While most IDM artists seem like a bunch of clicks and clacks designed to irritate rather than to inspire, one SKAM records outfit, Bola, is soothing. With pretty synth washes and irregular beat structures, Bola’s sound is reminiscent of Boards of Canada, revealing dark, unnerving undertones. Mr. Bola, a/k/a Darrell Fitton, and his “bola machines” (as one album called Soup put it) appear for the first time at the IDM-electro weekly Static. And unlike certain blockbuster techno artists (who shall go unnamed), Fitton will truly be delivering a live performance, not just twiddling off of a DAT. Wednesday @ 10, Filter 14, 432 W 14th, 366-5680.
2-step was old hat before it hit stateside. Even then, its impact was weakened by its lack of cultural context. So on with the new. The formidable local 2-stepping crew Drive By moves things along with a “nu breaks” showcase, featuring U.K. jocks Oris Jay and Jay Da Flex. Now, there are “nu skul breaks” of the Adam Freeland variety and “nu breaks” (not to be confused with “nu jazz” or “nu electro”). To clear things up, “nu breaks” is mighty close to 2-step, but with more complex rhythms, and the same ragga-inspired basslines and vocals. Thursday @ 10, Baktun, 418 W 14th, 206-1590.
Summer’s here and one of the best places to hang during the warm season is Halcyon café in Brooklyn, which has the best sound system in the city. (Phazon, kiss my grits.) They’re kicking off a new summer lineup, with big and/or respected labels sponsoring different nights including Studio Distribution, Worship Recordings, King Street, and Baraka Foundation. Longtime New York manager Bill Coleman also brings crazy celeb talent like Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, and Ultra Naté. This week, the experimental weekly Undercity continues its quest to educate the masses with an all-Detroit lineup bringing Christina Cooper, Dave Wullie (of Docile Recordings), and Tim Crawford to the tables. Sunday @ 7, Halcyon, 227 Smith, Brooklyn, 718-260-9299.