Night-People x pangbianr: Beijing Underground House Party (SXSW)

By , 2012年 3月 5日

This year seven mainland Chinese bands are going to South by Southwest, an all-time record. pangbianr continues its mission of plugging Beijing’s weirder bands in to the international underground, collaborating with NIGHT-PEOPLE to cultivate some cultural exchange along the lines of left-of-center sonic leanings.

Night-People’s founder Shawn Reed is on the front lines of bringing the Beijing zeitgeist to North America, having re-issued tapes for Xiao Hong Yu Xiao Xiao Hong and Hot & Cold. We’re very psyched to keep the conversation going down in Austin with a free afternoon house party featuring Shawn’s band Wet Hair, fellow Iowa City-an and Not Not Fun label-mate Cuticle, and currently Portland-based (?) hi-fi electronic music wizard Rene Hell. From the pangbianr side comes Carsick Cars, Snapline, Deadly Cradle Death and Soviet Pop. It’s Soviet Pop’s only show at SXSW and also their North American debut (actually their first show ever outside of China) — NOT TO BE MISSED!

The show is FREE (but BYOB and bring some food to share or something)
starts at 3pm and will end around 8 so you can go on to crash other parties

house is at 3305 B Hampton Rd, Austin, TX (near 32nd & Red River; map here)

band info + audio + video:


Carsick Cars – “Gun”

China’s reigning noise rock kings. The band started in 2005 and were integral founders of the mid-2000s “No Beijing” movement, which centered around the venue D-22 and label Maybe Mars. They are one of the biggest breakout Chinese noise bands, having toured with Sonic Youth and played All Tomorrow’s Parties. The band is helmed by Zhang Shouwang, who also plays in electronic duo White+ and remains heavily active in the day-in, day-out grind of Beijing’s small but growing experimental music scene. This is Carsick Cars’s third trip to SXSW, following a successful string of underground shows at SXSW 2011.

SNAPLINE (Beijing)

Snapline – “Holy Comments”

Another influential band from the “No Beijing” movement, Snapline started off with a rough post-punk sound that was polished over the years into a refined, art-damaged Kraut pop. Waves of industrial fuzz, motorik drum machines and percussive guitar shreds give vocalist Chen Xi’s lyrics a dire sonic backdrop in which to explore the bleak post-modern Beijing landscape.

CUTICLE (Iowa City)

Weirdo midi dance music from Iowa City, home of Night-People records. The one-man project has released albums on the new-ish 100% Silk and mothership label Not Not Fun, one of the US underground’s heaviest heavyweights.


Deadly Cradle Death – “Animal Thing”

This avant rap electronics duo is one of the most exciting bands to come out of Beijing in the last year. Its members are situated squarely within the Zoomin’ Night scene, which was a weekly showcase of experimental music populated mostly by college age (or younger) musicians. They also do events through their collective Psychoney featuring numerous other side-projects and friends’ band, such as psychedelic post-punk group Chui Wan, fuzzed out noise rock band Birdstriking, and lo-fi pop trio Skip Skip Ben Ben. The inspiration for Deadly Cradle Death came after He Fan, who is also the bassist of Carsick Cars, saw American power-electronics maestro Sewn Leather perform at the Cease to Exist! showcase during SXSW 2011. The rest is history in the making.

WET HAIR (Iowa City)

Wet Hair is an Iowa City-based trio that includes Shawn Reed, the founder of Night-People records. They are one of the earliest and most successful of the current crop of bands creating somewhat of a Suicide resurgence. To a Beijinger the Vega-esque vocals and simple, layered melodic textures might call to mind Dirty Beaches and the more recent material from Hot & Cold; Night-People was the first to release Dirty Beaches anywhere and the first to pick up on Hot & Cold in North America. The video above is a cut off their most recent LP In Vogue Spirit, out now on the excellent Destijl label.

SOVIET POP (Beijing)

Soviet Pop – “Sound of Sweat Radio”

Soviet Pop describe themselves as a “sound-based oscillator duo.” They are Li Qing and Li Weisi, who also play in Snapline and were the original drummer/bassist of Carsick Cars. For the last seven years they have been on the bleeding edge of the Chinese musical avant-garde, growing more esoteric in their sound experiments as they gained more mastery over their complex tower of modular synth units. Soviet Pop’s live sets range from what they call their “pop” songs (such as can be found on their recent Goaty Tapes release, mp3 above) to improvised one-minute “oscillator punk” jams to more sparse and abstract synthesizer + circuit popping drones. Find more songs on their bandcamp and douban pages. This will be their only show at SXSW and their first show ever outside of China.

RENE HELL (Portland)

Rene Hell produces heady hi-fi electronic music. The band is one Jeff Witscher, a nomad who’s been active in the American noise underground for years, posting up in LA, Iowa City, and most recently Portland, OR. His unbelievably prolific resume includes solo and ensemble harsh noise projects such as Impregnable, Roman Torture, Deep Jew, et al, plus a role releasing music via his Callow God and Agents of Chaos labels. Jeff’s project Impregnable played along with Yan Jun and other Beijing experimental musicians at a Waterland Kwanyin show in 2006. Rene Hell’s most recent album, Porcelain Opera, is out now from Type Records.

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