Safety Scissors

Shift, featuring Safety Scissors and Ryan Elliott. Saturday, August 31, at Touch Supper Club.

Tea at Five Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Avenue Through September 3; 216-795-7000
It's hard to say the words "glitch electronica" without picturing some über-nerdish white guy bathing in the sterile glow of his laptop, obsessively pecking away at little clicking and gurgling noises. But Matthew Curry, who produces glitchy techno tunes under the name Safety Scissors, lets it be known right up front that he doesn't "over-obsess" that way. "Relative to most 'techno,' [my music] is a bit clumsy," Curry insists. "There's more dirt than a lot of clean German stuff coming out."

Of course, just where the line between clumsy and cutting-edge lies, within the rapidly evolving glitch genre, is anyone's guess. But pinpointing a difference between Curry's work and that of such producers as Pole, Autechre, or Frank Bretschneider isn't all that difficult, since Curry actually sings on several of the cuts from his 2001 album, Parts Water. His soft crooning floats along on top of playful glitches and deep, numbing dub effects, providing intimate melodies for "Your Beautiful Feet" and "(Water)Phone."

"To me, singing is not about having a good voice," Curry says, "but it is about adding personality to the music. Suddenly, there is a human element added to the electronic sound." The fact that Curry's voice isn't quite perfect only adds to his "dork debonair" charm. "Embracing being the dork I am is important in my music. Embellishing mistakes, or at least accepting them, is part of what my music is about."

As a DJ, Curry is pretty traditional, mixing up house, techno, and even some '80s tunes. But he's also known for his outlandish high jinks -- such as shucking his pants and tossing them into the crowd when the mood strikes. Maybe that's just what it takes to embrace the dork within.

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