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Audio Dregs for dessert

Portland’s progressive electronic music scene is getting stronger by the minute. Our standard crop of decent DJ’s has remained consistent. On the experimental side, bedroom electronic experimentalists break new ground everyday. Touring acts are getting booked and received warmly and local labels are putting out good music. Two notable Portland electronic labels are the Outward Music Company (OMCO) and Audio Dregs.

Both are actively working with various styles of electronic music and putting together great shows at local clubs. Focussing mainly on progressive and experimental, Audio Dregs has just released an eclectic compilation called “For our Friends,” and is hosting Audio Dregs Night 3 this Friday at the French/Japanese downtown restaurant Madame Butterfly. The night includes a live set by Anderegg, a local computer artist with a recent release on NYC’s Apestaartje label, and a DJ set by E*Rock, Audio Dregs owner and electronic buyer for Ozone records.

Andrregg creates compositions of nervous trembles, ticks and spasms, all coaxed from acoustic instruments, field recordings and all things electronic. The pieces are then obscured under a wash of sound until he allows glimpses of detail to arise.

Other Music magazine compared Anderegg’s compositions to the blurred imagery of

Gerhard Richter’s paintings from the ’70s. “The act of using one sound as a framework to create another is a trail that seems to lead in circles, yet results in a masterful effect that not only invites but demands repeat investigation.”

E*Rock will play the role of eclectic electronic selector. He says he doesn’t do anything fancy when he DJ’s these days, mainly just selects a varied electronic mix. “I focus music energies into recording these days,” he said.

E*Rock also focuses his energies on some other worthwhile endeavors. He co-runs the Audio Dregs label with his brother E*Vax, and publishes the zine Thumb. The Audio Dregs/Tomlab compilation “For Our Friends” features experimental, ambient, folk and other eclectic sounds from Spain, Germany, Amsterdam and all around the States. Maybe E*Rock will spin a couple cuts on Friday.

The latest issue of Thumb, 12, contains in-depth interviews about music creation with interesting musicians from all around. Fans and curious newcomers should find most of the interviews entertaining and interesting, while musicians will learn a thing or two from the technical talk that occurs.

E*Rock says the issue is dedicated to “the new digital free thinkers.” He says “I’m interested in people with new sounds and ideas, and developing styles that combines avant-garde technique with ideas of “pop” listenability.” He’s achieved that goal with Thumb 12 by seeking out such trendsetters as Mouse on Mars, Harald “Sack” Ziegler, and Momus.

Thumb and Audio Dregs are doing the art’s world a service by letting these voices and sounds be heard. Lump the sounds into whatever sub and sub-sub-sub genre you want to, and listen with open ears.

Your open ears can filled beginning at around 9 p.m. this Friday at Madame Butterfly, on Fourth and Southwest Stark. For information on Audio Dregs and Thumb, check out