OffOnOff, Rabid Rabbit with Bruce Lamont, DJ Nate McBride | Hideout | Jazz, Rock, Pop, Etc, Experimental | Chicago Reader
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OffOnOff, Rabid Rabbit with Bruce Lamont, DJ Nate McBride Critic's Choice Recommended The List (Music) Soundboard

When: Wed., May 13, 9:30 p.m. 2009
Price: $10
This blindingly fierce trio is essentially the avant-garde all-star combo Original Silence minus Thurston Moore, Mats Gustafsson, and Jim O’Rourke: in other words, OffOnOff consists of Dutch guitarist Terrie Hessels (from the Ex), Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love (from Atomic, the Thing, and many others), and Italian electric bassist Massimo Pupillo (from Zu, who recently released Carboniferous, a bulldozer of mostly instrumental sax-driven prog-punk compromised only by melodramatic guest vocals from Mike Patton, whose Ipecac label put it out). They share the larger group’s devotion to total improvisation at its most extreme, and seem plugged into the same lurch-and-stop, in-your-face approach. OffOnOff’s killer 2007 debut, Clash (Smalltown Superjazzz), uses rhythm as its basic language but rarely falls into anything you could call a groove or a riff—in fact there’s rarely a fixed tempo. Instead the music explodes with tightly coiled clusters of sound, as Pupillo’s gut-punching low-end collides with Hessel’s wiry, wiggy scrabble. The players seem to have a telepathic knack for moving as a unit, whether they’re accelerating and decelerating, rising and falling, or emerging from thickets of chaotic noise like the unstoppable red-eyed metal skeleton of the Terminator striding out of a tanker-truck fire. This is the group’s Chicago debut, and they’ve got a second album due any day, also on Smalltown Superjazzz. Rabid Rabbit opens, joined by guest saxophonist Bruce Lamont of Yakuza; Nate McBride spins. —Peter Margasak



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