THURSDAY AUGUST 11
In the mid-'90s, England's Trans-Global Underground were one of ethno-techno's bright hopes. Their first three albums, featuring emotive diva Natacha Atlas—Dream of 100 Nations, International Times, and Psychic Karaoke—skillfully incorporated Asian, African, and Middle Eastern elements into modern dance-music templates. After Atlas left in '97, the quality dipped, but the new Impossible Broadcasting broadens the TGU palette with gorgeous vocal group Trio Bulgarka and some spicy dancehall rhythms. TGU may not pack the energy and inventiveness of yore, but they're still adventurous global-fusion ambassadors, a veritable United Nations of sound. With Bethurum Collective and AC Lewis of Suntzu Sound. Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000, 9 pm–2 am, $12 adv, 21+.
FRIDAY AUGUST 12
Ralph is one of Paul Oakenfold's many boys, enjoying first-class bookings worldwide as he spreads the trance virus with innocuous insistence. It chronically depresses Data Breaker to see that the only DJs who can consistently fill large American venues are those like Ralph, who sound like the 921 other trance/prog-house DJs on the circuit. Damn the mind-numbing safeness of mega-club culture (I know, it's like railing against God's indifference). With Eva and Chronus. Element, 332 Fifth Ave N, 441-4873, 9 pm–3 am, $10 before 11 pm/$15 after, 21+.
MONDAY AUGUST 15
EATS TAPES, KNIFEHANDCHOP, DJ COLLAGE, KID606
Another year, another manic Tigerbeat6 Paws Across America tour. New T6 beat-manglers Eats Tapes' Sticky Buttons sounds like a 1995 rave as heard through an acid-saturated sensorium—all mad squelches, equilibrium-subverting bleeps, and pupil-dilating 4/4 beats. Toronto's Knifehandchop applies a candied glaze on early-'90s hardcore breakbeat (the raw, wild precursor to jungle) and ragga on his 2004 debut album How I Left You. Like some of µ-Ziq's work, Knifehandchop's tracks often zip around like a sugared-up kid and sometimes leave your teeth aching. Good thing Seattle master of ceremonies DJ Collage will be on hand. If anyone can keep up with all of this overdriven rhythm madness, it's this commanding toaster. Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000, 9 pm–2 am, $7, 21+.