Electronic music concert to shake the Music Building

By Chris Krapek

DeKALB | Circuit-bending, dub-stepping, face-melting.

RaWElectrics will take place. tonight at 8 p.m. in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in the Music Building. The genre-spanning show will feature two DJ’s, two drummers, electric and bass guitars, an “original instrument” and rapper Lizzie G.

James Phelps, associate professor and director of The Annex Group, created the show due to his continued interest in expanding genres.

“Often I find an opportunity to work with people who represent styles and genres with which I haven’t worked — RaWElectrics basically started from there,” he said. “For the first time I have a rapper, Lizzie G, in my program. I’ve never worked with a rapper but have heard some fairly experimental rap and hip-hop, although I don’t remember names of artists — XM Radio doesn’t show artists’ names on my receiver in my car. We want further to include our own versions of genres, such as metal, rock, dub, circuit-bending, along with various styles and genres of electroacoustic music.”

Phelps said he feels that the Annex Group continues to challenge itself by stepping out of its comfort zone and allow the students to explore their own territory. The less comfortable they are, the more likely they are to grow as artists, he said.

Kyle Armour, junior computer music and new technology major, will perform his original piece, “Diaphragm.”

“‘Diaphragm’ is an ‘in-your-face’ electro track,” he said. “It’s a house track, so you’re pretty stuck into kick-clap-kick-clap, but both hit extremely hard. It features lots of screaming synths and is very quick and jumpy in its nature.”

Armour will perform the song with a JazzMutant Lemur, which is similar to an iPad, he said. He’ll then send MIDI data to a hardware synth called Little Phatty.

Armour, a DJ who frequents the DeKalb bar scene and downtown Chicago, will also perform another piece where he demonstrates “turntablism” techniques by looping, pitch-changing and scratching.

Phelps promises an energetic evening that may require ear plugs.

“RaWElectrics will be a rather high-powered, pumping evening, for the most part,” he said. “It will be loud; audiences should be forewarned.”