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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tour de Mil: Kraftwerk in the Driver’s Seat

Plus: Danny White’s smoke-out

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Since2003, Danny White and his crew have been slumming it. With a few lessons in debauchery from creative cohorts Eddie Leader and Rucky (Dan Rucker), the U.K.-based trio Slum Science has been crafting a catalog of funky house tracks that reek of smoke, booze and ingenuity.

Could the underground heads demand much more? Labels such as Deep Future, Icon, Jackin Tracks and Black Cherry certainly got buzzed on the smooth sound of their work. The trio’s string of successful drops led the production team to branch out on their own, as well as release work on their self-helmed Hudd Traxx label.

For now, White has been taking time for his solo career. The soulful bump of White’s upcoming June release, That H Town Thing, on Cincinnati’s Lingo Recordings, pulses with the kind of dark funk and ominous, upfront vocals that chug just enough for peak-hour groove.

The track’s mid-length interlude of female soul adds the right amount of light to keep the crowd’s vibe hot and high (we can only assume the latter).

Friday, April 11: Danny White of Slum Science plays for Smoke Out! at Three (722 N. Milwaukee St., with AB LOGIC of Hoodfellas (New York City) and Marcus Aurelius (Milwaukee). Music 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. No cover charge before 11 p.m.

Man Machine: Consider how seldom Kraftwerk tours the United States. Then consider that the elusive, electronic-pioneers slated four domestic tour dates in the spring of 2008, including Minneapolis, Denver, California’s monumental Coachella Valley Music Festival… and Milwaukee.

The tour de force musical minds of the 1970s crafted their own masterpiece in “Tour de France” and never looked back. Using minimal sounds that combine relentless rhythms with synthesized melodies and harmony, the Dusseldorf, Germany-based quartet drove the vehicle for what would become the future sound of electronic music in decades to come.

Kraftwerk’s simple lyrics, combined with chillingly sterile overtones made possible through Vocoders and computerspeech software, gave their work a kind of magnetic detachment. Since the group’s early years of experimentation in free-form German music, Kraftwerk has emerged as pioneers of the nightly party that continues to reveal itself during every performance. From the green-and-white glow of the light show to the robo-technics of its performance art, Kraftwerk continues to speak volumes to audiences without every (really) saying a word.

Sunday, April 20. Kraftwerk at The Rave/Eagles Club (2401 W. Wisconsin Ave.) Doors at 8 p.m. Tickets: $35

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