Ever since Kraftwerk, the gridded and synthetic qualities of electronic music have been used to evoke cityscapes.
LERATA -- the Laboratory for Experimentation and Research in Art, Technology and Architecture -- has been taking that association literally over the week. They're hosting Skyline, a series of events in downtown L.A. designed to spur multidisciplinary thinking about the ways in which music interacts with urban infrastructure.
If that all sounds a bit academic, the music has been surprisingly cutting-edge and a lot of fun. Last Thursday's bill at Exchange L.A. featured long and very danceable sets from the eerie analog experimentalists Soft Metals and the punk-vet-gone-house-weirdo Magic Touch.
The bills continue through the weekend, with the Chicago ambient-drone composer Ken Camden playing Thursday inside "Evaporative Fault," a site-specific Fashion District installation by architects John and Elizabeth Umbanhower. The live music closes out Friday with the multi-genre laptop experimentalist Strategy playing at the Palace Theater alongside "Cerebral Hut," an installation from Guvenc Ozel that modulates its interior and exterior along with the music, and the fest wraps up Saturday with a dance party from the sleek electronica producer and DJ Ewan Pearson.
There's a lot of highbrow theory there about how urban spaces interact with art and the mind. But if you're just in pursuit of a tripped-out weekend of experimental music, Skyline is your kind of town.