Matthew Dear | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Matthew Dear 

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Nu-'lectro darling Matthew Dear grew up in Texas, and he moved to Detroit too late to have firsthand knowledge of the time when Motor City techno defined and refined the sound heard on dance floors around the world. But though he first got known as a microhouse artist--his 2003 full-length debut, Leave Luck to Heaven (Spectral Sound), put both him and Spectral's parent label, Ghostly, on the map--lately he's been pledging allegiance to ye olde techno nation. Both his recent singles--like the 12-inch "Just Fucking," recorded under his Audion moniker--and his DJ sets are propulsive and tracky as hell. When he swept through town last September while supporting Ellen Allien, he delivered a sort of bullet-points memo on techno's halcyon days: crisp, frigid, uncut Detroit, then some clubbier Euro bang-und-klang, and finally some 303 acid. Dear's going to take it down a notch for tonight's show, which his publicist promises will be "a little less in your face and not so assaultive." But even when Dear's not assaulting you, he's still intense. Rex the Dog, Shift, and M50 open. Fri 12/30, 10 PM, Smart Bar, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-4140 or 312-559-1212, $10 before midnight, $12 after.

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