♫♪  Gel Set - “Ether Or”

A fixture of the Chicago DIY electronic scene, Laura Callier has logged years of synth programming and vocal experimentation under the Gel Set pseudonym, as documented on physical releases with Chi Town-based imprints like Lillerne, Modern Tapes, and Notes And Bolts. Her forthcoming full-length Human Salad LP, due July 7 on Moniker Records, showcases her most complex compositions to date, animated in equal parts by her detached lead vocalizations and the technoid arrangements issued from her web of hardware. Like Montreal’s cyborg chanteuse Marie Davidson, Callier blurs the line between analog performance and coiffed post-industrial studio production, constructing dense sessions seemingly weighted with more synchronized layers than one person could conjure alone. Yet whoa: there she stands, somewhere behind the tiered rows of her machines, guiding them through bruising breakdowns and swells of corrupted synthesis.

Jam “Ether Or” and feel the thump of that distorted bass drum in the developing quadrant of your lizard brain cordoned off for future jams. Gel Set sighs into a delay pedal and her robo-ennui hits us in a succession of dubbed-out echo bursts. “Why can’t we just be together?” she wonders aloud. “Maybe we can!” we think, as the pulse overtakes us. Bit crushed synth figures tumble together in a spin cycle over garbled waves of formant noise. A hi-hat clicks a path for us through the confusion. Sequences complicate over an incessant kick + snare electro framework that evokes communications once transmitted from the Stinson/Donald bunker. Callier dials in one last bubbling bass patch and lets the track spiral off into darkness. The LED displays continue to glow. The machines want more.

• Gel Set: https://gelset.bandcamp.com/
• Moniker Records: http://www.moniker-records.com/

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

Most Read