If I had my way, there’d be several fully staffed news operations focused just on Chicago music, and each one would have a reporter dedicated full-time to the work of experimental producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and recording engineer Angel Marcloid. All on her own, Marcloid produces as much fascinating, discombobulating music—glitchy screamo, proggy smooth jazz, metallic noise, ambient vaporwave—as an artistic collective that’s drawn together a dozen people, and that’s not even counting the hundreds of releases by other musicians she’s mixed or mastered. Marcloid’s Fire-Toolz project introduced me to her ever-expanding oeuvre around six years ago, when I first saw her perform, screaming and singing through her battering-ram electronic productions in a Wicker Park loft. I felt so sleepy that night that I almost headed home before she went on, but the shock of her set—which ping-ponged instantaneously from clean, aggressively sweet pop to jittery, aggressively distorted metal, and sometimes braided them together—rattled me wide awake. I haven’t stopped listening to Fire-Toolz since. Her new album, I Am Upset Because I See Something That Is Not There. (Hausu Mountain), perplexes and energizes me in the ways only Marcloid can. “The Great Allower,” for example, opens with a knotty grind slashed by warped saxophone squalls, satiating my need for overwhelming metal—though it soon redirects its pulse into a quiet, rustling drone, which might tempt me to move closer to the speakers if it weren’t for Marcloid’s unpredictability. Her omnidirectional creativity makes I Am Upset a hell of an album—it gives me hope for music’s future and all the directions it can go.
Fire-Toolz Kate NV headlines. Thu 4/6, 9 PM, Sleeping Village, 3734 W. Belmont, $20, $18 in advance, 21+