In a world of macro pop festivals such as FreeFest, Sonic Circuits qualifies as a nano-fest, catering to a distinct class of daredevil eardrums. The annual experimental-music festival celebrates its 10th anniversary Sept. 18 to 25, and this year's lineup is as charmingly inconsistent as ever. Savvy fans, however, should be able to separate the good noise from the bad noise, and they surely won't be skipping legendary Japanese racketmaker Merzbow when he performs with French composer Richard Pinhas at La Maison Francaise on Sept. 24. But this year's don't-miss performance takes place at the Mansion at Strathmore on Sept. 21 when ambient electronic virtuoso Fennesz delivers a digital slush of ones and zeroes as resplendent as freshly fallen snow.
-- Chris Richards