Michael Columbia These Are Colored Bars

Even though there’s not actually anyone named Michael Columbia in this Chicago-based duo, there’s definitely enough human feeling inherent within their brand of organic post-rock to warrant it baring a human name. Half of this jazzy and airy duo, David McDonnell, is a former member of Olivia Tremor Control and a current member of Need New Body, while the other half, Dylan Ryan, plays with the like-minded NNB-off-shoot band Icy Demons, among others. Ryan’s big, rolling drum sound is integral to Michael Columbia, but it’s the instrumentation he and McDonnell pile on top (keyboards, sax, clarinet and various electronics) that makes These Are Colored Bars the strong debut that it is. Mixing post-rock, jazz fusion, electronic experimentation and funky grooves into one single pastiche might sound like a sure recipe for the Chicagoan post-rock blahs, but Michael Columbia approach their craft with a vitality that makes them more a part of their windy city’s future than its past. (Alabaster)