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Plug in to the sound of dance.

Byline: Paul Denison The Register-Guard

Halou, Haydn and Dahlia sounds like a law firm; imagine Lily Tomlin answering the phones. But if you piped their music into a law office, no legal briefs or motions would ever get filed.

Instead, everyone would be meditating or dancing or just drifting along down the hall.

Halou, Lili Haydn and Dahlia are purveyors of sophisticated, sensual electronic music, the kind you might hear on "Hearts of Space." Or at the Ohm nightclub in Portland on a Tuesday night.

That's where Keith Schreiner and Jennifer Folker get together every week as Dahlia to create a "primordial, tech- nology-driven, erotic world of organic-electronic sound- scapes.'

Schreiner provides the electronic element, using synthesizers and samples to lay the foundation upon which Folker "spins a masterful web of image-filled lyrical improvisations so sensual you can reach out and taste it."

`Immaculate mess'

Hype aside - those quotes come from Dahlia's promotional material - this more-than-a-duo has been getting some good press.

The Oregonian's music critic, Marty Hughley, writes that "Schreiner's knack for the resonant phrase and the effective juxtaposition define the body of the music, but its character comes from his sense of artful restraint. He knows the importance of open spaces."

The Rocket calls Dahlia's music "dancey, but by no means dumb. It's trippy, and it shakes, but its more than trip-hop. It's a mesmerizing, immaculate mess."

Dahlia will be the ostensible headliner of what could be just as easily be called a triple-headliner show at the WOW Hall on Wednesday.

Although this will be Dahlia's first WOW Hall performance, Folker has been here before. Fans voted her the hall's favorite female performer of 2003 for her work in another band, Drumattica.

Halou and Lili Haydn are on a West Coast tour promoting their new releases: Halou's "Wholeness" EP (Vertebrae Music Productions) and Haydn's "Light Blue Sun" (Arista).

Haydn and Halou's Rebecca Coseboom seem to have graduated from the Olivia Newton-John School of Breathy Vocals, although both are emotionally effective in their electronic milieu.

Here and there, Coseboom sounds a little like the Wild Colonials' Angela McCluskey trapped in a soundscape.

Like Dahlia, Halou - which also includes instrumentalist Ryan Coseboom and drummer-producer Count - wraps live instrumentation and vocals around an electronic core to produce what they describe as "cinematic, down-tempo soundscapes." San Francisco filmmaker Stephen Williams produces visuals synchronized to the music.

Halou's six-track EP is a preview of a "Wholeness and Separation," a full-length release to come.

Violinist-vocalist Haydn, who recently opened some dates for Cyndi Lauper, also has toured and performed with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Sting, Josh Groban, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and George Clinton (who does a little voice work on one track of her new album).

Also helping out on "Light Blue Sun": Pharoah Sanders, Alice Coltrane, bassist and co-producer Bill Laswell and Indian electronic music artist Karsh Kale.

In the mood to dance

Haydn is out "to bridge the art world with the mainstream, pop world" and thinks this album, which she co-produced, "has more artistic integrity, yet more commercial potential, than anything else I've done."

Aside from a couple of lightweight tracks (`Wounded Dove" and "Sweetness'), "Light Blue Sun" has both art and soul.

"Anything" is a tune both moody and danceable. "The Longing" - an instrumental inspired partly by early 18th century Venetian composer Tomaso Albinoni's Adagio - is a wonderful combination of running bass, tablas and deep, sweet violin that moves both body and soul.

"Denied," featuring Coltrane on piano, is a stirring modern hymn based on a melody from the adagio movement of Antonin Dvorak's "New World" Symphony.

Written by Haydn's mother, Lotus Weinstock, "Denied" has a confessional quality. It wouldn't be out of place in a church, or in a synagogue between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Haydn's vocal and violin work on this one is superb, just right for the material.

"The Chinese Song" and "Seek" are beat-heavy instrumentals guaranteed to pack the WOW Hall dance floor. Haydn's violin playing on "Seek" is wild.

In fact, almost all of the tracks on her album will do the same. Dancers of all kinds - disco, reggae, belly, Grateful Dead dervishes, ballroom, even Hasidic - can find something to latch onto on various tracks of this very well-produced album.

If Halou and Dahlia have much the same effect, the WOW Hall dance floor might look like a nest of cobras with Saturday night fever, and everyone should have a really soul-satisfying Wednesday night workout.

Paul Denison can be reached at 338-2323 or pdenison @guardnet.com.

CONCERT PREVIEW

Dahlia, Lili Haydn, Halou

When: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: WOW Hall, 291 W. Eighth Ave.

How much: $12, $10 advance (687-2746)

CAPTION(S):

Dahlia singer Jennifer Folker and two other dance bands will try to craft an electronic soundscape at the WOW Hall on Wednesday.
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Title Annotation:Entertainment; WOW Hall hosts a night of electronic that should have fans tripping the light fantastic
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 2, 2004
Words:807
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