Thomas Brinkmann | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Thomas Brinkmann 

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THOMAS BRINKMANN

A bright light on the fringes of Cologne's dynamic techno scene, Thomas Brinkmann is best known for Studio 1--Variationen (Profan) and Concept 1 96: VR (M-nus), a pair of experiments in which he reconfigured minimalist techno tracks by Mike Ink and Richie Hawtin using a turntable outfitted with an extra tone arm. Each arm fed its own stereo channel, and Brinkmann played up surface noise and altered the speed to create semiaccidental polyrhythms. Brinkmann has abused playback technology in other ways over the years--as he told an interviewer for the Wire in 1998, "When records became boring, I'd drive them backwards. It's funny: you reach another level of reality." He's customized the vinyl itself, a la Christian Marclay, to fake his own techno recordings, cutting lines across the grooves with a knife: a thick cut creates something like a kick drum and a hairline scratch sounds like a hi-hat. He's also released records where the sole aim of the music is to create certain physical patterns on the pressed vinyl. No word on what exactly Brinkmann will be doing for this gig, which is his Chicago debut, but I have no doubt it'll be interesting. Saturday, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. PETER MARGASAK

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