MONOLAKE | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

MONOLAKE 

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Over a decade's worth of albums and 12-inches, this Berlin-based electronica act--mostly one Robert Henke, plus the odd collaborator--has navigated a theoretical space between the nightclub and the computer lab. Henke's latest project, however, skews toward the latter, and carries an incense-laden whiff of the temple as well. To make last year's Layering Buddha, Henke recorded sounds from the Buddha Machine, a $30 device by Beijing sound artists FM3 that plays low-res preset loops, and then chopped, spliced, and spun them into long, droning tracks that glorify the limitations of their source. He later developed a live-performance version and posted a recording of one such show, Layering Buddha Live, as a free download at the Monolake site. Henke says this was intended only to hint at the live experience, but what a hint: a dreamy, constant tone at the music's core acquires a series of surrounding, enfolding undertones--sometimes silvered and celestial, sometimes vibrating with an ominous wasplike buzz. DJs Dave Siska, Luke Stokes, and Chris Widman spin. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10.

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