Aus-atmen has wrapped for 2016. Last month we descended upon a grassy field in Flower Town with two soundsystems, several dozen tents, 200 lollipops and dreams of techno in the moonlight…However, Mother Nature is a wild woman who loves to party and she brought her rain to the dancefloor all night long! Despite it all, we felt the love!
(photos by 叉飞，Xiang and Kiwese)Formed on the basis of community collaboration, Aus-atmen would not have been possible without all of our partners, supporters, volunteers and friends.Huge thanks to Spectrum Maker for designing the poster and trailer with us, momo and the BIGGER CHA girls for constructing the Aus-stage installation, Steam Hostel for setting up their tent village, farinablu for her amazing prints and designs, Baicai and Jiewa for building the teepee that saved us from the rain, Zaomengshe and Danche Yule for ticketing, Yue Chen for the wristband design, Natalie at VICE Thump Berlin for coming out to find us, all the DJs who signed up to play Open Shua, the bar and food team for holding it down and all our friends who put their love, time and energy into this festival.From the sleepless nights of preparation right through to the pack down, Aus-atmen would not have been possible without you.Big love to all of you who came out – everyone who partied in the rain, fed the fires, danced in the mud, got freaky, drank tea, made coffee, wiped rain off the mixer, pushed water off the stage, kept in high spirits, took care of each other and brought laughter and joy to our wet and muddy little festival.We love you all!See you at Ein-atmen later this year….从前期筹备到音乐节结束，atmen得到了多方的支持：谢谢峰哥提供场地及各项帮助，谢谢谱造司给予前期海报及预告片支持，谢谢悦晨同学的手环设计，谢谢BGC一群可爱又生命力顽强的宝宝们，谢谢momo桑从头到尾的倾力支持，谢谢白菜和杰娃及朋友们手工搭建的teepee帐篷，谢谢瑞升设计的天使们，谢谢造梦社、单车娱乐、旁边儿、来电、kiwese的宣传，谢谢柏林Vice thump的Natalie对ausatmen活动的采访报道，谢谢蒸汽旅舍、farinablu和野手工作室的小伙伴们，谢谢无数可人儿们给予的无限爱的支持和鼓舞，辛苦大家了！感谢所有喜欢atmen的人，atmen会继续聚集能量，茁壮成长，迎接未知。今年Ein-atmen见！atmenxo
“A dream of a shopping cart left in the street in a desolate wasteland is stuck on repeat,” sings Jonathan Zeitlin on Alpine Decline’s latest album Life’s a Gasp, a record that echoes the dystopian smog world of Beijing.
Alpine Decline is Beijing-via-Los Angeles husband and wife rockers Jonathan Zeitlin and Pauline Mu. Self-described as “psych, shoegaze, noise rock and ’90s indie, without sounding too much like any of those,” Alpine Decline are currently touring their seventh album Life’s a Gasp across China with long time confidante, producer and bassist Yang Haisong.
Kiwese caught up with Jonathan ahead of their gig in Chengdu to talk about touring and synthesisers in a WeChat conversation littered with baby smoking Hitler emojis.
KIWESE: Hey Alpine Decline! Where are you guys?
JONATHAN: We’re driving up from Nanning to Guiyang right now and it is fucking gorgeous. Pauline and I are essentially nature-oriented people living in a city that is the antithesis of natural, so this lush landscape really moves us.
Rad, how was the show in Nanning?
Nanning was great. I think in places that don’t get as many touring acts coming through, the thrills are a little bit more palpable. A strange room and a strange feeling, like someone might bar the doors and some shootout might happen, or evil spirits descend… this is the perfect vibe for us to play.
“Playing for ten people ready to freak the fuck out is often more fun than 200 people who are only listening with one ear.“
Can you tell us about your tour bus and crew? Sounds huge!
We’ve been on the US get-in-the-van trip quite a few times and will be doing it again in October with Carsick Cars and Chui Wan, but this is the first time we’ve had a van to tour in china, instead of riding the rails. It completely changes the nature of the expedition – in a way we are temperamentally well suited for.
We brought our baby and a babysitter, so that adds two bodies. There’s the three of us in the band, Xiao Bao running sound, our old friend (and veteran of the earliest P.K.14 van tours) 黄师傅 minding the details, and our very trusted driver. For awhile Nevin from Genjing Records/Maybe Mars came along. Little Monster rolled with us from Shanghai to Nantong and that was max capacity.
Logistics aside, I love ripping down the road. I like stepping out of the car in the middle of nowhere. I like the whole ‘Peter Pan leading a pack of gypsy children out into the wilderness’ vibe.
This is not the first tour Alpine Decline for little Roland, right? He must be almost ready to join the band as the fourth member haha
This is his fourth tour. He did Australia when he was six months old, then the China tour for our last album GO BIG SHADOW CITY and the subsequent US/Canada tour. He’s pretty natural at it. He gets on really well with everyone and can tolerate the dirty language and rough living pretty well.
With kids, I find you create reality for them… they don’t come into the world with a set of expectations of how things are gonna be. So taking him on tour at first was about us being brave, not about him understanding what’s up. We just felt like it was a bad narrative in the long term to say “we used to tour and make albums and then you were born so it all stopped.” We felt like he could have warmth and support and a reasonable measure of stability and safety while still coming into Pauline and my world, joining our lives and our family.
What’s the best thing about being on tour?
