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« Stars Align: Chicago Artists Come Together for One Night Only Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - October 2014 »

Concert Wed Oct 08 2014

Lampo says, "Welcome to (Rene) Hell"

Jeff Witscher (Rene Hell)

This Saturday (October 11) at 8 p.m., experimental music organization Lampo begin their Fall 2014 season with the first of four free performances around Chicago. With the help of their long-running collaborators at the Graham Foundation, The Smart Museum of Art, and the Logan Center for the Arts, Chicagoans will have architecturally complimentary environments in which to experience a wide variety of unconventional, often abstract sounds and compositions.

The fall schedule is as follows:
October 11: Rene Hell
November 8: Robert A. A. Lowe
November 22: Lucky Dragons
December 13: Tristan Perich

Saturday's performance (which is free with RSVP, and takes place at the Graham Foundation's Madlener House, 4 W. Burton Pl.) will include a performance of a new composition by Jeff Witscher (aka Rene Hell), titled "Bifurcating a Resounding No!" The piece draws from years of recorded sounds (acoustic instruments, field recordings and voice), collected in cities across the U.S. and shaped with various digital techniques into a new long-form work.

If you don't know Jeff Witscher by name, you may know him by one of many others. From 2004 onward, Witscher has morphed into and between numerous guises and musical approaches, from harsh noise (Impregnable) to forlorn ambient soundscapes (Marble Sky) to anguished power electronics (Secret Abuse), releasing music through his Agents of Chaos label and many others channels. But most revered and, truthfully, the most mysterious of them all is his flagship project, Rene Hell.

Even among the surfeit of pseudonyms, each one delineating a specific mood or approach to Witscher's aesthetic, Rene Hell criss-crosses relentlessly between genres and styles, blending high-art and visceral impact, almost as if he doesn't accept the usual critical circumscriptions around arbitrarily imposed genre names. (Imagine that.) Because he's spent time in scenes where impact trumps all, even his most high-flung academically-flavored synth pieces are accompanied by strange chatterings, like strange insectoid armor dragging noisily along cobblestone pavements.

Other pieces throb violently like old-school industrial, but with a gleaming, precise sonic palette, somehow emphasizing the good in both while diluting neither.

Rene Hell's best-known (and ostensibly best) works are 2011's Terminal Symphony (Type) and 2013's Vanilla Call Option (Pan). Along with the split LP with fellow traveler Oneohtrix Point Never (LP on NNA Tapes, 2012), these records display most, if not all, of the many faces of Rene Hell. As for Witscher's other projects, that's a post for another time. For now, say yes to "The Resounding No!"

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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