannum, Locrian started out mining darkness from their bleak soundscapes by layering grimy, pitch-black, doomy ambient noise with swaths of sounds […]
London label Touch brings its 40th-anniversary celebration to the International Museum of Surgical Science
London-based Touch isn’t a record label in the traditional sense; it’s far more multifaceted. It might be more accurate to describe Touch as a collective that also extends into publishing, performance curation, and site-specific multimedia events driven by a loosely defined stable of international avant-garde electronic and sound artists, who include guitarist and producer Fennesz, […]
Three albums in, Chicago underground supergroup Rlyr are still having fun
I heard a lot about the glory days of the Fireside Bowl even before I moved to Chicago, and I loved the way the venue brought together bands from disparate subscenes with almost every show. Chicago instrumental trio Rlyr exemplify that freewheeling spirit: in their wondrous thrashing, I can hear the residual effects of growing […]
Admission is the best record yet from ‘thunder pop’ forefathers Torche
Miami band Torche have always been like heavy metal’s cotton candy, and their recent fifth album, July’s Admission (Relapse), is their most delicious yet. Since rising from the ashes of stoner-rock group Floor in 2004, Torche have specialized in what they call “thunder pop”—a hard-hitting, wall-of-sound brand of sludgy doom metal that’s topped off with […]
Experimental-metal supergroup Rlyr explore their poppy side on their second LP, Actual Existence
Those familiar with Chicago’s heavy-music scene got what they were expecting with Delayer, the 2016 debut record from Chicago experimental-metal supergroup Rlyr. On it Pelican guitarist Trevor De Brauw, Locrian and Cleared drummer Steven Hess, and former Russian Circles/sometimes Bloodiest bassist Colin DeKuiper combined their powers to make an album of expansive instrumental postmetal that […]
Violence begets violence on the gig poster of the week
This week’s gig poster was designed by a local artist operating as Mute Neighbor.
There’s a pile of sacrificial severed heads on the gig poster of the week
This week’s featured gig poster was designed by Swedish artist and musician Axel Widén.
Alexi Front’s Scorched Tundra metal festival covers even more ground in its second Chicago year
This year’s Chicago installment of the Swedish-born Scorched Tundra fest features the likes of Oxbow, Fistula, Acid King, and Wolvhammer—plus a beer from Pipeworks and a burger from Kuma’s.
Local power trio RLYR premiere the first song from their upcoming debut
Three masters of boundary-pushing metal go shiny, pretty, and epic in RLYR.
Mike Weis of Zelienople on the perfect musical pain relievers
Plus: Steven Hess of Locrian on mind-bending death metal, the Reader‘s Luca Cimarusti on Jandek and John Mayer, and more
Stargazing in the mud at Pitchfork
Stargazing in the mud at Pitchfork, plus new records on the way from RLYR and the duo of Ryley Walker and Bill MacKay
Electric Hawk share an early taste of their imminent second album tonight at the Hideout
Bombastic, gratuitously complicated, and thoroughly great, “Sex Embargo” appears on Electric Hawk II, due out April 14.