Weekly Update: Bob Ostertag, Dirty Electronics, Niblock & Sabu

By , 2015年 10月 27日

Hi there & welcome to a new pangbianr weekly update, born from the ashes of my erstwhile Music Monday column over at SmartBeijing (RIP).

Been a busy few weeks at pangbianr HQ. Since the beginning of October we’ve been hosting the great artist, activist, author, and intractably avant electronic music composer BOB OSTERTAG for a tour of Xi’an, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Beijing. He just headlined BEME 4, which was a real hit this year!

Bob’s been enjoying his time here but wouldn’t consider staying any longer, on account of all the dirt in the air. Can’t fault him for that. Your last chance to catch him is at the MIJI show this Thursday at Aotu Studio (see below) — don’t sleep on it! Familiarize yourself with Bob’s extensive, 40-year career right here: Bob Ostertag’s Bleeps & Bloops


Speaking of dirt: UK builder/maker/composer/conductor John Richards is returning to Beijing with his whole Dirty Electronics setup. If you missed him last February at XP, Richards is a veteran builder of cheap, dirty electronic noisemakers, and has toured the world for years like a kind of pied piper of broken noise toys, assembling ad hoc orchestras wherever he goes, playing on gadgets like this synth he built for Mute Records and this one he makes out of nails.

John’s holding a free workshop tomorrow (WED Oct 28) at Aotu Studio from 8-10pm. Free to join but RSVP with raindogzhuwenbo@gmail.com if you’re interested.

Or just drop by Aotu the following night (THU Oct 29) from 8pm on to see John Richard’s 2015 Dirty Electronics Ensemble shred it live, joined by CT-808 and an encore set from Bob Ostertag.

Learn more about John’s whole deal in this interview I did with him last year.


The Dirty Electronics event was originally slated as one item in an impressively deep program of experimental sights & sounds that Meridian Space had put together for their inaugural [INSERT NAME HERE] minifest. Alas… Meridian inadvertently hosted some “sensitive” content last week and has been told to keep their doors closed at least until the current Plenum has finished.

So here’s a nod to another worthwhile event on the doomed program:
Multilayered Improvisations: Shih-yang Lee x Bruce Gremo | Phill Niblock x Katherine Liberovskaya

Phill Niblock, if you don’t know, is a foundational avant-garde composer from the late ’60s New York set, most famous for his groundbreaking microtone-drone compositions. After the last-minute venue scramble dust settled, Phill ended up at fRUITYSHOP (#17 Dongsi Tou Tiao 东四头条), where he’ll perform along with visual artist Katherine Liberovskaya after an opening set of acoustic improvisation from Lee Shih-Yang and Bruce Gremo.

That’s TONIGHT (TUE Oct 27), 8:30pm, 40rmb ticket. More info here.

Meridian Space has done their best to locate backup venues for all the [INSERT NAME HERE] events; find the full revised program here.


One more worth mentioning this week: Sabu Toyozumi at School on Thursday, October 29. Sabu’s one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen, and his show last year at School remains the best show I’ve ever been to in Beijing. Here’s my memory of the event, but better to take Yan Jun‘s word for it in this recollection of the batshit insanity Deng Chenglong unleashed along with Sabu at School Bar in early 2014:

The technician, Deng Chenglong, is actually a guitarist. He started to perform maybe a year and half ago… His playing was not skillful but he was high, looking like a warrior who’s ready to die. One of the School Bar owners destroyed the stage barrier along with the screaming audience. The School Bar sound technician cried.The Wire

Sabu returned to Beijing for a gig with Peter Brötzmann last week at Yugong Yishan, and on Thursday he’s back at School, this time shredding alongside Li Jianhong on guitar, Wang Ziheng on sax, and Yan Yulong on violin. All of those three have recently played the newly initiated underpass Zoomin’ Nights, so expect them to be on point, with an onset chill in the bones.


Phill Niblock = TUE Oct 27 @ fRUITYSHOP

John Richards Dirty Electronics Workshop = WED Oct 28 @ Aotu Studio

MIJI #29 w/ John Richards, Bob Ostertag, CT-808 = THU Oct 29 @ Aotu Studio

Sabu Toyozumi = THU Oct 29 @ School

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