Bran (...) Pos, Compomicro-Dexall | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Bran (...) Pos, Compomicro-Dexall 

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Generating a stream of noise with a keyboard and a bunch of effects boxes is no great feat, but San Francisco sound performer Jake Rodriguez--one of the founders of the Clit Stop, a now-defunct underground venue that played host to the local cardboard-and-electronics scene--can shape that noise into something sophisticated, even cerebral. The music he makes in his nine-year-old solo project, the Bran (...) Pos, is mostly manipulated vocals: wearing a gas mask rigged with a mike, he uses a ton of nifty pedals and processors (and one synth) to turn his syllables into shimmery, gurgling blobs of sound that jiggle in the background or burst into shrapnel. No melodies emerge, and there's rarely so much as an identifiable tempo, even on songs that top ten minutes. But rather than smother everything with distortion, Rodriguez creates spacious, gradually unfolding soundscapes that evoke a bewildering variety of moods and images: pixie-with-a-hacksaw mischief, cinematic sci-fi creepiness, tortured-robot malfunctioning. The chin scratchers in the crowd ought to appreciate the Bran (...) Pos, but even the head nodders should find something to latch onto in Rodriguez's other performance tonight: from time to time Compomicro-Dexall, his improvising duo with drummer and guitarist Mike Guarino, actually plays a few seconds of a stable beat. Rodriguez adds electric bass to his array here, favoring a hollow tone, babbling articulation, and jumpy lines that boing back and forth across his bandmate's hobbling percussion pitter-patter. Occasionally he and Guarino lapse into what sounds like the monochromatic filler of a generic post-rock song, but when they're on they sound like swamp beasts chasing down dinner. Also on the bill are local acts Illusion of Safety, Coeurl, and Vertonen. Saturday, July 6, 9 PM, Deadtech, 3321 W. Fullerton; 773-395-2844.

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