Ken Camden, Male | Constellation | Experimental | Chicago Reader
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Ken Camden, Male 

When: Sat., July 27, 9:30 p.m. 2013
Price: $8
As a member of Chicago band Implodes, guitarist Ken Camden contributes icy sustains and slashing riffs, but his instrument is usually so heavily transformed by electronic effects that it’s often little more than a tone generator. He doubles down on that approach as a solo artist, creating spacey, beat-free atmospheric music that’s rich in meditative ambience and kosmische pulsation. On the absorbing new Space Mirror (Kranky), he collides ethereal swoops, cycling riffs, and synth-toned arpeggios, which interlock to form hypnotizing constellations of sound and movement. On “Moon” a tambouralike drone grounds several layers of independently looping notes, which hover somewhere between the quivering of a theremin and the steady shimmer of an E-bow; on “Eta Carinae” Camden arranges airy melodic fragments that sound like they were played on a Mellotron atop glassy synth stabs wobbling with tremolo. For live performances he creates a three-part sound field: a “dry” version of his output to one side, a delay-treated version to the other, and a stream of constantly morphing loops in the middle. —Peter Margasak Male opens.

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