Current DJ: Matty O
Woongi Swim from Music for Prophet (Self-released) Buy Woongi Music for Prophet at Reckless Records Buy Woongi at iTunes Buy Woongi Music for Prophet at Amazon Add to Collection
By now most people have heard of the “vinyl killer,” a miniature VW bus (and the new VInyl Killer 2.0 Mini Clubman) that drives across the surface of your vinyl LP in ever decreasing circles playing your record via built in speakers. It’s an adorable invention, but indeed it truly destroys your records.
Let’s up the ante a bit shall we? Enter Australian artist Lucas Abela, who devised “The Vinyl Arcade” for this year’s This Is Not Art (TINA) festival.
The Vinyl Arcade, running from 4-7pm on October 1st to the 4th, is a participatory play-set, playing off vinyl fetishism, video arcade mystique and the machismo of motor sports. An immersive sound instrument putting you in the drivers seat of a tiny remote control car with styli attached as it navigates it’s way through a landscape of disused vinyl records.
Sadly, you’ll have to go to Australia to see it. It’s perhaps not the most musically pleasing exhibit you’ll ever see. Still, the concept is pretty amazing; count it as artistic Driver’s Ed.
All that’s missing is that killer video of “Blood on the Highway”
Abela created the exhibit with electrical engineering assistance by Frederick Rodrigues and it is Co presented by Electrofringe and Renewcastle.
Earlier this year I discovered Blinking Pigs, a song on a double A-sided 7” by Little Dragon. The drums, sculpted cleverly out of multiple delays, fill every corner of the room but that’s nothing compared to the incredible and eerie voice of Swedish-Japanese Yukimi Nagano. In a flurry of harmonics reminiscent of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser, she captured my heart with this little love song. I wanted more.
I dug around and noticed their first self-titled album from 2007 but to my ears it lacked the inspired emotions and nuanced vocals I was after. Several months later a seductive and soulful single again with this astounding voice work finally emerged called Feather and it was clear that this electro dream pop outfit from Gothenburg, Sweden, had been working hard at perfecting a brilliant new sound.
This September, their pristine cathedral of work was revealed: the Machine Dreams album. From start to finish Nagano’s vocals pleasantly flow in, around and over the drums of Erik Bodin, bass of Källgren Wallin and a wide range of electronic sounds constructed by the long bearded Håkan Wirenstrand. The album’s mood generally compliments something like a romantic dinner or an afternoon on the couch but it ventures into dancefloor territory on the “step, slide, lightning, fire, topical times” of 808 driven My Step and in the P-Funk boogie of Runabout.
There seems to be a lot of unwritten rules in electronic music these days. One standout moment on Machine Dreams is when Wirenstrand breaks two rules: he wields a crunchy clavichord tone along with a synthesized flute in the exquisitely exotic Swimming. And it works. On this number, Little Dragon leads us through a lush, tropical paradise that I imagine to be full of elated toucans and sneaky monkeys. The album ends on Fortune, an epic tune driven by a climbing melody embellished ever so slightly by Nagano’s breath, the perfect ending.
The next new volunteer meeting for CHIRP is coming right up on Wednesday, September 16th. If you’ve been thinking about getting involved with CHIRP, we have lots of opportunities. Find out about working in the music department, becoming a DJ, writing for this site, assisting with promotions and events, and much more. CHIRP is an all-volunteer organization, and there will be plenty to do as we speed toward the fall launch of our new station.
The meeting will take place at Sulzer Library at 4455 N. Lincoln Ave. at 7:15PM. If you’re interested, please RSVP to volunteer coordinator Jenna Murfin.
CHIRP’s been out at summer festivals all season, and we’ve loved the chance to talk to the hundreds of you who have dropped by our booths to ask questions and show your support. September is the last big month of fests, and this weekend is packed!
As you celebrate 15 years of Bloodshot Records with this Saturday’s “Beer-B-Q” at the Hideout, featuring Alejandro Escovedo, Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, the Waco Brothers, reunions by the Blacks and Moonshine Willy, a drunken spelling bee, and much more, be sure to stop by the CHIRP tent to say hello.
And while you’re in Wicker Park perusing nifty handmade items at the Renegade Craft Fair on Saturday and Sunday, don’t neglect CHIRP booth #2 near the corner of Division and Wolcott.
When you stop by, we’ll be able to give you all the latest information about the launch of our new radio station at CHIRPradio.org later this fall. We also have great new t-shirts and water bottles to get you through this year’s remaining warm weather. The summer festival season may be cooling off, but CHIRP’s future is heating up!
Well, slowly but surely we get closer and closer to the launch of the web version of our brand new radio station. We embarked on this project just over two years ago with an amazing group of volunteers and a ton of community support, and now we’re almost there!
We spent much of the early summer building the walls of our space at Irving and Rockwell. I don’t mean watching other people build them — I mean framing out the walls, drywalling, painting — all done by CHIRP volunteers! You can check out our construction progress here.
Now that the walls are up, we’re going to be starting to install equipment. Once that’s done, we’ll get all our DJs trained up, and voila! — a brand new station for Chicago will begin. It’s hard for us to pin down the exact date quite yet, but it should be sometime in late October. We’ll have lots of cool launch events that we’d love to have you be a part of.
Thanks for all your help with this long journey — soon, we hope we can repay you with some great radio!