Richard Devine and Cylob? Man, this would be my dream bill—if it were 2001. But even in 2006, the prospect of seeing these two IDM giants in one night is tantalizing. Allow me to elaborate why these production gurus demand that you put off updating your MySpace site and interrupt your reality-TV viewing for this awesome double bill (brought to you by the ever-savvy Oscillate crew of Patrick Haenelt and Greg Skidmore).
I've been waiting since, like, forever to see British producer/DJ Cylob perform live. (Okay, since 1995, when his debut album, Cylobian Sunset, opened my ears to his special brand of cerebral, poignant melodies and transporting rhythmic impulses.) Cylob—AKA Chris Jeffs and Kinesthesia—has been one of Rephlex Records' MVPs, releasing varied, excellent output for over a decade on label boss Richard D. "Aphex Twin" James's dime.
The aforementioned Cylobian Sunset established Jeffs as yet another Aphex disciple, but one who had something unique simmering beneath the Aphexian heart-tugging tunes and chunkily metallic percussion breaks. Cylob clearly had more pronounced hiphop/electro genes than his mentor, and these funked-up traits would surface with greater impact in later works like the DJ tools LP Loops & Breaks, Lobster Tracks, and Cylob's Latest Effort. These discs boast the sort of insanely warped textures and disorientingly libidinous rhythms that foreshadow Aphex's phenomenal "Windowlicker" and that require triple-jointedness to dance to properly. On the downside, Cylob occasionally succumbs to mimicking the most inane aspects of '80s electro, as he did on Living in the 1980s and Rewind! But then he'll shock you with an album like 2001's Mood Bells, which explores bells and gongs' micro-tonalities to disturbingly tranquil effect. Such tangents speak volumes about Cylob's maverick tendencies. (Speaking of tangents, I eagerly await Cylob's remix of Jamie Lidell's "A Little Bit More.")
Longtime Data Breaker favorite Richard Devine is the producer of whom other producers stand in awe. The Georgian's technical genius has led to him creating sounds for Native Instruments, scoring ads for Touchstone Pictures and Nike, and providing production expertise to Nine Inch Nails. Which is odd, because Devine's own music is utterly noncommercial. While they're mostly maniacally detailed and forbiddingly abrasive, Devine's teeming tracks also have moments of astonishing melodic beauty and succulent textures. But most often he creates brutally cerebral, abstract IDM/electro that's just dying to be used in the next wave of films inspired by the Matrix trilogy. Devine is all about sensory overload—and his gnarled, microbial output is worth gorging on.
This show promises to be a sausage fest, so I'm making a special plea to Data Breaker's female readers to come out and support this strange, gearhead-friendly music.
Richard Devine, Cylob, and the Flashbulb play Tues Mar 7 at Baltic Room, 1207 E Pine St, 625-4444, 9 pm–2 am, $12, 21+.
SATURDAY MARCH 4
DJ Candlewax, Josh Roberts, and Greg Skidmore's Flea Market is gaining momentum as a must-hit night for voraciously eclectic music aficionados. The third edition of this monthly hosts Ghostly International's Idol Tryouts Vol. 2 CD-release party (www.idoltryouts.com). Arrive early for the CD and T-shirt giveaways (nepotism alert: the latter designed by Data Breaker's brother, Michael Segal). If that isn't enough (and it is, trust me), the residents will consistently trigger trainspotting instincts and plenty of epiphanies as they lay down acutely chosen, decades-spanning mixes of dancehall, ghetto tech, IDM, techno, hiphop, and other styles proven to raise serotonin levels. Guests include Kadeejah Streets (Innerflight), whose MySpace page includes a ludicrously thorough and diverse list of influences (Hakan Lidbo, Yes, Bambaataa, etc.) and DJ Veins, who combines exceptionally quirky record selection with amazingly inept beat-matching. Chapel, 1600 Melrose Ave, 447-4180, 9 pm–2 am, free, 21+.
MONDAY MARCH 6
HOT CHIP, STEREOLAB
Nearly everyone except your columnist seems to be getting all moist for Hot Chip. XLR8R slapped the quintet on its January/February cover and many other glossies and inkies are lavishing kudos on the London-based upstarts. Most curious. All I hear on Hot Chip's debut album, Coming on Strong (Moshi Moshi/Astralwerks), are laid-back, sub–Junior Boys electronica lite, tepid house for people who don't really like house, a bleached Prince homage (see the cheekily titled "Down with Prince"), and vocalists who sound like Jeff Buckley with a quarter of the late singer's range and Nick Drake without the bittersweet gravitas. But maybe the album is a grower and I need to let it marinate before really "getting" it. So go to the Showbox tonight and have yourself a reasonably adequate time. Also playing: everybody's favorite Marxist bossa/Kraut-rock/retro-futurist group, Stereolab, supporting the drab Fab Four Suture. Despite the occasional lackluster recording over their 15-year career, Stereolab usually bring the fire live. They're getting on in years, though, so you may want to make an extra effort to catch what may be this important band's last Seattle appearance. Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151, 8 pm, $16 adv/$18 DOS, 21+.