Haley Fohr & Carol Genetti; Mike Majkowski; SSBT; Julian Kirshner, Aaron Zarzutzki, and Keefe Jackson | Elastic | Experimental | Chicago Reader
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Haley Fohr & Carol Genetti; Mike Majkowski; SSBT; Julian Kirshner, Aaron Zarzutzki, and Keefe Jackson 

When: Fri., April 17, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $10 suggested donation
In the trio Roil, Berlin-based Australian bassist Mike Majkowski plays hard, propulsive lines in an improvisational context that help drive pianist Chris Abrahams (also of Necks). Last year’s terrific Raft of the Meadows (No Business) contains the sort of motific elaboration for which the pianist is known, but the rhythm section of Majkowski and drummer James Waples pushes the development of the album by providing pace, energy, and a whole lot of rough edges. And Majkowski is only better in his solo work, in which deft repetition of stripped-down ideas generates some of the most rewarding minimalist music I’ve heard in recent memory. Last year’s excellent Why Is There Something Instead of Nothing? (Bocian) features two pieces. “Belt of Sand” consists entirely of rapid-fire arco tones as his bow grazes the strings at a mind-numbing velocity, which subsequently creates a sustained wisp of sound that’s marbled by staccato beats, tactile knottiness, and striated grain. “A Shadow of Silver Dipped in Gold” dials down the energy: the track begins with a descending two-note phrase that repeatedly dissolves into silence before eventually switching to a single plucked note that allows even more room for decay. More impressive is Majkowski’s forthcoming tape, Neighboring Objects (Astral Spirits), which contains the piece “Chandelier/ Gondola/Echoing Stars.” On it, the bassist uses rapid bowing to sound positively electronic, conjuring a kind of tremulous thrum in which pulsing overtones fill open space to create an atmosphere of paranoia and tension. —Peter Margasak



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