Like so many rock kids curious about "this techno thing," one of my first introductions to the world of electronic music came via Warp's incredible Artificial Intelligence compilation. Along with the early Orb and Orbital releases, it was my first taste of what became a lifelong love affair, and two of my favorite tracks off that seminal collection came from Speedy J, otherwise known as Jochem Paap (www.myspace.com/jochempaap). Both tracks built dreamy, contemplative atmospheres using gorgeous sounds and clever programming. In the almost fifteen years since that compilation was released, Paap has created an incredible body of work, from the gentle, beautiful, drifting soundscapes of his early work to relatively straightforward hard techno, from dense, dark claustrophobic work reminiscent of Autechre to spacey, drifting ambient pieces. His reputation as a somewhat inconsistent live performer – fantastic at times, self-indulgent and boring at others – is no reason to miss his set this Saturday, February 9, at Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom.
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