By Josh, 2015年 11月 4日
Bundle up Beijing, a cold rain falls over this entire weekend, signaling gray days ahead from here on (until Spring). Hey, it’s been a nice 2.5 weeks or so. Bob Ostertag had a killer time, and blew more than a few minds locally. Actually, the peripatetic veteran was blown away himself by the Beijing scene. After lamenting our borderline unbreathable air, Ostertag writes:
“Quite the scene of young energetic inquisitive questioning fun-loving open-minded people in Shanghai and Beijing. So much energy and interesting work. Something abuzz every night it seems. The last night I shared a bill with Zhu Wenbo, whose performance was a kind of electronic music I had never heard before. It is not often I can say that. Fantastic.”
Ditto! But that was then… now it’s time to batten down the hatches and prepare for extended indoor time. Assuming you want to preemptively offset cabin fever, here are some places at which you may take shelter this weekend, or a worthy reason to skip town altogether and hunker down in The Shelter itself…
Of course I must first plug this year’s Sally Can’t Dance, the semi-annual experimental music festival that I’m co-curating with the aforementioned Zhu Wenbo (of Zoomin’ Night fame) for the second consecutive time. It’s really stretched the “semi” part of late — the last one was held in 2012, at now defunct noise haven XP before it even had a name (or a stage, or a sound system).
Will spare you the full spiel here. In a nutshell: this year Zhu & I have invited 12 “composers” to create original works, to be performed (in most cases, debuted) this Saturday and Sunday at School Bar. Full program can be found here (scroll down for English).
Maybe of most immediate interest to pangbianr’s readership will be a rare Beijing appearance by #1 Shanghai harsh noisers Torturing Nurse, who haven’t shown their faces around here (not coincidentally) since the last Sally Can’t Dance. Actually, both of TN’s core members are in the program: Xu Cheng will present an electronic composition based on Schubert’s Winterreise, and Junky is doing a thing called Tape: “It’s our bodies, twisted and bound; moreover, it’s the bond for different bodies to collide and struggle together, fighting against the nihilistic world.”
Right on dude. Flip your VPN on to catch a video of TN shredding last year’s Tusk Mini Festival, and jack your volume up to 11 to enjoy this, the most recent Torturing Nurse release, they’re 11,299th I believe:
Sally Can’t Dance 2015 happens on Saturday and Sunday, Nov 7-8 at School Bar. Both days feature an early session from 4-7pm and a late session from 9pm-midnight. Full info here.
Another fine way to spend your cold and wet Saturday afternoon: Speed Show Rebooted, a wangba art show co-curated by Astrid Myntekær and I: Project Space founders Anna Viktoria Eschbach and Antonie Angerer. A “speed show” is a one-day exhibit of internet-based work, and this speed show was previously scheduled for Eschbach & Angerer’s staggering, city-wide Independent Art Spaces 2015 festival back in August. Unfortunately, the timing coincided with Beijing’s preparation for that big parade, and the local authorities saw fit to close down all internet cafes ahead of a late August test run. Hmm.
Nevertheless, just as The Matrix got reloaded, so has the Speed Show been rebooted. The crew has blocked out an entire 网吧 at #74 Dongsibei Dajie from 2-6pm on Saturday afternoon, during which time they’ll flood all those dusty old desktops with shiny, flashy (HTML5-y?) new works from artists including Ai Weiweiwei, Olafur Eliasson, former I: Project space resident Michael Bodenmann, “weird China internet shit” archiver Michelle Proksell, pangbianr comrade Bing Bin (catch her in Amsterdam if you’re nearby), and someone called Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin who has “composed a song around emojis.”
Full info on Speed Show Rebooted here.
Deadly Cradle Death (photo by Live Beijing Music)
For your Friday night: Dongsi Tou Tiao vinyl store Fruityshop has really stepped up as a great, alternative venue for experimental sounds, especially in the wake of this year’s closures (RIP Zajia, XP; get well soon Meridian Space!). In fact, this Friday’s show is another makeup for Meridian’s planned [INSERT NAME HERE] minifest, which has reconstituted itself in a number of rhizomatic hybrid spaces around town. (Phill Niblock himself played at Fruityshop last Tuesday; Bob Ostertag closed out his China tour at combination hair dresser/art gallery AOTU last Thursday.)
So: on Friday the vinyl shop hosts two electronic music duos. JDK-X is the post-turnt nexus of Hot & Cold‘s Josh Frank x Thin Gaze. They say: “Glocalized white ‘you’ve got mail’ subjectivity shot tru Jewish diaspora gentrified otherness, superimposed on the face of post-Blade Runner unexpected sino-cyber orientalist urbanity.”
Not sure if that’s their band description or a European Graduate School application draft, assume there’s a bit of both going on. In any case, JDK-X is joined on Friday by perennial pangbianr favorites Deadly Cradle Death. “Perennial” might even be overstating it. Think these guys have played four times this year, which is more than the previous two years combined. Here’s their latest, recorded over two years ago at this point, still rips though:
Catch them in the wild on Friday, November 7 at Fruityshop (东四头条17号 / #17 Dongsi Tou Tiao). 8:30pm, 40rmb
Last up: maybe you just want to get the eff out of dodge and strike for the comparatively warmer (though no less moist) climes of Shanghai. If you do you’ll be rewarded with a pretty special showcase on Thursday at newly renovated bass cave The Shelter. Shanghai-based artist, designer, and musician Benjamin Bacon continues his recently launched Voltage Divider gig series, which purportedly “explores different experimental and avant-garde musical styles and non-traditional production methods.”
One of Ben’s big goals with Voltage Divider is to create bridges between the Mainland’s two major creative hubs, and to that end he’s invited Snapline and Alpine Decline down from Beijing to unloose their minor-chord motorik & modular synth mayhem, respectively, in the context of Shanghai’s pre-eminent underground electronic music club. Opening set from Bacon and Duck Fight Goose‘s Han Han (aka GOOOOOSE) under the clever moniker Backline.
Voltage Divider w/ Snapline & Alpine Decline = THU Nov 6 @ The Shelter, Shanghai
JDK-X + Deadly Cradle Death = FRI Nov 7 @ fRUITYSHOP (#17 Dongsi Tou Tiao 东四头条17号, near Dongsi subway stop exit B)
Speed Show Rebooted = SAT Nov 7, 2-6pm @ #74 Dongsibei Dajie 东四北大街74号 (网吧 internet cafe)
Sally Can’t Dance = SAT & SUN Nov 7-8, 4pm-midnight @ School Bar (#53 Wudaoying huotng 五道营胡同53号院)