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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tonight in Music: The Helio Sequence, Quadron, Here Come Dots

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 10:45 AM


THE HELIO SEQUENCE, GENDERS, MODERN KIN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Once a month, Red Bull Sound Select plops the best bands in the Northwest into the intimate Doug Fir basement for a mere three bones. Next up are three of Portland's best: the shimmering Helio Sequence, the cavernous rock of Genders, and the burning-soul folk-rock of Modern Kin. Be sure to RSVP for cheap tix! NED LANNAMANN


MAYER HAWTHORNE, QUADRON
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) If rough edges are an integral part of your enjoyment of a band and/or its recordings, you want nothing to do with the music of singer Coco O. and producer Robin Hannibal, who work together under the name Quadron. The Danish duo's sophomore album, Avalanche, is a paragon of smooth and seamless electro-soul, where Hannibal—a studio wizard who is also half of the alt-R&B group Rhye—polishes his computer-assisted funk, jazz, and pop into a gleaming foundation for Coco O.'s rich, expressive vocals. The result is spellbinding; the only disruptions are the first single, "Hey Love," an uptempo anthem that sounds like Amy Winehouse airbrushed into oblivion, and the final track, "Better Off," which features a bubble-piercing verse from Kendrick Lamar. Even K. Dot isn't himself, though; Lamar sounds like he entered the studio with a healthy dose of Hannibal's soulful sedative in his veins. BEN SALMON


HERE COME DOTS, BALMS, BLACK IS BRIGHT
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Here Come Dots might be a clever anagram derived from the words "the Morse code," but you won't find the Portland band telegraphing any punches on their 2013 album A House in the Country. The group proves its penchant for crafting evocative and ethereal moments throughout the release, and you can find it on full display in a haunting and mysterious track like "In the Country." The album's layered production adds an alluring glisten under the hood, and this dense and rewarding structure gives the songs a little more to reveal each time you give them a spin. Bright Is Black, the latest local shoegaze outfit to rise from the ashes of the Silent Numbers, opens things up. Check out the brand-new cassette EP, Dust, for a taste of ambient pop that's equal parts hushed and blustery. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

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