Uli Troyer | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Uli Troyer 

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On his debut recording, a six-track three-inch CD called Nok (Mego, 2000), Viennese electronic musician Uli Troyer sounded a bit like an emaciated version of Autechre: fractured rhythms slithered and stuttered across a barren, glitchy background only occasionally colored by faint digital ringing and pinging. Last year's Rose de Shiraz (Deluxe) doesn't forgo the choppy grooves and clipped phrases Troyer loves, but it does trade in his old monochrome palette for a Technicolor one--he's added vocal samples, urban field recordings, and guitars to the mix, putting synthetic flesh on the bones of his rhythms. On the album's opener, "Tellerwaschermillionar" ("Dishwasher Millionaire"), he takes a page from the Matmos handbook: random-sounding wooden and metallic shuffling, like the noise of someone rooting around in a utility drawer, slowly coalesces into a hypnotic beat pattern. On "Romantic Dinner" he creates laptop musique concrete, creating grooves from samples of clattering dishes, noisy chewing, and frying food. Tracks like "Teddystep" and "Muhallebi" recall both the bouncy artificiality of Mouse on Mars--riffs ricochet like Super Balls--and the funky twitch of French producer Mirwais' tracks on Madonna's album Music. It's not exactly an original combination, but it sure does work. Marko Katic opens; Warmdesk (aka Chicagoan William Selman) plays second. There's no cover charge. Monday, May 3, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499.

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