Dancing in Esperanto with Balkan Beat Box, Rob Angus, Nu:Tone
BALKAN BEAT BOX
The Israeli-American Balkan Beat Box want to make you dance in Esperanto. They draw from dub, reggae, dancehall, hiphop, and various Mediterranean and Balkan styles, not in dry musicological ways, but in the spirit of mixing ingredients to maximize movement. BBB's busy, upbeat approach to electronic-music production and extroverted vocal mannerisms has given their live shows an unhinged, celebratory vibe. On their fourth studio album, Give, BBB strip things down to the core trio and the results are a bit more accessible and song-based, although they don't totally sacrifice danceability. (All three members became fathers since the recording of their last full-length, which may explain the changes.) The album shows BBB trying to grow artistically, but it's not always successful (they don't excel at slow tempos and sentimental melodies). Still, there are some uproariously fun cuts here that should translate well in a live context, and their back catalog could get United Nations delegates crunk. With the Mother's Anger. Crocodile, 8 pm, $20, 21+.
ROB ANGUS'S EERIE EXOTICA
With some musicians, you hope they remain frozen in the mode in which you first heard them, even if that happened nearly 20 years ago. This is how I feel about Rob Angus, a Seattle experimental musician who blew my mind with 1994's Ethnoloopography when I was an editor at Alternative Press magazine. That work and Crossing Ngoli (recorded with Jeff Greinke in 1991) extrapolate on Can's Ethnological Forgery series, Jon Hassell's Fourth World Music, and :Zoviet*France:'s cryptic, ritualistic sonic mesmerism. In other words, over the last two decades, Angus has trawled in some of the eeriest, most spine-tingling, otherworldly realms of any studio sorcerer. His phantasmagorical, hand-percussion-intensive music makes you feel as if you're traversing through overgrown flora and fauna in places whose names you can't pronounce. Let's hope Angus taps into this fertile vein of inspiration tonight. Chapel Performance Space, 8 pm, $5–$15 sliding scale, all ages.
NU:TONE'S LIQUID FUNK DELUGE
English producer Nu:Tone (aka Dan Gresham) is a respected creator of liquid funk, a smooth, sensual strain of drum 'n' bass often filigreed with diva-centric vocals. Nu:Tone's tracks flaunt a greater emphasis on melodies and layered, lush production than most d&b. I find this subgenre to be excessively syrupy and rhythmically one-dimensional, but, you know, I've been kind of sour on d&b since about 1999. Your mileage may vary. Aaron Simpson, Nervous Breakdown, Hodgi, and Sonic MC. Deep Down Lounge, 10 pm, $10, 21+.