It’s highly satisfying to know that across China, other forms of music can starting to infiltrate the younger generations. Earlier this month, Xian experimental music collective System Error made the overnight train journey to Beijing for a two day get down at XP of sounds of varying sorts – electronic, analog, guitars, even a bit of indie. And of course straight up schizoid – mainly thanks to Sikhara, who pretty much scared away all the noise nerds by the time the one man snuff show came on.
What a champ. Before that kick to the balls, we were treated to Zila, Gu Tianle , Qing Ling, XBH, as well as our own noise oscillators Soviet Pop. And fair warning, I hate reviewing experimental shows like this as I have no friggin idea what half of these gizmos, gigamabobs, and thingys are. So enjoy.
Zila’s set included the excessive usage of an air whistle of sorts hooked up to a soundboard maybe – I don’t know – it’s sounds like the harmonica without the convenience.
Once you get past the high-pitched aftertaste of it, it’s really quite soothing, like something an inmate would play to pass the time and stir up some fond memories of yesteryears.
Next was Gu Tian Le, the most conventional of the bunch – and even that’s a stretch. Using his guitar as the emotional centerpiece, a receiver for what ever the hell was going though the kids’ head, along with the help of Qinling on some electronic seasoning, gave listeners the closet thing to an arc.
Calm and gentle one moment, ferocious the next, by the time he pulled out his metal rod, well you’re either in or your out.
Qinling continued to explore some sonic territories more along with XBH, though with a lot less structure. Playing what looked like a mix between a toaster and subwoofer, XBH made a whole colleague of sounds. Some pleasing, others not so much.
But when the two seem to finally get on the same page at around minute nine, and manage to keep up with one another – they elevate the game to a whole new level. Even Qinling’s busting a move ever so subtlety.
More fun with guitars and the weird things they can do. As someone who can’t play the guitar, watching XBN tease and make foul love to his guitar using just about everything at his disposal – well heck, it gives me hope. At around eight minutes, he starts sending signals to extraterrestrial life forms or something – pretty dope I suppose.
Our own Soviet Pop brought their boxes of PAiA modules for some analog action – with Li Qing pulling plugs in and out as if they she were trying to connect a call sixty years ago.
And what the hell is that Li Weisi has – a soda can? Hardcore. Pretty much the only thought lingering in my head at this point is ‘where do they get such wonderful toys’.
See those kids beforehand sitting cross-legged, getting their geek on. Well, you can guess where they headed after Sikhara, the one man juggernaut performer, and possibly deranged human specimen.
The fuck out of XP that is. Raw, visceral, and more than a bit unhealthy – Sikhara is pent up rage spewing forth like a wave of negative feelings. I think. I don’t know. At this point, the reaction is almost more important than the intention. And react we did.
Not bad System Error, not bad – they might have even unearthed my need to get my experimental on more and more. And yeah, guessing these Xian boys will think twice before they invite Scott again.