Matmos: Experimental IDM Wizards Coax Notes From a Cactus

Matmos members M.C. Schmidt and Drew Daniel succeed avant-garde composers David Lang, Iannis Xenakis, and John Cage, creating musique concrète with electronics, tin foil, synths, cacti, boardgames, and whatever else happens to strike an interesting chord.

Menomena: Peculiar Pop Perfectionists

Menomena’s enthusiasm to put out a new record couldn’t overcome its penchant for precision, and with Mines, its newest recording, the idiosyncratic trio delivers a restrained yet unorthodox pop gem.

Liars: Channeling Overlooked Urbanism on Sisterworld

In the past decade, there have been few bands more surprising or compelling than Liars. Ruthlessly innovative and committed to constant evolution, its defiant attitude toward the expectations of its audience and the prevailing trends in independent rock has set it apart in a big way.

Jason Adasiewicz: Virtuosic Jazz Vibraphonist

Jason Adasiewicz has made a name for himself as a strong, unique voice in Chicago’s rich underground jazz and improvisational scene. He has lent his gorgeous, melodic vibraphone playing to literally dozens of ensembles and recordings, weaving his way through the highly collaborative network of progressive improvisers that has established itself in the clubs and practice spaces of Chicago.