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Veteran Japanese sound artist Yasunao Tone brings his latest, AI-enhanced, system of digital sound manipulation to town for a rare local performance

In his liner note essay for Convulsive Threshold (Editions Mego), Yasunao Tone’s 2013 collaborative album with Russell Haswell, Tony Myatt explains that the veteran Japanese sound artist rejects the notion of abusing or inducing errors into his work with digital sound technology. He prefers the term deviation: creating situations where the technology can take a […]

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Drummer Mark Guiliana moves toward acoustic music on his second album as a leader, but his fluency in electronic music remains

Drummer Mark Guiliana has previously worked mostly in electronic-friendly contexts, playing hard-hitting fusion with saxophonist Donny McCaslin and a hybrid of jazz and techno with trumpeter Dave Douglas’s High Risk project, and contributing to David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar. On Jersey (Motema), his second consecutive album as a bandleader, he embraces an acoustic sound that […]

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Outsider artist Daniel Johnston embarks on his last tour ever—or is it?

During the 80s, Austin-based songwriter Daniel Johnston began recording fractured, innocent, childlike pop genius onto a boombox. As he passed the tapes around, he caught the attention of alternative acts like Built to Spill, Sonic Youth, and Nirvana—Kurt Cobain famously introduced the mainstream to Johnston’s music by wearing a T-shirt with the cover art for […]

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Willie Watson settles into American folk tradition, inhabiting the songs on Folksinger Vol. 2 like he’s always lived within them

Willie Watson makes no bones about his allegiance to tradition on his new album, Folksinger Vol. 2 (Acony). In his liner notes he writes about his favorite versions of some of the tunes he performs: it takes a certain amount of guts to inform listeners about the Bascom Lamar Lunsford version of “Dry Bones” or […]

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Former Flosstradamus producer Josh Young keeps the party going as YehMe2

Local electronic production duo Flosstradamus, aka Curt “Autobot” Cameruci and Josh “J2K” Young, rose to fame in the late aughties by forging EDM’s propulsive power with trap rap’s percussive ingenuity. In 2013 Young reminisced with former Reader music writer Miles Raymer about the creative freedom he found during the group’s nadir: “No one was watching. […]

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The Paul Giallorenzo Trio releases a stunning new album that highlights the pianist’s lean, rhythmic acuity

The pianist Paul Giallorenzo is an under-the-radar presence within Chicago’s deep improvised music scene, but over the years he’s become a significant force both on and off the bandstand. He’s a crucial figure behind Elastic Arts, the invaluable, diverse performing arts space at the northern end of Logan Square, as he was for its Humboldt […]

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Saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock presents her most ambitious and thorny batch of compositions yet

Over the past decade, saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock has increasingly used composition to provoke and organize adventurous improvisation. She made a major leap on the knotty 2016 album Serpentines (Intakt). The musical personalities she’s assembled, and the unusual timbres they contribute, represent compositional decisions just as profound as anything she’s put down on the page. The […]