Marcus Schmickler | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Marcus Schmickler 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

In the electronic music world Marcus Schmickler is a real Renaissance man. Under the name Pluramon, the Cologne resident has developed a thoroughly modern take on Krautrock, stretching a colorful blend of treated electric guitar and digital noise over hugely propulsive drumming--provided in part by former Can percussionist Jaki Liebezeit. He's also a member of the laptop-oriented electroacoustic ensemble MIMEO, composes experimental electronic pieces of symphonic depth under the names Wabi Sabi and Sator Rotas, has gone head-to-head with the blisteringly fast German analog synth improviser Thomas Lehn, and briefly dabbled in minimalist techno. Even so, his new Param (A-Musik) comes as a surprise. The seven compositions were performed between 1996 and 2000 by some of Germany's finest jazz and new-music players--including trumpeter Axel Dorner, tubaist Melvyn Poore, cellist Michael Moser, and bassist Alexander Frangenheim--on traditional acoustic instruments. Schmickler then manipulated and edited the recordings with an ear to density, color, and dynamics. The gorgeous "Cue," for instance, is a series of long tones in which flute, French horn, saxophone, trumpet, bassoon, and vibes fall in and out of sync; Schmickler adds some complementary gurgles. For this performance he'll further manipulate the source material for one of the album's most compelling pieces, "<22 Gliders> Rule," in which a string quartet unfurls increasingly intense, dissonant, and loud fields of sound that ascend in pitch; by the end I was mentally prepared for my stereo to either blast off into space or explode. It was created using software based on a cellular automaton--a type of computer program often used to mimic biological development. Schmickler will also premiere a new electronic composition called "United Untitled." Saturday, September 7, 10 PM, 6Odum, 2116 W. Chicago; 312-666-0795 or 773-227-3617.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
April 08
Performing Arts
March 21

Popular Stories