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On her final album, composer Pauline Anna Strom cements her legacy in electronic music

Pauline Anna Strom’s new album, Angel Tears in Sunlight, features the first new work in 30 years from the legendary Bay Area electronic music composer. Strom made her album debut with 1982’s Trans-Millenia Consort, a limited-edition vinyl and cassette release she’d recorded in her San Francisco home. Despite its humble beginnings, the album has become […]

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New Goo’s patchwork bedroom pop creates its own peculiar giddiness

Chicago singer-songwriter Kelso Ashby makes whimsical bedroom pop as New Goo, stacking lo-fi percussion, spectral synths, and featherweight vocals. On their new self-released album, Picture of a Picture, they draw from the magnetic, euphoric throb of house music, which dovetails with the raw underpinnings in their intimate material. “Tension” cycles among several threadbare drum loops […]

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Sui generis trio Bloodmist get bleak on their second album

Given the diverse CVs of Bloodmist’s members, the trio’s music could be many things. Clarinetist and synthesizer player Jeremiah Cymerman has made solo recordings that bridge free improvisation and electronic sound design; synth alchemist and drum programmer Mario Diaz de Leon composes unabashedly dramatic acoustic chamber pieces and electronic metal; and bass guitarist Toby Driver […]

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Celebrated guitarist Jeff Parker builds electrifying jazz songs out of experimental demos on Suite for Max Brown

Chicago music remains interesting and vital partly because of how local subcultures overlap and intersect. The city has plenty of tight communities of musicians focused on specific sounds, but the borders around those communities are porous; improvising multi-instrumentalists collaborate with rappers, hip-hop producers take in jazz gigs, and rock musicians immerse themselves in hardware-centric underground […]