An experimental show heavy on volatile modular synths. Info
The modular synth pieces North Dakota musician Matt Taggart creates under the name Luer might be abstract and atonal, but on the 2018 release Auto-Expression, Taggart also creates an immediate sense of direction and boundaries. But a lot of the direction isn't necessarily coming from Taggart directly: Instead, the two half-hour tracks here use a generative-music approach, which allows gear and software to make a lot of its own decisions within certain constraints. "This was recorded without help from the artist and with the volume turned down so the artist could not hear it and feel compelled to intervene," Auto-Expression's liner notes explain. The result is a sequence of drones, interruptions, and ever-shifting textures, a minimal sonic landscape as tactile as it is musical. The unpredictability and volatility of it all is the point, and hopefully Taggart (and accompanying devices) can expand on that in the live setting.
Joining Luer at this show, presented by Milwaukee experimental-music label FTAM, are Chicago's J Soliday and Madison's Louise Bock. Soliday's modular-driven improvisations often steer into harsher territory, but there are still plenty of layered harmonics and eerie pulses to latch onto on releases like 2017's Convolution Hive. Louise Bock is the solo outlet of Madison musician Taralie Peterson, best known as half of the avant-folk duo Spires That In The Sunset Rise. Peterson's first album under the Louise Bock name, 2018's Repetitives In Illocality, arranged elements including vocals, autoharp, and saxophone into masterful and hypnotically flowing pieces. —Scott Gordon