Weekly Update: Reaches, Pixels, Bits

By , 2015年 11月 10日

Welcome back! Thanks to everyone who came out to Sally Can’t Dance over the weekend! Was an exhausting success. To quote a social media review by Ed Sanderson, consummate consumer of Beijing’s most challenging sounds:

“I loved some of the pieces, and I hated others, but throughout I was carried along by the continuous sense of directed intention and seriousness of purpose displayed by the performers. I think this was due to the performances all being based on compositions – even TORTURING NURSE’s tape piece melee (I assume…). It was a sense and a feeling one gets as a member of the audience that is in some ways very different from the sense one gets from the free improvisation work that dominates the experimental music scene here. It’s also great to hear such a variety of compositions in one event. […] It was impressive to see a community of artists being developed through their mutual investments in their performances over the two days — as well as the community of the audience being made visible, impressive numbers turned up to take on that role (quite an active role at times!). It was very encouraging to see such an interest in these often quite difficult performances. On with the experiments!”

Jun-Y Ciao’s score for Sally Can’t Dance 2015

Amen! Slept in yesterday, but no more rest for the weary: pangbianr’s back at it this week with another Dada/DDC double-header featuring Chicago avant-pop weirdo Reaches and Swiss producer Bit-Tuner, both making repeat China appearances. Also some more avant electronics and visiting Shanghai rockers to round out your weekend:



First up: we’re back at Dada this coming Thursday (November 12) for the eighth — and probably last — Gulou Double Decker. If you haven’t been keeping track: GDD was the unholy matrimony between pangbianr and Live Beijing Music in which we aimed to monthly cross-pollinate the nefarious late-night dens that are Dada & Temple. I’ll let LBM’s description pitch this one to you:

“After spending the month of October practicing the dark arts (and sacrificing a few virgins) the Gulou Double Decker is back for another installment of dangerous new sounds to kick your butt back into the next weekend. Yup, bring your grandma cause it’s gonna get rowdy as pangbianr and Live Beijing Music turn 206 Gulou Dong Daijie into a fire hazard. First up: everyone’s favorite ‘redneck heaven’ (according to one disgruntled fan on TheBeijinger) is back with the new noise including two brand spanking new bands – The Paper Tigers, who will bring edgy indie rock in the vein of The Cure and BlocParty, as well as The Blue Moon, the descendants of new wave electro rockers DiD. Headlining will be 90s alt groovers The Twenties, a band who have cut their teeth plenty in the past year. Meanwhile, pbr posts up downstairs at Dada with opening sets of dark aural murk from Charm and J Chan, a live set of upbeat avant-pop from Chicago’s Reaches (formerly I Love You), and late-slot sets of gloomy yet euphoric electronica from Swiss producer Bit-Tuner and local club up-and-comer Menghan.”



We follow that up on Friday night with an international spread of infectious electronoise on DDC’s live stage. Visiting guest Reaches (formerly I Love You — you may have caught him under that moniker at XP back in 2012) brings his unique brand of live avant-pop, steeping the musical culture of his base, Chicago, in a tie-dyed mess of home-brewed weirdo vibes. Sample:

He’s joined by L.O.B.I., the new electro side project of Snapline‘s Chen Xi and P.K.14‘s Xu Bo; another brand new, yet unnamed rock + electro hybrid featuring RAN Music‘s Shen Lijia and Daniel Lenk (Luv Plastik/Death Narcissist); and Swiss producer Bit-Tuner, who’ll switch up his vibe from the night before with a live set of field-recording based ambient electronics. Here’s a taste of that, a composition built from field recordings made on Bit-Tuner’s last spin through the Mainland:

50rmb at the door for that one, 9pm start.


Afterparty for the DDC show is at Lantern, where Sinotronics will launch a new event series called Club Lab. Sophisticated dance music on the Gongti club’s smaller dance floor from Bit-Tuner plus Sinotronics cohorts Menghan and MMS. Menghan’s debut EP will be out on Sinotronics soon — for now stream the teaser:

Sinotronics Club Lab #1 = FRI Nov 13, midnight start, free!


Bit-Tuner’s actually in town to collaborate on an exhibit put together by Swiss artist Michael Bodenmann at Lab 47, a new “nonprofit alternative space and laboratory” comprising the latest in these years’ growing trend of rhizomatic hutong micro-galleries. Bodenmann & Bit-Tuner’s exhibit, “I haven’t been everywhere but it’s ok”, opens with a “multi-dimensional site-specific work, which will include the mediums such as installation, live music, performance etc.” Neat.

That’s Saturday, November 14, 4pm. Check back on pangbianr later in the week for a depth interview with Bodenmann on his interactions with China, Beijing’s alt hutong gallery system, and what to expect out of the forthcoming exhibition.


After that, it’s only a hop, a skip, and a glitch away to Aotu Studio, where you can check Hong Qile‘s latest Pixels Echo experimental electronic showcase. Pretty stacked lineup of familiar names on that scene. Aside from Hong himself, his usual visual partner in crime Mao Wengweng will be present, plus Changchun laptop shredder JFI and multimedia artist Gogo J.

Here’s a stunning video that Hong Qile & JFI put together the day after their collaborative live set at BEME 4 a few weeks ago:

That’s Saturday, November 14, 8:30pm start. 50rmb on the door. More


Last up: this weekend, Maybe Mars launches “Independent China in Stereo,” a new monthly gig series showcasing talent from around the country. They say: “Each month we’ll invite young bands from a different city in China to come to Beijing for a special performance, give them a stage and a space to showcase their work to a bigger audience, and also give Beijing’s music fans a glimpse of what’s happening in underground cultural circles around the country.”

First edition is this Saturday at Modernsky Lab featuring Dream Can, Naohai, and The Psyders from Shanghai. Psyders and Naohai I’ve seen, Dream Can’s new to me. I had the pleasure of translating this band bio:

They love collecting the useless emotions that people leave behind because of life
And then transfer those onto their 3-piece assembly line
They’re all workers on the factory floor, producing strange cans of dreams

The singer is the chaos of thought, limited expression is a dream
And the drummer is like a can, using logic, using material, allowing these dreams to be stored
The bass connects all the cans, and opens up the floodgates

Together they create the most beautiful dream, and give it to you

Cool! Bonus points for the band photo too, real Blair Witch Project vibe crackling here:


Gulou Double Decker #8 = THU Nov 12 @ Dada/Temple (10pm/free)

Reaches, Bit-Tuner, L.O.B.I. = FRI Nov 13 @ DDC (9pm/50rmb)

Sinotronics Club Lab #1 feat. Bit-Tuner = FRI Nov 13 @ Lantern (midnight/free)

Michael Bodenmann x Bit-Tuner: “I haven’t been everywhere but it’s ok” = SAT Nov 14 @ Lab 47 (4pm/free)

Pixels Echo 9 = SAT Nov 14 @ Aotu Studio (8:30pm/50rmb)

Independent China in Stereo Vol. 1: Shanghai = SAT Nov 14 @ Modernsky Lab (9:30pm/80rmb)

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