Annex Group to perform ‘RaWElectrics’

Photo of DJ spinning record on turntable“We’ll probably remove what little varnish remains on the walls of the hall after the last gig we presented there back in 2007,” James Phelps said in reference to the sand-blasting, searing sound that will likely emanate from the Annex Group‘s presentation of RaWElectrics. “The word ‘raw’  isn’t in the title of this event for nothing.”

The event takes place at 8 p.m. Friday, April 29, in the NIU Music Building’s Boutell Memorial Concert Hall. Admission is free.

Annex Group presents at least one event per year as a group, with several other events taking place at various venues featuring subsets of its members.

The group also produces other electronic music/computer music-related efforts around campus featuring composers and performers from other areas and other schools.

“While all Annex Group events are hardly your usual musical fare, RaWElectrics will be even further left-of-center. This event will offer the opportunity of hearing unique mixes, blends, mash-ups and collages of many different genres and styles of music,” said Phelps, director of NIUCMS (NIU Computer Music Studios) and of the Annex Group for the past 21 years.

“Styles represented will include, but are not limited to, rap,  dub step, electronica, circuit-bending, drum and bass, rock, punk, metal as well as styles more often associated with the contemporary, experimental  electroacoustic domain. Those faint of heart, or with worrisome sensitivity to very loud sound, or those who want to hear sweet love songs, should probably select a different source of entertainment for the evening.

“I almost never produce events in the Concert Hall. There’s nothing particularly  wrong with that hall, but what we do artistically just doesn’t seem to fit in the  typical 18th or 19th-century style forum – like holding a punk show in a cathedral – just wrong,” he added. “However, for this RaWElectrics event, we need to move a lot of air – a smaller hall would prove lethal.”

RaWElectrics will be performed with two DJs, two drummers, one rapper (NIU’s own Lizzie G), electric bass, a couple of electric guitars and other various electronic sound sources. “If we can figure it out, we’d like to have ‘dancers in cages’ as well, with our own twist, of course,” Phelps said.

The somewhat more traditional annual Annex Group event (as yet untitled) will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in the Recital Hall of the Music Building, the Annex Group’s usual “home.”

For more information, e-mail jphelps@niu.edu.

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