Joseph Hammer | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Joseph Hammer 

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Joseph Hammer wears a single white cotton glove when he performs, but it's no homage to Michael Jackson: he needs it to get physical with his tape. A late-era member of the Los Angeles Free Music Society (a wild collective that combined radical noise and goofball humor) and one-third of the 90s electronic group Solid Eye, Hammer has been manipulating loops for more than two decades. These days he keeps his sound files--snippets of spoken-word recordings, old soul tunes, and orchestral music, among other sources--on a laptop but transfers them to analog when it's time to go to town. Moving the tape through the machine at various speeds, he exposes only parts to the playback and erasure heads to generate his weird collages of sound. His CD Dynasty Suites (Melon Expander, 2002) isn't so far from something Christian Marclay might do with his turntables, only Hammer sticks with each sound source longer, manipulating it to create queasy permutations. This is his Chicago debut. a 9 PM, 6Odum, 2116 W. Chicago, 312-282-7676, $12. A

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