April 26, 2013

Friday night live at Transistor: Mike Weis, Joseph Clayton Mills and Weis and Mills. Sound by Jon Monteverde.  Black and white photos by Robert Medich.


Mike Weis is no stranger to the American indie/experimental music scene. He's been the percussionist and drummer for the highly respected Chicago outfit Zelienople for the better part of the last decade and has collaborated with such esteemed underground luminaries as Scott Tuma, The North Sea, Xela (John Twells) and Jasper TX. Upon the very first listen to his debut solo album, "Loop Current/Raft" it becomes clear that Mike is much more than just another hired gun. The compositions on the album breathe a singular vision of percussion as centerpiece to a multilayered aural canvas. Mike's drums are shrouded in billowy clouds of ambient sound and muted synthetic drones. Tribal rhythms glean in and out of focus as sheets of bells, claves, bowed cymbals and rattles dance over a hazy backdrop of manipulated field recordings, shortwave radio samples and found sounds. There is a subtle yet unmistakably Eastern feel to the recordings. Mike's training in West African polyrhythmic drumming as well Korean Pungmul drumming -- coupled with his foundation of traditional Western rock percussion patterns -- birth an almost neo-Gothic gamelan style.

For his Transistor performance Mike performed a new piece that was composed for side A of a new solo album that will hopefully be released this year. It combines trance rhythms with loops of field recordings, gongs and prepared guitar.

Also available: a previous Mike Weis Transistor performance from June 24, 2011.


Joseph Clayton Mills is an artist, writer and active participant in the improvised and experimental music community in Chicago, most notably as a member of the trio Haptic (with Steven Hess and Adam Sonderberg), and is a frequent collaborator with such notable musicians and sound artists as Olivia Block, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Sylvain Chauvaeu, and Noé Cuéllar. His recordings have appeared on numerous labels, including Entr’acte, Bloodlust! and FSS.

Visit Joseph online.


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Find more live music archived on our Recordings page.