Ko-Wreck Technique | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Ko-Wreck Technique 

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KO-WRECK TECHNIQUE

Ko-Wreck Technique is the rarely convened side project of DJ Craze--the DMC world champion turntablist two years running--and Edgar Farinas, aka the wiggy electronic project Push Button Objects. Their brand-new EP, Ko-Wrecktion (released by the influential Miami electronic-music label Chocolate Industries), is a raucous collision of their respective styles, with only a tiny bit of polish added--specifically a Plaid remix of the piece called "Metro Dade." On last year's concise Crazee Musick (Bomb Hip-Hop), Craze proved he's more than just a clever scratcher (and an aerobic wonder). As a producer he makes economical use of scratches as key elements within each cut--similar to what the X-ecutioners did on X-pressions, albeit flashier and less consistent. Between his blazing speed ("Crabhappy Crabaholics") and his rhythmic change-ups ("It'z Dangerous to React While You're Running"), he keeps things interesting, reaching beyond hip-hop to incorporate drum 'n' bass ("Mogli") and Miami bass ("Miami International Break"). Farinas digs down-tempo hip-hop breaks, classic floor-thumping electro, and post-Aphex Twin confusion, and though Push Button Objects' new Dirty Dozen (Chocolate Industries)--a CD that compiles two hard-to-find vinyl EPs (one on Chocolate Industries, one on Schematic)--emphasizes the beats, things are never straightforward enough for strict categorization. Rubbery bass patterns, squelchy bleeps, terse samples, ghostly synth melodies, and skittery electronics swirl together in a giddy jumble. The six songs that turned up last year on an eponymous 12-inch for England's Skam label were more along the lines of avant-electro-leaning acts like Boards of Canada and Phoenecia, but less dreamy than the former and sparser than the latter. On Ko-Wrecktion, Farinas serves up hard, blunted beats and Craze layers on hyper scratching and a rich array of samples, from a descending string riff to vocal snippets of Guru; raw spontaneity seems to be the aim, and that ought to translate well live. The duo headlines a bill which also includes a separate performance by Push Button Objects, plus sets by Atlanta beat mangler Richard Devine, Miami DJ Haviken Hayes, and Chicagoan Josh Werner. Thursday, February 17, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

Peter Margasak

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