The Offset: Spectacles @ D-22, 15 June 2010

By , 2010年 6月 23日

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The Offset: Spectacles’ performance on Tuesday helped to reinforce my conviction that they are one of the most interesting, least derivative bands playing in Beijing right now. Seeing as I had been familiar with only their electric set, I was curious to see how the acoustic setup would affect their sound. I was happily surprised to find that their acoustic songs pulled me in even more so than their electric ones. Nicole, who usually plays electric bass, instead held down pounding chordal bass lines on the keyboard. The two guys in the band both played acoustic guitar, lending a very bare-bones, personal tone. One maintained a driving, percussive strumming, while the other provided more varying guitar parts. The repetitiveness of their songs, rather than boring me, instead induced a trance-like state, taking hold of me and many others in the audience. The band seemed to possess a similar mindset, communicating with each other through their usual knowing glances and smiles. It’s nice to see a band that actually listens to themselves when playing live and enjoys the music that they’re producing. Most of the songs were instrumental; however, there were a couple that included sparse vocals, which were, in my opinion, the stand-out tracks.

While there have been a few laments circulating that DIY music and art in Beijing is waning, the cassette release show is testament to The Offset: Spectacles’ reputation as the leading figures of Beijing DIY music and arts culture. It was great to see such a positive turn-out, a perfect example of the support system that exists amongst the various bands that comprise the music scene here. The cassettes, zines, and buttons displayed at the front of the bar provided a sight for sore eyes, a relieving change-up from the usual Maybe Mars CDs and T-shirts that haven’t seemed to change for the past two years.

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