Friday, August 1, 2014

Tonight in Music: A Whole Lot of Interesting Electronic Music, Plus Kevin Gates

Posted by on Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 2:45 PM

TYCHO'S MOODY, PASTEL DANCE MUSIC, CHRISTOPHER WILLITS'S EUPHORIC FANTASIAS

On his 2011 album Dive, Ghostly International artist Tycho (Scott Hansen) creates pristine, pastel electronic dance music (but not EDM) and Boards of Canada–esque, contemplative reveries for introverted computer programmers. On 2014's Awake, he mostly follows in the same amiable vein, and the sense of sparkly well-being it induces is very agreeable. San Francisco producer/guitarist Christopher Willits has gone from severe minimalist sound design to a brighter, more song-based style of music that seamlessly blends acoustic and electronic elements. However, you can still hear his legacy of microscopic clicks-and-cuts in passages scattered throughout 2006's Surf Boundaries and 2010's Tiger Flower Circle Sun. Fans of Caribou's euphoric, beach-drunk electronic fantasias will especially love the latter record. What we've heard of Willits's forthcoming album, Opening, is beautiful, beatific, Balearic-style chillout funk and neo–new age. As always, Willits's music leads you into the clear light, but not in hokey, simplistic ways. Neptune, 9 pm, $20, all ages. DAVE SEGAL


KEVIN GATES' MELANCHOLY RAP STEEZ

(Crocodile) It must be said: Louisiana's Kevin Gates is one of the most exciting rappers out, a wounded, noble hustler, equally at home with detail-rich street narratives, for-the-ladies jams, and radio-ready crossover shots. His guttural baritone is as instantly recognizable as Ja Rule's bark or Method Man's heart-of-gold growl, but what sets him apart is a Scarface-like commitment to gangster storytelling and a fantastic crew of producers, elevating each mixtape track to possible hit status. Not to throw the T-word around willy-nilly, but Gates possesses nearly Tupac-esque levels of self-mythologizing, understatedly serene flow, and gritty realism, which is not praise to be thrown lightly. Recent tape Stranger than Fiction demands your undivided attention but in the meantime, catch this dude at the Croc and revel in raw rap talent. KYLE FLECK

HANSSEN GETS SERIOUSLY CHILLED OUT ON NEW HUSH HUSH RELEASE

Seattle producer Hanssen (aka Bob Hansen) established his reputation with Jacob London, a long-running duo with Dave Pezzner. Together they formed one of the few house-music acts that effectively deployed humor in their music and track titles. Since splitting five years ago to focus on their solo careers, Hanssen's been less prolific than Pezzner, but tonight he celebrates the release of his Seven Years Week album on Alex Ruder's Hush Hush label. It's a lush, pacific excursion into down-tempo aquaspherics, and is more invested in warm, buoyant melodies than the funky propulsion that marked Jacob London's work—although "Aquaflexin' (Part 1)" sounds like a 21st-century upgrade of early-'80s Tangerine Dream. In solidarity with his ex-bandmate's musical direction, Pezzner will do a live ambient set. That's sweet, guys. With Secret School and DJ Veins. FRED Wildlife Refuge, 9 pm, $5 suggested donation. DAVE SEGAL


JUSTIN V PUTS THE !!! IN YOUR DANCE PARTY

If it's a High & Tight party, experience tells us it's worth your time and sweat equity. Tonight, H&T members Cody Morrison and Carlos Ruiz (who are both DJing, too) bring in Justin V (aka Justin Van Der Volgen), who you may know for his production work for the sprawling party machine that goes by the name !!!, as well as for rhythmic post-rockers Out Hud. Justin V also has worked on records by LCD Soundsystem and remixed tracks by Maserati and Alexander Robotnick, so he obviously knows about the mechanics of partying on the dance floor, without coating it in cheese. Kremwerk, 9 pm–4 am, $10, 21+. DAVE SEGAL

And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, and beyond!

 

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