Music » Critics' Picks

Mike Dearborn, Paul Birken, Spike Johnson and Adam Louis

Saturday, July 6; Kastle


When KWUR-FM's Techno Radio host Bob Stolzberg began his "Red Rum Room" electronic-music series a month ago, he wanted to evoke something dark and evil and creepy in both the music and the venue. No surprise, then, that he invited Chicago's Mike Dearborn to the Kastle.

The founder of Majesty Recordings, Dearborn boasts a style that's heavy with synthetic drums, steady bass lines and intricately layered noise. With hard house, techno and drum & bass in his DJ bag, he mixes and blends his sets like sushi: They're uniquely addictive, raw and punchy (evil, perhaps?). With these sounds, Dearborn neurologically and emotionally stimulates what can only be called dance-floor orgasms, cathartic relief from the irresistible pressure to move. Sushi and orgasms tend to be pretty satisfying, but Dearborn's mixes also invoke an angry impatience -- a need for music that's a little harder, a need to smack your boss or at least bitch-slap the dance floor. Of course, such ferocity is not unknown in the Dearborn world; his albums boast such titles as Razor Sharp, Jaws, Chaotic State and Unpredictable. So bring your dancing shoes -- and maybe a punching bag. (For more information, visit

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