Erenlai - Displaying items by tag: electronic music
Friday, 27 August 2010 12:18

From noise music to guqin

In this short interview, Fao explains us what brought him to Asia and what moves him in music creation. He also gives us a glimpse of his eclectic talent by interpreting a guqin piece and a composition of his own mixing tabla and electronic music. Fao will give a concert of guqin on September 11 (19:00) at the "Salon for the Art of Guqin" (n.29 Bo ai rd, Taipei City) and he will also be performing at the Peacefest in Hualien (September 17, 18, 19).


Friday, 08 February 2013 18:57

A Sonic Meltdown: A Review on "I Love Nuclear!?"

The Fukushima nuclear tragedy in March 2011 sparked a global discussion on nuclear energy in the 21st century. This question was discussed with particular vigour in Japan's neighbor Taiwan, a seismically unstable island with a voracious appetite for energy. 

Opposition to nuclear power in Taiwan is not new. Former movie star and spiritual author Terry Hu's involvement with campaigns in the early 1990s is but one high profile example and eRenlai has probed the issue here. The Fukushima incident, Taiwan's ageing reactors and the ongoing construction of a fourth nuclear plant have coalesced a range of social responses in recent years. In this context, the underground electronic artists behind I Love Nuclear!? have come taken nuclear power as an "object of criticism as well as a space for introspection". Their music "is foregrounded against nuclear power as well as the craziness and absurdity revolving around it". The result is a bouncy, glitchy electronic nightmare. But a well-meaning nightmare, as the music was contributed free of charge and organisers will donate profits to the Green Citizens' Action Alliance for Anti-Nuclear Purposes.

Unlike the majority of electronic music compilations, I Love Nuclear!? is not structured around a single easily identifiable sonic template. Metal riffs and lurking psytrance grate against bleak industrial beats. Lush ambience leads to the familiar throb of house. The unifying theme is a dark audial portrayal of the confusion and fear that nuclear power generates. The contrasting styles employed by the artists could be seen as the various phases of the nuclear issue - development, progress, protest, decay, meltdown, destruction, apocalypse, mutation. Just as the various styles of music are all 'electronic', so too are the moods evoked all 'nuclear'.

I Love Nuclear!? appears to have been compiled not as an enjoyable listening experience or something to shake your booty to, but as more of an experiment in letting music generate a palpable sense of the unease and imminent danger so inherent in nuclear power. In the interests of fairness I have given each track a 140 character summary. Tweet style, yo. 

ilovenulcear 01
The poster that is enclosed in the CD

1. 只是魚罐 It’s Just Canned Fish by Blackbells

Spooky looped distorted vocals. Gradually building dread. A faux-ambient portent for the warped digital tunes to follow.

2. 機器人的烏托 The Utopia Of Androids by Vice City

Am I in Düsseldorf circa 1991? The tinny bass drum üm-tish üm-tishes into some floating synths. Even if your skin is peeling off from nuclear flash burns you’ll still be able to slo-mo shuffle to this.

3. 美帝的禮 A Gift from the American Empire by Iang

Ethno-ambience morphs in and out of power-chord laden psytrance metal. If you put a mic next to a drum of radioactive waste it sounds like this.

4. 沒有人反 Nobody’s Against Nuclear Power by Yao

Minimalist pops and bleeps and buzzing bass. Tinnitusinal outro. Relatively easy listening. Thanks Yao.

5. 怪獸電力公 Monsters, Inc. by Aul

Like a electroencephalogram attached to Mike Wachowski's brain or a malfunctioning nuclear plant alarm, this track will drive you cRäzY.

6. 那天春天寧靜的 Remember the Silent Sea that Spring by Koala 

Classic psytrance, the most danceable track thus far. Your getaway music for when the reactor overheats and becomes unstable.

7. 台電的移動城 Taipower’s Moving Castle by MAD+N ft. Troy

Epic synths, glitchy paranoia, soothing piano and an uber-gloomy finale. I love it.

8. 我如何學著停止煩惱並愛上炸彈 How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb by Roweing

More retro Euro-beats and arrhythmic percussion. Claustrophic and nauseating. Kubrick would be proud.

9. 黑色狂歡派 Dance to the Scam by Betty Apple

Betty gets funky and then freaks out, scooping out your brain and filling it with digital detritus and toxic gloop.

10. 黃色蛋 Yellow Cake by VARO

I think Varo is some sort of post-nuclear mutant, that's the only way he/she could compose this. Just as it starts feeling comfortable, the music gets weird. Again.

11. 都是為了世界和 It’s All For The Peace Of The World by TJ Zhang

No beats here. Just a surreal conversation between two mutants scavenging the remains of Taiwan’s Longmen reactor 500 years in the future. One chanting a baritone mantra, the other whimpering and quivering like a scared guinea pig. 

