Earth, Pita | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Earth, Pita 

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Peter Rehberg, the Vienna-based computer musician who makes records under the name PITA, has spent most of the last decade actively defying expectations. He's a techno music adherent whose first records sampled refrigerator tones and who, despite his lack of formal training, exploited his keen listening skills to become a member of the heavyweight MIMEO (Music in Mouvement Electronic Orchestra) with the likes of Keith Rowe, Phil Durrant, and Thomas Lehn. His last few recordings broke with the quiet minimalism of so much experimental electronic music and embraced loud, jarring, and deliberately rude noise, but on Get Off (Hapna), the first new Pita album in several years, he creates a gentler, more contemplative sound. There are still some deeply cacophonous passages, such as the crushing static on "Like Watching Shit on a Shelf," but even these achieve an ethereal glow. Released last month under Rehberg's real name, Fremdkoerper (Mosz) is music for a dance piece choreographed by Chris Haring, but it's captivating on its own, alternately spectral, piercing, and psychedelic. --Peter Margasak

In 1993 it would've been absurd to suggest that Earth 2, a three-song, 73-minute torrent of crackling distortion and feedback with no drums and barely any riffs to speak of, would one day be considered seminal. But today there's no denying the impact Dylan Carlson, the driving force behind EARTH, has had on the genre of doom metal and, more specifically, well-regarded bands like Sunn O))) (who started as an Earth tribute band) and Khanate (see Critic's Choice for Sunday). After several years of inactivity due to drug problems and numerous personnel changes, Earth has returned with a slew of new releases, including Legacy of Dissolution (No Quarter), which collects remixes by the likes of Jim O'Rourke, Autechre, and Mogwai, and the forthcoming Hex (Or Printing in the Infernal Method), the group's first studio recording since 1996, appropriately released on the Southern Lord label (whose roster includes Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, a band named after a track on Earth 2). --J. Niimi

This show is part of the Adventures in Modern Music Festival; see page 30 for a complete schedule. Earth headlines, Gang Gang Dance plays third, Pita plays second, and Ghislain Poirier opens. Sat 9/24, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $15.

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