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Photograph: Jeremiah ChiuChandeliers

Chandeliers at Empty Bottle | Concert preview

Woozy funk vamps from vintage gearheads.


If it seems as if this EDM craze is getting out of hand, consider that there’s more to the genre than wobble bass and fist pumping. Take Chandeliers, for instance. The local combo’s electronic stew falls under the catchall of “dance music,” and the group’s members have clearly done their research, immersing themselves not just in the genre but the gear itself. Analog keyboards are revered with the same degree of curiosity that a crate-digging DJ brings to the decks. The woozy, warbling funk jams that ensue are surreal and saturated, like a downtempo daydream.

Suffice it to say this isn’t the kind of stuff found at Spring Awakening, though coincidentally the group’s lab is just minutes away from Soldier Field at the Shape Shoppe. It’s in that storied South Loop space that these stylistic hybrids are conceived, outfitted with an array of synth colors and robotic grooves. Listening to the band’s latest album, Founding Fathers, you can practically hear the eureka moment as Chris Kalis and his cohorts exhume long dormant tones, piecing together cold, mechanical patches to create the opposite, something warm to the touch. Live, it’s hard to do anything but submit, head-bobbing in unison as hypnotic vamps ooze out of vintage instruments.

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