Tatsu Aoki and Da Wei Wang team up for a double album of ecstatic ambience

For a couple months now, Gossip Wolf has been revisiting Yes Strings Attached, the new duo album from bassist and shamisen player Tatsu Aoki and guitarist Da Wei Wang. Aoki is also a filmmaker, composer, and founder of the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival; Wang makes experimental solo music and adds his beguiling stylings to long-running Chicago avant-garde group Ono. Local label FPE Records released the album on double cassette in September, and on Tuesday, October 25, it followed up with Aoki’s video for standout track “Cross Country And . . . ” This wolf appreciates the new realms of context the clip provides for the music’s startlingly lovely sounds: over the subtly undulating, bell-like reverberations of Wang’s guitar and Aoki’s electric shamisen, it brings together a series of oracular visual refrains, including swiftly moving drone shots of wooded landscapes and suburban office parks, images of the musicians’ instruments and recording equipment, and scratchy handheld shots of the Loop. If only all music videos were this thoughtful and illuminating! On Tuesday, November 15, the duo performs at Elastic Arts as part of an FPE showcase that also includes Aoki’s Miyumi Project and the Noah Barker Quartet.

Tatsu Aoki created the video for “Cross Country And . . . “

The album version of “Cross Country And . . . ” is more than 20 minutes long.

Local rock trio No Men likewise know a thing or two about music videos, and they’re not too shabby at finding standout directors to give their visions life—or a terrifying death or three, as the case may be. (Their 2016 video for “Stay Dumb” has enough bloody hatchet murders for an entire Dario Argento film!) On Friday, October 28, the band dropped a somewhat more straightforward performance-themed video for the new single “Rude,” which they say they shot themselves “on the nicest smartphone that we had out of the three of us.” Recorded at Electrical Audio by Steve Albini, “Rude” ups the ante on the band’s visceral mix of doom and noise rock—it’s the first taste of the next No Men full-length, due in April 2023, which promises to be an absolute slayer. This wolf can’t wait! 

No Men’s video for “Rude” includes a photosensitivity warning on its YouTube page.

On Monday, Chicago indie-rock duo Orisun dropped Viscera!, their first full-length. Given its blood-and-guts title, that Halloween release date was no accident, but its postgrunge tunes will sound great any day of the year. This wolf is particularly keen on the brittle, crackly guitar chords and svelte bass that buoy Asha Adisa’s spectral singing on “Heaven Only Knows.”

Orisun say this album expresses “the horror of embodiment in an environment of ruin and oppression.”

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at the Museum of Contemporary Art

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