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Review Fri Jul 18 2014
Sunday night at the Burlington was already a big deal for fans of experimental sound. Jason Lescalleet, a Maine-based tape loop manipulator and sound artist who had rattled the Burlington's bunker-like back room the year before, had been added to the schedule at the last minute. The 30 or so people that came out on that least rock night of the week got an unannounced and unexpected collaboration for the ages.
Partway through Lescalleet's set (which was at the moment taking bird calls and environmental sounds and pressurizing them so they sounded like supernovas exploding and reforming throughout the reverberant universe, played at a volume that vibrated ears, clothing, and internal organs), Chicago electronic music legend (and godfather of the style known as Footwork) RP Boo got on stage and added his own high energy blast of drums, sounds, samples and voices to the already thick stew. It seems Boo and Lescalleet met in April at the Electrónica en Abril Festival in Madrid, enjoyed each other's styles, and made vague plans to collaborate next time Lescalleet came to Chicago. The 45-second clip above is from Sunday night and was shot by Lescalleet during the interval when the two began their collaboration.
Says Jason, "I ended the first part of my set with a loop from Lil Jon's 'Turn Down For What,' increasing the bass to full throb. That was Boo's cue to get on stage. He opened with one of his classics, '114799,' which features samples from the Godzilla theme. Once his track kicked in solidly, I dropped out and let him do his thing. [That's when I shot the video.] During his segue into the second song, I started working with feedback. Every time his snare would crack, there would be a reverberant echo over the top of his music, like in the dub tradition of King Tubby or Lee Perry. During his third track, I started rolling with tape loops and vinyl lock grooves. That's when things really got hectic."
Sadly, this more "hectic" portion of the set went undocumented (or has it? If anyone took audio or video footage that night, please drop me a line in comments!), but for those that were there, it was a pretty unstoppable meeting of the minds. As Chicago electronic musician Kevin Drumm said afterward, "this was one of those legendary, once in a lifetime events, and it was seen by, like, 30 people."
Here are some clips by both musicians on their own: