In Da Club: Mystery Palace at the Kitty Cat Klub

Jayme Halbritter

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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