Chicago Singles Club

October 2015

Simulation (Gel Set + Matchess)

Simulation is a collaboration between two of Chicago's most interesting electronic musicians, Laura Callier (Gel Set) and Whitney Johnson (Matchess). Those familiar with their solo work might find the two to be an unlikely pairing, yet their disparate aesthetics fluidly meld and enhance each other. Gel Set is hip-shakingly percussive and focused on off-kilter rhythms, with syncopated beats and basslines that shift and evolve while maintaining machine-like precision. Her direct, minimalist synths and sequences paired with her ethereal vocals are evocative of Darkwave, a melancholy counterpart to New Wave that initially emerged in the 70s. In contrast, Matchess tends to have a more ephemeral, organic quality achieved through impressionist harmonies that blur together in a warm, dreamy haze. Cassette loops and organ drones underpin her heavily-manipulated vocal and viola melodies that reference contemporary classical music as much as experimental electronic.

Together, the duo's contrary forces are captivatingly unique: Simulation is at once distant and sharply in focus, piercing and murky, a summer evening and a bright winter morning.

Simulation's session was unique for Chicago Singles Club; both tracks were recorded in a single uninterrupted live take. Download the both previously-unreleased tracks and watch the interview video for the paranormal story behind their collaboration's origin.

Simulation (Gel Set + Matchess) is

Whitney Johnson
Vocals / Organ / Cassettes
Laura Callier
Synth / Sequencer

Exclusive CSC Single

Download MP3s

Video Interview

  • Engineer Jeff Kelley
  • Assistant Engineer Kevin Claxton
  • Photographer Kerri Hacker
  • Director / Interviewer Iris Lin
  • Camera Operator Kelsie Hardison