Thursday, September 15, 2016


Chicago Park District ARTS 13 workshop

7.15.16 at Experimental Sound Studio
featuring Carlos Pride

photos from Katharina Ritter

9.12.16 at Constellation
It's Happening
w/ Ben Lamar Gay and Ernest Dawkins

9.15.16 at ESS
  featuring Alex Inglizian
w/Ricardo Dias Gomes

Sunday, August 28, 2016


"No-Face" Bald Eagle along the Mississippi River

PÜ F3ST St. Louis 8.28.16
poster by Elizabeth Moore

Katharina and Jake at the Chain of Rocks Bridge

Illinois River valley

St. Louis to Chicago Illinois River Bike Route
From St. Louis: StL Riverfront trail, MCT Confluence Trail, Sam Vadalabene Great River Road Trail. After this, the majority of the route had no shoulder. Used IL100 but stayed on the eastern side of the IL River for the entire trip (except to cross via ferry at Kampsville for food). Consequently took Eldred Rd, Bluff St, River Road, Hillview Rd to Beardstown. Then Chandlerville Road and 78 into Havana. Then Manito Rd also called Manito Blacktop into Pekin. Taking 29, Wesley Rd and Main street leads you to US 150 and 116, where you'll continue north on Spring Bay Rd/26.  County backroads lead to Walnut St in Ogelsby.  The bridge across the Vermillion River was out as of September 2016, crossed via 71. Backtracking after Starved Rock, 78 gets you across the IL River to Dee Bennet Road, where you will connect to the I&M Canal. That baby takes you all the way to Gaylord Donnelley Trail and Centennial Trail.

Points of Interest:
Pere Marquette State Park
Sand Ridge State Forest
Starved Rock State Park
I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


A split double cassette directed by multi-instrumentalist and bicycle-enthusiast Rob Frye. While the Flux Bikes tape explores the melodic and hypnotic realms of poly-rhythms extracted from bicycle wheel, flute and electronics, the Sueñolas tape paints old-world pastoral impressions with help from guitarist Bill MacKay and violist Whitney Johnson.  Edition of 100 double cassettes with risograph printed jcards, some alt colors available!

Rob Frye is best known for his woodwinds skills, which bring a serene melodicism to the trance grooves of Bitchin Bajas among a slew of other outfits. He also applies his imagination to a broader array of techniques and instruments with consistently dazzling, beguiling results. Earlier this year I wrote about his project Flux Bikes, in which he mutates a bicycle to emit hypnotic epics enhanced by a variety of instruments. The rhythms and timbres he generates on the recent split-cassette release on Lake Paradise is remarkable. And the other half of the double-tape project is even more rewarding. Sueñolas is a project built primarily around the guitarra de son, a plucked four- or five-stringed lute used in Mexican son jarocho music. Aided by the the primitive Casio SK60, Frye samples different progressions, arpeggios, and patterns he plays on the instrument, running them back in time-warping, pitch-shifting patterns—thus generating a harp-like quality—while ditching the instrument’s folkloric provenance. On the tape’s first side his episodic creations are complemented by guitarist Bill MacKay and violinist Whitney Johnson(Matchess), who both embroider Frye’s rapid flurries of notes with leisurely phrases and bittersweet counterpoint. On the flipside Frye goes it alone, expanding his arsenal of samples to include organs, flutes, guitars, pianos, synths, and drums, and camouflaging every sound with electronics to deliver a series of mesmerizing vignettes that flow from one to the other. 
— Peter Margasak

Thursday, February 25, 2016


presented by DCASE
w/Ben Lamar Gay

w/Nick Kabat at Art on Sedgewick 4.9.16
Future Hits, Kate Schick
Photo credit: Katie Guymon

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


poster by Ben Chlapek

from the Hideout:

Rob Frye is known as an multi-instrumentalist for Chicago groups such as CAVE and Bitchin’ Bajas. He has been a constant presence in Chicago’s underground scene, specifically with improvisational ensembles. The collective El is the Sound of Joy was a constant figure in the noise underground, and eventually gained some notoriety in jazz circles. A constant collaborator, Rob is able to give a unique voice in a variety of different kinds of ensembles, playing with poly-rhythms and sounds in his bicycle-based project Flux Bikes, experimenting with improvisational devices in Exoplanet, or exploring textures in Bitchin’ Bajas, Frye stands out, and we’re honored to have him this month. He’s joined by a cast of talented friends including Dan Bitney (Tortoise), Ben Lamar Gay (AACM), and many more. See a full list of the events so you don’t miss a night.
2/2 Flux Bikes* with Dan Bitney and visuals by Kyle Drouin -- Waddupp Sonn DJ party
2/9 Sueñolas* -- Exoplanet -- visuals by Katharina Ritter and USA Studio DJs
2/16 El is a Sound of Joy -- visuals by Ben Kolak -- DJ Funky Bitch
2/23 Bitchin' Bajas -- Jah Jah Cale -- visuals by brownshoesonly -- DJ Winston Lasker

photo from Ben Chlapek


photo by Nathan Gregory

from the Chicago Reader:
Rob Frye has gained notoriety over the last couple of years for the malleable approach to musical hypnosis and melodic beauty he’s brought to both Bitchin Bajas and Cave, but the weekly February residency at the Hideout that begins tonight will show there’s more to his aesthetic. Perhaps nothing demonstrates his ideals better than his project Flux Bikes, which he refers to as a “social practice.” Until recently I knew that this venture generated certain sounds by using contact mikes to amplify different bicycles parts as percussion, but I never knew how integral the bike was. Frye designs each performance as a kind of sustainable ritual by first riding to the show and then turning the bike into an instrument. The practice has extended well beyond Chicago, as he’s toured on wheels throughout Spain and between Austin and New Orleans—during which he was outfitted with a solar-powered sound system. This makes for a lovely backstory, but the music Frye creates in this manner measures up to the method. As heard on his 2014 cassette Prototype (Catholic Tapes), directed by a keen sense of dynamics, he builds mesmerizing percussive grooves that convey a strangely enveloping warmth akin to West African music, with passages of flute, saxophone, bass clarinet, and guitar beautifully floating over the loops. For this performance Frye will be joined by percussionist Dan Bitney of Tortoise fame, and Kyle Drouin will deliver abstract video accompaniment. 
— Peter Margasak

Sunday, January 24, 2016


"Have you ever gone to the mountain and decided you're not gonna come down?"

Pictures: Ruvan Boshoff

Flux Bikes' music was used in this story about the Sackcloth people of Table Mountain, near Cape Town South Africa.

Story from Farren Collins, Sunday Times News 2016-01-24