We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Rachel Grimes is the one constant in the floating membership of the band simply called Rachel’s. Frankly, I don’t know enough about classical music to claim that this Louisville ensemble deserves the “impressionist” label, but it certainly meets the common-sense definition of the word. The group’s elegant compositions for (mostly) piano and strings are as vivid as a lyrical poem or an expressionist drawing: The poetry of Pablo Neruda inspired Rachel’s’ “The Sea and the Bells”; the group’s “Music for Egon Schiele” is the soundtrack of a dance/theater production about the secessionist artist from Vienna. So why the hell are these classicists touring with Matmos? Well, Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt may compose with electronic beats, but their atmospheric tracks can be just as evocative as Rachel’s’. The Scapino Ballet of Rotterdam choreographed a cut from Matmos’ debut album. The San Francisco duo’s latest project is “based upon the sounds of medical technology”—the ambient sounds for a Damien Hirst installation? Matmos and Rachel’s even collaborate on a new EP. Each band remixes a re-recording of “Full On Night,” a song from Rachel’s’ first album. The abstract beats of Matmos’ chopped and channeled version complement Rachel’s’ own mix, which is, itself, kind of cut up. This is a new take on contemporary chamber music—call it classical post-rock. The show begins at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Black Cat, 1831 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (Mark W. Sullivan)