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Course corrections
New England feels the noise, DJ Flack schools MassArt

The noise scene will always be underground. It’s hard to imagine a feedback-filled performance on the mainstage at Ozzfest, or prepared-guitar wailings drifting from drugstore drop ceilings. New England, however, does have a reputation as a haven for bleeding-edge experimenters. And this Friday, the roustabouts at NON-EVENT show why: they’re throwing a free show in Chinatown featuring internationally known Austrian abrasion specialist PITA, freq-beat art makers LUCKY DRAGONS, and transplant New Yorker and sonic surrealist M. SINGE with MIT anthropology professor/noise collagist ZEROPHONICS (a/k/a DR. STEFAN HELMRICH). "It will be multi-faceted, with lots of different takes on electronic music in a casual environment," says Non-Event partner DAN HIRSCH, phoning in from Hi-Fi Pizza in Central Square. "It’s not a sit-down venue — it’s a social space where people can check all these things out." The venue — 109 Kingston Street — is being provided by Modernista!, the ad firm recognizable to readers as the producers of the anti-gun billboards between Fenway Park and the Mass Pike ("Massachusetts: You’re More Likely To Live Here"). The firm also shouldered part of the expenses. "They realized how little cost was involved, and they actually really like unusual music," says Hirsch.

Unusual is a pretty good way to describe Pita, a/k/a PETER REHBERG. He’s recorded for a bevy of small labels around the world, most recently releasing Get Off on the Swedish label Häpna. "It’s interesting to bring him around now that laptops have died out from being a trend," says Hirsch. "He’s still there and he’s still restless." Rehberg’s past performances include a set-up involving a single strobe light and live laptop noise manipulation, which can be a disorientating experience. "You can get into what he does ’cause it’s visceral," says Hirsch. "It’s hard to be indifferent to his music. It challenges you to have an opinion, to stick with it and to stay around — or not. Either way you learn from that experience."

Lucky Dragons is primarily one man, LUKE FISCHBECK, who concocts a sound of clattercore beat loops, retuned folk meanderings, and sharp, cascading twitters. Fischbeck has toured his Providence-based project in America and Europe at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. Boston academe is represented as well. Like the copy-machine-sampling Dr. Helmrick, M. Singe (a/k/a Beth Coleman) is an MIT employee, in the Writing and Humanistic Studies program. She’s also a fascinating composer and a well-known sound artist who’s exhibited at the Whitney Biennial. (Coleman’s partner Howard Goldkrand also designed the sound system for the event. Together, they combine as SOUNDLAB, a collaboration that has built some serious sound systems over the past decade, especially on the bass end.)

"One unfortunate aspect of academe is that they have little interest in bringing people from the outside or communicating with the local scene," says Hirsch. "If you’re not at the university, you probably won’t hear about it." Not this time, however. It’s at 8pm and it is — again — free. So as Hirsch says, there’s "very little risk involved."

Taking academe to the club, and vice versa, is what Anthony "DJ FLACK" Flackett’s MassArt course "Beat Research" is all about. It helps that in addition to teaching a class by that name, he also runs a label and a weekly night at Enormous Room that share it. Neither the night nor the class is typical: Flackett has been known to assign homework like "Make a one-minute track with an assigned break beat," and the syllabus includes the instruction "Watch and discuss: Pimp My Ride." It also mandates that students present their end-of-semester projects in the club, as it were, which they’ll do this Monday at Enormous Room. . . . Detroit house giant STACEY PULLEN visits Red Line in Harvard Square on Friday, joining the resident crew of Rodney Marable, Craig Kapilow, and KC Hallett. Pullen deserves each and every one of his Google links (he figures he’s got "about 90,000") for his dedication to repping the original techno sound of Detroit. Circuits last saw him when he played with Superpitcher, Luomo, and others in Miami. The guy was caning beats as if they’d been littering in Singapore.

David Day spins Thursdays at Middlesex Lounge and Fridays at Enormous Room. He can be reached at circuits@squar3.com.

Issue Date: December 9 - 15, 2005
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