12. 讓你瘋狂的要 I Want You to Want Me by 灰雁

The piano is all Summer of Love 1989. I can see the yellow smiley faces and goofily grinning ravers. But the glow sticks they are waving are actually spent nuclear rods. 

13. 核廢永久遠、一噸永流 A Family Heirloom by Alöis

Static and eerie, this is the sound of Geiger counters scouring the ruins and scorched earth, finding nothing but death. The legacy of Sector 7-G.

14. 進化特 Evolution by Tech Yes

Industrial chaos. Your mum will hate it. The most challenging track here ends in a crescendo of static. The discordant ripping of a scratched CD evoking the death thralls of an earthquake-shattered reactor.

I Love Nuclear is a unique aural representation of how the complexities of nuclear power in 21st century Taiwan might be understood. It is not always easy listening. But since when did a nuclear meltdown sound good?

For samples, you can check out http://i-love-nuclear.bandcamp.com/album/i-love-nuclear-preview


Note from the editor:

The album (250 NTD) can be purchased in the following locations...

Taipei - RE caféLuguo caféSpecies RecordsIndimusic RecordsThe GoodsMyHome多麼 Cafe+Vicious Circle

Taichung - 小路映画

Kaohsiung - Booking

Others – Lacking Sound Festival or buy on internet 


Monday, 16 September 2013 14:53

A Message from the Sun

An interview with Max Savage

Max Savage is a young French musician living in Taipei. He received us in his little studio, nested at the top of one of those 70s buildings, surrounded by plants and flowers, closer to the sky and the god Ra. He has just finished recording his first EP named "heliogram" and soon to be released free for download. In the meanwhile, discover a radiant artist who will take you far from the roaring city. 


Friday, 07 June 2013 14:57

No Nukes = No Future?


Photo by 廖培恩

Two years ago, our colleagues Nick and Zijie led a focus on the social activist scenes that were starting to revive after decades of silence. Things had changed a lot since 2011. The number of anti-nuclear protest participants has quadrupled from 50,000 in the April 30, 2011 demonstration to 200,000 in March 9 this year. Many subculture-oriented groups are forming at this moment to protest, through music and visual art, Taiwan's decision to build the 4th nuclear power plant, such as the the rave-oriented collective P.L.U.R.S. Thus, this month eRenlai decided to do a recap focus on what has been happening in the anti-nuclear moment, specifically on the March 9th demonstration earlier this year and the P.L.U.R.S. kids that organized the DJ truck in the parade.


Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:05

History of the Taiwanese Anti-nuclear Movement

Anti-nuclear demonstration on March 9, 2013 (Photo by 廖培恩)

Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 11th, 2011 in Japan, the anti-nuclear protests in Taiwan have been more numerous than ever. The most recent street demonstration against the building of the 4th nuclear power plant in Taiwan has attracted 200,000 citizens to walk the streets (that's 4 times larger than the first anti-nuclear procession right after Fukushima and ten times larger than the first major anti-nuclear procession 2 decades ago). More important perhaps, is that for many young people in Taiwan, it was their first experience in participating in social activism.


Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:04

Recapturing Memories: Social Protests as a Way for Taiwanese Youth to Reconnect with the Past

In this video, Charlie speaks of electronic music as the language of a new generation in Taiwan and its effect in social protests. He also points out how the youth in Taiwan are engaging in social activism in part to recapture a memory that has been made blank for a few decades as a result of its turbulent political history.


Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:01

The Demonstrative Power of the Carnival: Fun as a Form of Protest

Photo by 廖培恩

In this video, Zijie recounts his first encounter of anti-nuclear awareness during the Ho-Haiyang rock music festival. Being the founding member of the anti-nuclear group NoNukes active around 2010-2011, he also goes over past experiences of incorporating rock music and electronic music into social protests. In the end of the interview he gives an interesting observation on the function of social protests.


Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:00

Art and Social Activism: Mutually Beneficial?

In this interview, Betty Apple attempts to delineate the different modes of interaction between art and social activism. In the end of the interview she reflects on the tension between her identity as a modern, solitary individual and and the collectivism that is required in social activism.


Friday, 26 April 2013 18:56

Peace, Love, Unity, Respect and Struggle: The Taiwanese Theatre of Party

In the following video Chen Xiaoqi, a theatre student at National Taiwan University of Arts, discusses the concept of rave parties both as a form of theatre and as a form of protest and how the interactive and decentred nature of parties affects the social aspect of the art of DJing. 


