Let UK electronic producer Kelly Lee Owens be your gateway to techno | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Let UK electronic producer Kelly Lee Owens be your gateway to techno 

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click to enlarge Kelly Lee Owens

Kelly Lee Owens

Kim Hiorthøy

Welsh producer Kelly Lee Owens arrived at techno from the world of indie: she started the decade playing bass for London dream-pop outfit the History of Apple Pie, and before that she spent time running small music festivals in Manchester, where she’d trained to be a nurse. Her 2017 self-titled solo album (Smalltown Sound) contains all the fixin’s that practically any discerning indie-rock fan would want out of music, regardless of genre; her sounds are warm, and each track contains small details that reveal themselves upon repeated listens—whole chunks of the record can nestle into the back of your mind and emerge in your consciousness during moments of solitude. Though her CV suggests she’s an outsider to techno, Kelly Lee Owens shows its creator is someone who not only understands the genre’s push and pull as well as any lifer but has the capacity to nudge anyone allergic to electronic music closer to the form. The wide-open “8” opens with a raga that slowly dissolves into a Krautrock-inspired synth melody before moving toward experimental and ambient sounds in search of nirvana.   v

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