The biggest misconception about computer music, especially as made by musicians who "play" a loaded laptop onstage, is that they're somehow cheating. Which begs the question: Why do they even bother with live performances when they can just hit a button and spend the rest of their set playing desktop solitaire? This attitude doesn't take into the equation the fact that the most interesting artists working in this medium use their Powerbooks as instruments--improvising live, ever tweaking their sound on the fly. Enter Swedish musician Andreas Tilliander, aka Mokira. Tilliander takes the pulse beats of hip hop and dub and splinters them to create a new, dense version of the source sounds that--unlike many of his peers' abstract work--is forward-thinking and has head-bobbing grooves. Stockholm native Tilliander, who works under different pseudonyms, turned heads last year with his release Clip-Hop, as well as his track on the Clicks and Cuts 2 compilation released by the influential Mille Plateaux label. Tilliander's latest release (as Mokira) is Plee, a sublime collection of gauzy tones and compact bumps and grinds: Imagine him as a brilliant surgeon using his skills to lay open the coronary artery of hip-hop's fat, rounded beats, grafting on capillaries of ambient drone, then injecting crackling glitches and deep bass throbs into its circulatory system.
And, since the best electronic music events provide something to actually look at along with the groovy tunes, get there early to catch the sounds and visuals of Baltimore's Telia, followed by more digital dynamics from Matthew Jackson and Moonstealingproject. Brought to you by Chapel Hill/Carrboro's Dyssembler electronic music organization, this is a must-see show for fans of the genre. --Chris Toenes