Ultra Milkmaids | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Ultra Milkmaids 

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Two French brothers who call themselves Y. and R. started the Ultra Milkmaids with a friend in 1993 as an abrasive, noisy rock trio inspired by Helmet and various acts on the Earache label. But by the mid-90s, enthralled by Coil, they'd morphed into an ambient industrial outfit. Fortunately, although their output in the last few years still reveals obvious points of reference (in particular Oval), they no longer sound like they're leeching their aesthetic wholesale from one source after another. One can detect concrete sound sources on various parts of Peps (Ant-Zen/Duebel, 2000)--a bit of spoken word here, some treacly tenor saxophone there--but most of the music is built from abstract blocks of sweet sound, alternately bathed in warm reverb or striated by digital clicks and pops. Repetitive melodic shapes drift through, making the music prettier than Oval's, at least superficially. The Ultra Milkmaids' set will be complemented by performances from the similarly inclined V. from Washington, D.C., and Cornucopia, aka Puerto Rico's Jorge Castro. A new collaborative release between the Milkmaids and V. called Drone + Unease (Zeromoon) will be available at the show. Friday, March 22, 8 PM, Deadtech, 3321 W. Fullerton; 773-395-2844.

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