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SATURDAY

One of the wonderful things about certain independent labels is that you know exactly what you’re getting with each release. When you buy a single on Sarah, you know it will sound like a Sarah band: earnest, dreamy, and consummately poppy. Trax, Mo’ Wax, Darla, and many other labels have their own signature sounds. As does Kranky. Many of the Chicago label’s bands, including Magnog, Stars of the Lid, and Bowery Electric, owe a huge debt to Krautrock; its motto could be “drones and repetition.” Richmond’s Labradford (pictured) has been on Kranky from the beginning: The band’s debut album, Prazision LP, was also the label’s first release. After six years, Labradford remains Kranky’s best artist. Four European cities (Sheffield, London, Edinburgh, and Paris) recently hosted Labradford’s Second Festival of Drifting, a multiband showcase that explored “the boundaries of a musical family tree as yet unnamed.” “Drifting” is an apt description of the band’s music—and of much of Kranky’s catalog. Skeptics might claim “drifting off” is more accurate, but for the contemplative set, Labradford offers beautiful, slightly creepy little chamber pieces to zone out to. While other Kranky artists have grown expansive in their drift studies, Labradford has gotten more concise; its latest, E Luxo So, is a mere 39 minutes long. Live, labelmate godspeed you black emperor! features more than 10 people: three guitarists, two bassists, two drummers, and a string section. The Montreal collective carefully constructs its long compositions, building them from many discrete parts, including found vocals from its extensive library of field recordings. Tone opens at 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $10. (202) 393-0930. (Mark W. Sullivan)