Friday, 19 April 2013 14:47

The Soundfarmers: Electronic Music Composes Anti-Nuclear Statement


In Dec 2012, A DJ collective called "Soundfarmers" from Taipei released an electronic music compilation "I Love Nuclear," which has been reviewed in Paul Farrelly's eRenlai article A Sonic Meltdown: A Review on "I Love Nuclear!?"

Listen to the concept behind the album. For more information, check out their website or buy the album on the Green Citizens' Action Alliance webstore.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011 00:00

Jam Apotheosis

After producing the CD of contemporary world music, eRenlai magazine facilitated three concerts with the participating artists in the compilation. A dozen or so different bands performed their music live to the joy of the audience. For this third and final performance, on September 16, the Tien Educational Center opened its doors to world music for the second time, and it was fitting surroundings, with sound system and lights ready to create an unforgettable night.

Viba and Claire Juan (Photo: C. Tuduri)

From the outset we were embraced by the presence of Viba, previously introduced to me as Paul, I didn’t recognize him and thought he was part of Orbit Folks since we were all on stage doing the sound setup before the concert. It was then I realized that the night was going to blend of different musical styles until the lights went out.

Viba presented his chillout-electronic-world beat on stage with singer Claire Juan. Doing this live requires a lot of talent and knowledge since Viba has a daunting setup of synthesizers, drum machines and one computer. A one-man band triggering crazy ambient samples and loops of smooth rhythms, more than appropriate to open the evening.

Orbit Folks were next on stage, with Martijn Vanbuel (double bass), Toshihiro Wakaike (Indian tabla) and Mike Zeng (piano) combining elements of jazz and tabla to bring us some outer space rhythms. There was an interesting contrast between the Folks and Viba, since their ensemble is completely acoustic whereas Viba is mostly electronic. The band's performance was impressive, all of their members have a strong musical background that was gently delivered to the audience. As in any other jazz concert they included a lot of improvisation showing their mastery of the instruments and preparing the ground for the next band. They played some of their songs like Anouar, Santur and Serenade composed by Martijn Vanbuel and Caravan (by Juan Tizol, arr. by Martijn Vanbuel) and Rahu (by Toshihiro Wakaike, arr. by Martijn).

Comprised of Louis Goldford (soprano sax) Lio Pinard (accordion), Martijn Vanbuel (piano), Kelvin Chuang (bass) and Weichung Lin (drums), Flâneur Daguerre were the next surprise, further raising the excitement in the same hall that once held Taiwan’s first absurdist theatre troupe. Their performance developed finely. I felt like there were fireworks shooting from the stage. The immersion of their music in complexity enabled the band to grab the attention of the audience at all moments. I would love to see this band again; in fact as I write this paragraph I am listening to the track Harvest Drums included in the CD.

The next performance was from Minkoku Hyakunen (Yingfan Huang and You-Sheng Zhang). These guys come from the school of noise and improvisation. They use sounds of all sorts as their source, in stark contrast to the previous bands' use of musical notes. Minkoku's highlight is their stage performance, full of gestures and symbols that are close to a theatrical set and bursting with interesting atmosphere. Their instruments come from temples, such as bells and cymbals in addition to other sound objects. The audience clearly expressed their gratitude at the end of their performance.

Up next was Fao, playing his "Mamba in Solitude" including sampled Chinese flutes, guqin (古琴), Indian tabla and electronic sounds permeating through the crowds. Fao is a Colombian composer searching for new sounds in Asia. We thoroughly enjoyed his piece since it is a mixture of Latin rhythms (such as cumbia) with Chinese instruments around an Amazonian ritual.

To close the night Fao, Louis Goldford and myself quickly schemed together a few guidelines to improvise on for the grand finale with the rest of the participating musicians. On stage we had tabla, two saxophones, guitar, electronics, piano, drums, double bass and more. This was the first time we had played together and it erupted into an explosion of excitement rippling through the whole theater, the perfect was to close this celebration of the meeting of cultures and music.

Overall the CD and the concerts were a success and this was an admirable gesture from Renlai to provide the infrastructure and vision to put this idea together and hopefully provide the building blocks for future world music development in Taiwan. I just hope this is not the last time it happens. Thanks to all the musicians who participated in the CD. And thanks too to the enthusiastic public who embraced this mixture of music.

Renlai Concert #3 - Part 1

Renlai Concert #3 - Part 2

Videos filmed and edited by Pinti Zheng


{rokbox album=|myalbum|}images/stories/concert_renlai_3/moysan/*{/rokbox}
Photos courtesy of Paul Moysan

 

 


Help us!

Help us keep the content of eRenlai free: take five minutes to make a donation

AMOUNT: 

Join our FB Group

Browse by Date

« October 2019 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

We have 3522 guests and no members online