Midwest Product | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Midwest Product 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

The Ann Arbor trio Midwest Product puts an electronic twist on the standard-issue three-piece rock band. It's a familiar enough gesture on paper, and in the air it gets even more familiar. On "Still Love in the Midwest," which opens Specifics, the group's 2002 debut for Ghostly International, the insistent synth programming, busy bass line, electronic hand claps, and plangent guitar suggest that what there's still love for in this midwest is mid-80s New Order. Ditto the serrated Brit-rock guitars, lovingly cheesy electro-toms, jazzy drum fills, and willowy synth programming of "Reminder," which also hint at Tortoise circa TNT. Only one song, "Pigeons," has vocals (by guitarist Ben Mullins), but they're so heavily vocodered they function as just more instrumental texture. What's unusual about Midwest Product is that, unlike many bands who straddle live and laptop approaches, their main strength is in their real-time instrumental work rather than in their programming. Chad Pratt is a hard-hitting drummer who knows how to set a groove and embellish it, and when he's replaced, as on the serene, all-electronic "Alternator," you find yourself missing him. Thursday, June 12, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Michaelangelo Matos

  • How the USA fell for EDM, chapter one

    How the USA fell for EDM, chapter one

    In these excerpts from his lively and meticulous new book, The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America, longtime Reader contributor Michaelangelo Matos chronicles the three-decade ascent of EDM.
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • How Chicago house got its groove back

    How Chicago house got its groove back

    Chicago house music is the sound of global pop today. In the 90s, though, it was on life support—until a new wave of producers, including Cajmere and DJ Sneak, got the city doing the Percolator.
    • May 3, 2012
  • Mixed messages

    Mixed messages

    Fabric mixes from Craig Richards and Goldie and a DJ-Kicks mix from Motor City Drum Ensemble
    • Aug 11, 2011
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
The Suffrage Plays Den Theatre
November 01
Performing Arts
Every Brilliant Thing Windy City Playhouse South
September 18

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories