Thursday was a striking contrast of two styles of electronic music. While the genre is a second fiddle - or turntable - to the city's plethora of indie rock, there's plenty of action bubbling below the surface.
I started the night off at the always enjoyable Le Poisson Rouge, checking out the late show, which opened with Sam Baker, aka Samiyam, an Ann Arbor, Mich. native who's done work with Warp's Flying Lotus. In the same vein, Sam spun an abstract mix of hip hop, infused with bass booms and party-ready rap. There were some 8 bit bleeps and a little sprinkle of stuff from Baker's neighbor, Ghostly International, and the set warmed the crowd up nicely.
Daedelus, the guise of Los Angeles producer Alfred Darlington, crafts sample-heavy albums that veer from 2006's Denies The Day's Demise, a cinematic, avant garde work, to 2008's Love To Make Music To, which entered pop song territory. But Daedelus live is a whole other beast, with Darlington resembling a mad scientist as he furiously worked his monome, a white pad of flashing buttons, each corresponding to a sample. He collapsed and jerked alongside the music, flinging himself with the crashing beats and stuttering vocals.
It was a rollercoaster set, surprisingly loud and bolstered by a crowd that was continuously freaking out. In retrospect, it's hard to pick out individual parts, aside from the synth hook of "Fair Weather Friends," which is a repeating motif in most of his performances. It was less about particular moments, but rather more about a constant, mutating construct, an incredible production infused with raw, live energy.
Daedelus - Live on KEXP
Afterwards, I hurried over to the Delancey for Kate Simko. As previously mentioned, the party was a bit of a make-up for Blkmarket Membership, and having wanted to see the Chicago DJ for ages, it was a real treat. Simko plays elegant, meditative techno, an immediate mood setter under the glaring red lights. Clean kick drums that underpinned her set, while understated female murmurs faded in and out. Alas, she was about halfway through when I arrived, and another DJ, I believe Burnski, took over soon after, although he kept the minimal aesthetic going. Hopefully, I'll get the full experience next time.
Check out a bunch of Kate Simko tracks below via Beatport.
Rest of the photos after the jump.