The Beijing leg of Xu Shaoyang's two part release on Takuroku (click here for the Taipei leg). Each part documents an ensemble engaging in multi-faceted aural mischief, taking places in the spring of 2019 in the "two Chinese capitals" of Beijing and Taipei. Coincidentally both performances were held "underground" in pedestrian underpasses, therefore designed for the anticipated acoustic properties of such a space and ambient temperatures in the north and southern climates, and further adjustments based on the local collaborators.
For this Beijing release, a theme was proposed by Zhu Wenbo "30 songs for rest time" and the performance was driven along that theme. An encore was performed as per the style and directed by the local group "kaoru abe no future"
Each release is a collective communion of ramshackle buzz, rattle, fizz, snap, thump, feedback and bumbling melody, slipping in and out of focus between experimental song form, no-wave/free form rock jams and amateur non-dogmatic improvisation. Xu and his ensemble embrace sound with a giddy and youthful sense of play. Sonic crudeness and tenderness meet hand in hand in an underpass.
Zhu Wenbo: Acoustic guitar, recorder, voice
Liu Lu: Electric guitar, recorder, voice
Ake: Violin, recorder, voice
Xu Shaoyang: voice, various
Recording: Zhu Wenbo
Artwork design: Oliver Barrett
Xu Shaoyang has mastered a beguiling sophisticated-naive style overflowing with humanity and beauty and that's what makes this Chinese musician so special.
He is a collaborator of the rather splendid cult errant pop group Maher Shalal Hash Baz, and like the Japanese collective his songs pick apart conventional ideas of musicality by embracing fragments, happy accidents and the spirit of amateurism. "