Concert preview: Container's Ren Schofield can't be boxed in

Andy Downing, Columbus Alive

When Ren Schofield first conceived Container, he did so with the idea of composing more traditional-sounding techno music. And he thought he was succeeding in that until he released his debut albumLP in 2011.

"Then everybody was talking about how strange it was," said Schofield, 31, who headlines a concert at Double Happiness on Thursday, April 21. "It wasn't heartbreaking in any way, but it was surprising how weird people thought it was, because in my mind it was still very normal. After that I started getting exposed to more regular techno, which I hadn't heard much of before. Slowly I did start to realize that, yeah, I don't think I did a good job of making regular techno music. And I don't think I could."

Rather, over the course of three full-lengths (all generically titledLP) and one EP (Adhesive, from 2014), Schofield has amassed a deep catalog of urgent, unsteady beats that suggest a controlled chaos. Witness "Cushion," from last year'sLP, which opens as a bubbling digital cauldron before the musician layers on an ominous digital buzz and screaming sirens that make the track's back half play like the soundtrack to a particularly calamitous prison break.

"The last two years I've been interested in getting really clean recordings of really weird sounds, like I'll take Styrofoam or insulation or cardboard and all these random household items and just get clean recordings of me rubbing and touching them," Schofield said. "I've been trying to work that into the music more - these sounds that would otherwise have no place in electronic music."

The musician's spirit of exploration only stretches so far, however. Since launching his music career, Schofield has largely restricted himself to the same recording gear for each release - not that he's unwilling to integrate new tools.

"There have been times I bought new gear, but it wasn't the same, and I kept coming back to [the old equipment]," he said. "Also, learning new gear is annoying to me; you don't want to be stuck reading some manual when you want to start playing music."

Not that these various purchases have been completely without benefit. In addition to helping the musician look at his old gear in a new way - "Even experimenting [with a new machine] might help me discover something new about my usual gear, or think of a different way to use it that I hadn't thought of before," he said - the accumulated electronics have doubled as something of a financial safety net in tough economic times.

"Usually I'll run out of money and I'll be broke and it's like, 'Hmm, what can I sell?'" Schofield said. "Oh yeah, I have that $1,000 drum machine sitting around that I don't use."

Double Happiness

8 p.m. Thursday,

April 21

482 S. Front St.,

Brewery District


Also playing:

Jacoti Sommes,