Oct 1st 2021

Join us on Friday October 1st for a back to back performance by Sam Prekop and Levinson/Mahlmeister. Sam is a longtime Chicago native with deep roots in the Chicago music scene as a member of the Sea and Cake, Shrimp Boat and working as a solo musician. Donny Mahlmeister and Jamie Levinson are former Chicagoans and current Oak Park residents who also have deep ties to the Chicago scene with various rock bands and improvised music acts such as A Tundra, The Watchers, Judson Claiborne, White Rabbits and Early Day Miners.

This evening will feature heavily in the experimental/ambient/electronic realm, both acts performing with modular synthesizers and other electro-acoustic processing devices. The sounds should meld well with the incoming beautiful Chicago fall nights and be a good respite for the chaos that’s happening in the world at the moment!

Tickets are available here on Eventbrite!


SAM PREKOP’s boundless imagination is guided by his strong sense of melody. For more than 25 years, as a solo artist or as part of The Sea and Cake, PREKOP creates a singular sound inventive and warm. His distinctive vocals, guitar playing and work on modular analog synthesizers are inventive, delicate, and always bear his signature sense of melody. Comma finds SAM PREKOP for the first time working extensively with beat programming, focusing his enveloping synthesizer pieces around a newfound rhythmic pulse.

PREKOP’s creative process is a combination of preparation and improvisation. Writing sessions for Comma began with an open-ended exploration of sounds and textures from which the first fragments of songs would reveal themselves. The introduction of drum machines and additional synthesizer units to his modular setup shifted things in surprising new directions as he worked to bend them into more traditional pop song structures. Drum tracks and emergent rhythms provided the frameworks and narrative sketches to be fleshed out with lustrous widescreen synth pads and ribboning melodies. In approaching his writing with a completely open mind and letting himself be guided by the music, PREKOP maintains a delicate balance between composition and chance, control and spontaneity. Comma embraces the analogue synthesizer’s often unpredictable nature, imbuing the record with a decidedly organic feel even while working within the relative rigidity of beat architectures.


Comprised of synthesists Jamie Levinson & Donny Mahlmeister, the Chicago duo uses modular synthesizers in combination with tactile instruments (Levinson is a drummer/percussionist & Mahlmeister a guitarist) to create cinematic snapshots of sonance. While the duo absolutely gives glances toward artists like Eno, Lanois, Reich, Riley & the kosmische places and spaces of Deuter, they are absolutely of the NOW, in step with ambient explorers like Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Panabrite, or locals Bitchin’ Bajas, TALsounds or Brett Naucke. Side one’s “Ascend” eases into your ears, starting at a place of calming that slides & swoops over the course of its near 25-minutes, arcing into an apex of rhythmic motion. “Release” opens with the natural ambience of rainfall and birds over the top of synthetic drops & drones that unfold & open like the petals of a flower in the morning dew. Despite only having collaborated for a couple of years, the duo already display a mastery of their art. They perform their compositions & improvisations live, reacting to each other in conversation (not only with each other’s physical playing, but their respective synth patches), creating a dazzling harmony with the natural & synthetic as well as the tactile & the intangible.

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