The noise beat: both my niche as a writer and the genre of music I bang most regularly. In January I wrote that experimental electronic music was the part of the Beijing underground music scene worth watching this year, and I'm still feeling it here in November. This week we have a few people from out of town coming through doing some weird noise shit to the beats, or weird beat shit to the noise, or just mashing a bunch of random sounds up in a blender and baking it all together in some kind of noise beat oven. Call it a bloven.
Or a coven. Witxes from Lyon is bringing his one-man guitar drone ritual to Beijing on Wednesday, November 13 at School. Witxes has been mixing up transcendental sonic brews since 2010, his trademark being the (de)composition of classical instrumentation (deep strings, reeds, winds, piano, organ) into swelling, drifting soundscapes. His work over the last few years has been tightened up a bit, introducing a structure that makes the delicate balance of timbres more compelling to the careful listener. Here are a few cuts from 2012's Sorcery/Geography, which Witxes laid down in collaboration with a double bassist, tenor sax, and percussionist:
And below are some from Witxes' most recent release, A Fabric of Beliefs. Interesting electro/acoustic mashups here: digital low-end + bassoon, rhythmic sample loops + live percussion, etc:
Playing along with Witxes on Wednesday is Shanghai-based black metal droner Nahash. Nahash is the new solo project of Acid Pony Club's Laura Ingalls (not his real name). Coming from a house and techno background, Laura took a step away from the club/banger-production world after becoming enamored with Meng Qi's unruly synthesis at a trade show in Shanghai. At that point he started making stuff that sounds like this:
In the last few months he's gone even further down that dark path, just last week unveiling a new solo project called Nahash. It's essentially technophobic black metal drone. You can download the entire album for free here. In fact I recommend that you do. But if you're too lazy or have low bandwidth or whatever, here are a few cuts:
And here's a video for the opening track made by Shanghai VJ/video artist Tina Sprinkles (also rolling through Beijing this week):
Nahash plays on Wednesday at School. Then Laura will play more straight-head/bangin' house on Friday at Dada along with his partner in crime, Clement Pony. Together they're called Acid Pony Club/The Horses; find some of their jams here.
Then, on Saturday, Temple receives a return visit from Death to Giants. Also from Shanghai. Wrote a bit about them before. They're doing the Voltron thing where they'll do a collab set with Acid Pony Club as Death to Ponies. This time around there will also be a set from Ren Min Beats, a solo project from DTG bassist Nichols. RMBeats is a mashup: southern rap, jangly indie guitars, some kraut stuff, clever samples. All mashed up. Baked together. Here's a taste:
Nichols is giving SmartBeijing an exclusive listen to his newest track, which features the sounds of local moody hipters Re-TROS all blovened up with The Police, Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, and... Antiflag. Gotta die, gotta die, gotta die...
Speaking of which, I've got a cold so let's wrap this up:
Witxes x Nahash = Wednesday, November 13 @ School
Acid Pony Club/The Horses = Friday, November 15 @ Dada
Death to Ponies x RMBeats = Saturday, November 16 @ Temple
That last one is DTG's last Beijing gig, as Nichols is peacing the Zhongguo. See you out there.