40 Thieves

Seattle artist Garek Druss is one of those special cats who balance visual-arts creation with music making. He stays busy in the latter capacity in the duo Dull Knife with Du Hexen Hase's Adam Svenson and in Portland-based meditative-dirge specialists Tecumseh. For his solo sonic endeavors, Druss goes under the name A Story of Rats.

Essentially, A Story of Rats is about drones. Many people automatically attach several z's to the end of the word "drone" because they find this kind of music to be boring; I'm sorry if you suffer from this personality flaw. I'm not sure A Story of Rats will be the drone dude to convert you to the righteous path of sublime, sustained tones that subtly fluctuate and gradually accrue new textures and intensities while dissolving your sense of space and time. He could be, though, and I daresay that listening to his music is worth the risk to your consciousness that such extended exposure to A Story of Rats might entail.

ASOR's new Thought Forms CD-R contains two steadily evolving 15-minute tracks. "Thought"—featuring synths from ex-Seattle producer David Farrell and voice and guitar by Brian Markham—evokes Experimental Audio Research through its lunar drones composed of forbidding, murky quivers and distant, godforsaken sighs and wails. "Forms"—aided by Chelsea Gaddy's vocals and Adam Parks's guitar—summons an alien vapor that hints at the same radioactive murmur that Tangerine Dream conjured about 40 years ago, and which still emits a timeless glow(er). Thought Forms is the deepest and most kosmische A Story of Rats work yet, which means it's very good, indeed.

This month, Trouble Dicso brings in Layne Fox of San Francisco's 40 Thieves, famous for the übersexy, 2008 space-disco classic "Don't Turn It Off" and the 2009 EP Beats in Space (on Seattle-based Rong records). Associations with important figures like Brennan Green and Greg Wilson reveal 40 Thieves to be an act of distinction. Another winner for Trouble Dicso's savvy curators.

Support The Stranger

Techno hard-knockers Knightriders Inc. and Harvard St. Mafia have booked Minneapolis DJ/producer James Hammer, whose aesthetic emulates his last name. His tracks pack blockbuster-action-flick dynamics and power; they'll nail you hard to the floor.

A Story of Rats performs with Pussygutt, Wildildlife, and Thunder Grey Pilgrim on Thurs May 20, Black Lodge, 9 pm; Layne Fox performs at Trouble Dicso on Fri May 21, Re-bar, 10 pm, $5, 21+; James Hammer performs with Roman Zawodny, Jimmy Hoffa, and Travis Baron on Sat May 22, Chop Suey, 10 pm, $7 adv/$10 DOS, 21+. recommended