In Da Club: Mystery Palace at the Kitty Cat Klub

The Kitty Cat Klub's dueling mirror balls seem strangely quaint in the midst of Mystery Palace's opening barrage, like Tiffany lamps on a squad car. It's mostly velocity; the trio's frantic para-funk skews more jungle than disco, hardly surprising given former Poor Line Condition bassist James Buckley's vigorous involvement. He and drummer Joey Philips, both in short-sleeved shirts, face each other, flanking black-clad, zipped-to-the-chin director FoodTeam, a.k.a. Ryan Olcott. Hunched behind a long table, over a pair of extensively modified, high-end home keyboards emblazoned with identical white "Yamaha"s, the ex-12 Rods front man moves slowly and judiciously, pausing after each keystroke and toggle-switch flip to figure out where the latticework of chitters, bleeps, and abstract riffs he's generating wants to go next. More patrons trickle in than out; musicians and regulars enamored of the Wednesday-night residents' improvisations line the dance floor's edge, alert. A bearded guy in wire rims leans across a front-row table. "There's no distinct melody," I hear him say to his tablemate as if it's a compliment, "nothing you can take away with you. Ten years from now, the only way you'll remember this is as pure experience." Hitting a lucky configuration, Olcott sends a long procession of pillowy dronelets leapfrogging one another in coincidental reply. By set's end, the bespectacled young beard is sprawled in a tattered easy chair near the bar, half in the lap of a tall brunette who seems only mildly dismayed.

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