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Concert: Machine Listener / Jax Deluca / RXM Reality / John Davis



Crafted from squelching synth voices and swathes of fibrous, granular glitch, Machine Listener’s tracks pile together into twitching blobs rendered in high-resolution detail, like dribbles of iridescent plastic allowed to congeal together and dry overnight. Just when his sessions seem to teeter on the edge of total abstraction, he introduces bizarre beat structures into his mixes that bump and slither into legible grids that build alongside the swirling voices that have accumulated up to that point. Colubrid evokes the feeling of looking out through the compound eyes of an insect or the infrared field of vision of a reptile, transmuting familiar shapes into a fractal visual language that pushes at the boundaries of the human perspective and plumbs the unknown depths of auditory fragmentation.


RXM REALITY (Hausu Mountain)
is Chicago-based producer Mike Meegan. His futuristic strain of detailed beat work jitters somewhere between the margins of kinetic IDM, grimy industrial electronics, and intricately spatialized sound design. DEViL WORLD WiDE, his second release with Hausu Mountain, builds on the precedent established by Panic Cycle (2018), as Meegan steers his hybrid rig of hardware samplers and software systems through a series of rhythmic sketches that are as transfixing as they are claustrophobic. Like fellow members of the Hausu Mountain roster such as Fire-Toolz, Khaki Blazer, or Bonnie Baxter, the music of RXM Reality toys with building blocks of dark humor and chaotic irreverence, as tracks break into unexpected shifts in mood or shed any semblance of legible rhythm on a dime to explode into the territory of pure texture. A pummeling passage of breakbeats might slide into a patch of 8-bit squelch, while a brief flash of bouncy, major-key melody might herald the waves of feedback rushing in to wash out the mix.

JOHN DAVIS (Ex-Folk Implosion)
“Depending on whether you know John Davis from his solo records or his tenure with the Folk Implosion, you’ll either know him as a vocal performer or an artisan of grooves. If you head to the guy’s website or listen to his last record, 2017’s El Pulpo, you’ll find that his command of language endures; he has a lot to say about food, politics, corporate encroachment and the ongoing effort that it takes to be human. But if you listen closely to his records, you’ll find that they are studded with marvelous little guitar moments, licks that jump out, snag your ear and drag you into the songs that they serve.

Gnawing On The Bone is Davis’ guitar record, but the album’s title also says something about his compositional approach. He’ll play a phrase, then take it from another angle, then layer it and mull it over some more. He can pick out a tune, but the same stop/start dynamics that show up in his songs often win out over melodic elaboration. And while he sticks to acoustic guitar, he uses overdubbing, delays and a good old-fashioned slide to expand its sonic footprint. There’s plenty to chew on here, whether you come at this record motivated by interest in Davis or his instrument.” – Bill Meyer, Magnet Magazine, Essential New Music, September 2019

Earlier Event: October 26
CDJ Workshop