Posted inMusic

Moritat find ecstasy in art-rock’s odd angles

Moritat’s new self-released album, Vermilion, settles in like the night. The Chicago art-rock band’s subtle, magnetic polyrhythms simmer with the allure of a backyard bonfire or an open-air midnight dance party, and their cool, melodious synths feel like a predawn drive on an empty road lit only by stars. Moritat’s core members—Venus Laurel, Corey McCafferty, […]

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Helado Negro’s down-home pop is as invigorating as it is intimate

For more than a decade, Brooklyn-based artist Roberto Carlos Lange has crafted down-home pop music as Helado Negro. Each of his seven albums has shown a graceful evolution of his sonic palette, introducing scrappy psych-folk excursions, midtempo synth-pop odysseys, and other elements, but they’re all connected by an overarching gentleness at their core. Lange’s music […]

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Vijay Iyer builds a superpowered septet in tribute to Eve Ewing’s Ghosts in the Schoolyard

The creative and intellectual spheres of Eve Ewing and Vijay Iyer are so expansive they’re pretty much impossible to abbreviate. So the news that Iyer is in town for the pandemic-deferred premiere of his musical suite inspired by Ewing’s writing, Ghosts Everywhere I Go, should inspire eager anticipation and knowing nods. Ewing and Iyer are […]

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Underground rapper Defcee connects with Closed Sessions producer BoatHouse on For All Debts Public and Private

If you need an introduction to Defcee, you haven’t been paying attention to underground hip-hop in Chicago. The rapper had a banner year in 2021, thanks to three collaborative releases that nudged him further into the national spotlight: June’s We Dressed the City With Our Names, a collaboration with beat maker August Fanon; September’s Sunday […]

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Congotronics International is a supergroup as big as the world

Congotronics International is rooted in Konono No. 1 and the Kasai Allstars, two bands from the Democratic Republic of the Congo that released music through legendary Belgian label Crammed Discs in the mid-2000s. Those groups’ hyperamplified, percussion-heavy sounds, which Crammed released in a series dubbed Congotronics (also the title of Konono No. 1’s 2004 album […]

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Juana Molina’s folktronica is perfect for tumbling down a rabbit hole to wonderland

To experience a Juana Molina concert is to be swept away in a most particular sort of rapture. In the late 80s and early 90s, the Argentine singer-songwriter had a successful career in television and comedy before changing gears to pursue music. An early proponent of combining South American folk music and electronica, Molina introduced […]

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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. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The body in focus

While living alone in the woods of northern California at the start of 2020, Lilli Carré started learning chess. Like many folks deep into the pandemic, she took up a new hobby. While trying to draw inspiration for her work, she incorporated her new vehicle for communication when all touch and connection were lost.  Carré’s […]

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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 […]