Tues., Feb. 15, 9pm. Free. Siam Lotus, 931 Spring Garden St. 215.769.2031. www.siamlotuscuisine.com
"More so than banging clubs," says John Schenk, "my music lends itself to art openings and things of that nature." That makes sense-his work is a subconscious-tickling blend of sounds culled from four decades of collecting records.
Adopting the DJ name Slipping Into Sublimnity (a hybrid of "subliminal" and "sublimity") in the '90s, Schenk fell back on his experience as an electronic musician and built an improv ensemble from scratch.
Since reining in that particular experiment, Schenk, 52, has done various arty projects as Tantrum Tonic, culminating in his new weekly gig at Siam Lotus with minimal techno DJ Erin Anderson (ex-Flowchart).
As he DJs, Schenk sifts through stacks of vinyl to deliver a set punctuated by obscure Japanese and German techno, a Tranquility Bass remix, the layered effects built into his turntables and his own homemade CDs of skittering ambient music.
What's that pulsating deep in the backdrop? Fatboy Slim's "Praise You," wrested from its former ubiquity to become just a tiny piece of Schenk's latest jigsaw puzzle.
A Roxborough resident who employs similar layering tactics for his acclaimed photography, Schenk gamely accepted the task of choosing his five favorite records-ever.
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959)
"Bill Evans' piano playing is so improvisational. All the other piano players at that time were playing like boogie-woogie-the faster they could run up the chords, the better they were. Kind of Blue just opened my mind up to how sound could be used."
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Electric Ladyland (MCA, 1968)
"One of the greatest records ever made. Hendrix learned how to use the guitar upside down with that record. He was also setting some standards for studio use of electronics that most people don't even realize are in there. He was using some reel-to-reel tape-deck effects in there that gave it such a dimension."
Klaus Schulze, Mirage (Island, 1977)
"He was like the godfather of electronic music for a long time. This record opened my head in a big way."
Brian Eno, Discreet Music (EG, 1975) and Ambient 1: Music for Airports (PVC, 1978)
"These changed how people viewed music. They just put it out there like something completely different than what anybody was thinking about."