Getting tapped to open for Girl Talk is a huge break for an unknown artist—and a daunting prospect. Gregg Gillis's fans like to party hard and rush the stage while their hero cranks out era-spanning, radio-hit-intensive mashups that have launched thousands of sweaty shirts skyward. Said GT fans also aren't known for their long attention spans. So one feels pity for Junk Culture (aka Deepak Mantena), a new signing by the controversial Illegal Art label.


But a few listens to Junk Culture's debut disc, the West Coast EP (out October 27), lead me to think that Mantena will fare well before Girl Talk's jumpy hordes. Like most Illegal Art releases, the EP consists of many samples, hard-to-identify snippets—save those from Animal Collective's "Brother Sport" and Steve Miller's "Take the Money and Run"—that the Portland-based producer stitches together with brash, raw finesse. The nine tracks here are spasmodically rhythmic and awash in digitally altered tones, vaguely alluding to Jason Forrest's hectic, prog-disco bombast, Caribou's sublime psychedelic funk, and Prefuse 73's clipped glitch-hop. Packing nine tracks into 18 minutes, Junk Culture caters to rapid-ear-movement listeners with a ragged sampledelia that achieves a disorienting sort of coherence. This Girl Talk tour ought to catapult Mantena to much higher—and deserved—public awareness.

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The local Sweatbox DJ crew wants to redefine your notion of modern techno. To that end, M'Chateau (Michito Iwata), Ctrl_Alt_Dlt (Chris Adlrich), and Jonny Romero (Jonathan Herrera) have organized a night called just that at Chop Suey, along with Goner, a mainstay of ballistic-techno advocates Knightriders.

Every Thursday at the Capitol Hill Jai Thai, the Sweatbox boys bust out the cerebral, body-moving techno goods. It's an intimate, curry-scented party, but these guys have higher ambitions, and Modern Techno ought to help them be realized. Aldrich elaborates:

"[While] kicking around ideas for the show and trying to design a flyer, we saw [a] picture of Jesus holding the dinosaur and it kind of just went from there. Jonny, Michito, and I played records... until 6 or 7 in the morning, and it became this really cohesive thing. We have all played together many times, but as of late, our little jam sessions have been sounding better than ever and have been really inspiring in terms of the type of music we're playing and the direction that we want our parties to go.

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"This show will be a round-robin session with the three of us playing back and forth, and Goner will be doing the opening set. This night promises to be an exhibition of quality dance music, a showcase for the current state of what we consider to be 'modern techno.'"

Junk Culture performs Fri Sept 18, Showbox Sodo, 8 pm, sold out, all ages, with Girl Talk, Brother Reade; and Mon Sept 21, Showbox at the Market, 8 pm, $15 adv/$20 DOS, 21+, with Girl Talk. Modern Techno, Fri Sept 18, Chop Suey, 9 pm, $5 before 11 pm/$7 after, 21+.