There is a lot of wildness on tour; wild thoughts, the crazy feeling of being cut loose, the daily encounter with my fight-or-flight instincts. You meet crazy people and seem to be endlessly celebrating something, I don’t know what. For us, we are very focused on the shows, because getting in a room with people and playing music every night, there is a possibility we will get somewhere interesting, and that’s really the only reason to tour.
Of course we get tired, nerves frayed and maybe lose perspective of reality a little bit. But I’m going to reach a place every night where the moment opens up and freezes and we are all intensely present for some fleeting interval. so 辛苦? 辛苦我可以收。(hardship, hardship I can take.)
Welcome to Chengdu, what’s your impression of this place?
Chengdu and these western parts always leave a very deep impression on us. Of course in Chengdu as everywhere you witness the crush of development, but there is a kind of frontier vibe that comes on this far from the eastern seaboard that strikes me as romantic.
Would be great to have an Alpine Decline synth set in Chengdu!
Aw, I would have loved to do a synth set in Chengdu! When we were planning the tour and figuring out where we could do the synth stuff, I just didn’t know if there was a community interested in that kinda thing…
I wouldn’t say there’s a ‘community’ but certainly individuals who have an interest.
Yeah, I find on tour there is pretty intense interest in the modular synths and people just trying to contextualize asymmetrical music in general, so that after the synth sets we are basically spending about a half an hour talking to the crowd, showing them the synths and explaining stuff.
We use the synths during the rock set too, so we also have gotten people who come out even though they aren’t interested in guitars or rock, but read somewhere about the synths.
If it’s not too mafan, are you able to tell us about your synths for all the synth nerds out there?
Ah, so basically we built two boxes and filled then with different modular synth components from a variety of sources. Eurorack is basically a format, a set of standards, so people can build synth components that will be compatible with other peoples modules. so we have basically a collection of oscillators, filters, VCAs, envelope generators, utilities, etc that we can patch together to create any sound we imagine.
We don’t have any presets or memory banks, it is nearly impossible to perfectly recreate a sound, so every night on tour the synths are slightly different, their ambience a little slippery and sorta every variable. plus they are a lot lighter than lugging around big vintage synths like the last tour haha.
I read in an interview that you recorded Life’s a Gasp in a makeshift studio in the mountains?
I think the place was originally going to be like a western style residential neighbourhood in the mountains past Badaling, northwest of Beijing, but the government moved some factories out to the adjacent valley and the place was more or less abandoned by the ten or twelve people that built houses there. Surreal, kind of ghostly, maybe some abandoned dogs, but with the ruins of unrestored Great Wall snaking along the ridgeline. We kinda had a sound design in mind and wanted to find a very big room where we could record drums, guitar and bass live together, and one of these houses became available to us. So we moved there for a week and were able to create a really different, closed-circuit kind of habitat for this part of the recording process.
So you guys are rolling in Guangxi right now, a far stretch from L.A. You’ve been in Beijing for a decent few years now, do you still align yourselves and your style with the L.A. scene at all?
No, we don’t align ourselves with the L.A. scene at all. Actually, I don’t have a clue what’s been going on in L.A. the last five years at all. Even before we moved here, we were feeling very disassociated with the music scene, pretty aware of the distance between what we were looking to do and the territory around us.
It might be a little different on a personal level for Pauline, because she grew up there, but especially for me just kinda drifting through from more remote parts, L.A. just seems like a fantasy to me, even when I lived there.
I’m originally from a small town in north-eastern Ohio, a sort of farmland about an hour outside of a big collapsing steel town.
There are brilliant musicians in L.A… I’m in disbelief I had the opportunity to call them my friends and whip up some music together… but we had a different plan when we started Alpine Decline and after about a year knew it wasn’t right in L.A.
L.A is known around the world as the mecca of music and film production, so no doubt full of people trying to make it big. Do you find any parallels between that and Beijing?
The scale is really different. People seeking to make art come to Beijing, but the leading industry in Beijing is politics, not art. In L.A., its almost exclusively entertainment, like a coal town with screening rooms instead of mineshafts. Truthfully, L.A. is really just film and TV, so playing music there is still a little outside… unlike New York or Berlin, perhaps.
I don’t know what “making it big” would look like in China. We didn’t think that was an option here, which was part of the appeal.
Alpine Decline play NU SPACE Chengdu this Saturday with support from the almighty Hiperson!
购票请长按下方二维码:Press & extract the QR code below for tickets on Zaomengshe:
Lonely Leary are a Beijing-based three-piece post-punk/noise rock band from Shandong. They incorporate fast drums, muddy baselines and rough guitar noise in a pursuit to create a relatively violent sound.
NU SPACE has invited them to Chengdu to play a show this Friday 10 June with local favourites Hiperson!
Kiwese caught up with the band members Qiu Chi 邱驰 (bass/vocals) Song Ang 宋昂 (guitar) and Li Baoning 李保宁 (drums) to find out more…
Back in 2012, three college students entrenched in boredom were practicing their instruments alone in the secluded district of Changqing, Jinan. Initially the band set about covering a few simple punk songs, as well as post-punk bands such as Joy Division. They adopted the name “Lonely Lili” while playing spontaneous rock shows on campus. Later due to job changes and academic activities, the band was suspended.
In 2014, all three members moved to Beijing and Lonely Leary was reborn, trading ‘Lili’ for ‘Leary,’ a tribute to Timothy Leary, the creator of LSD. With a new name in a new city, the band began rehearsing and writing songs in pursuit of their own punk-oriented style. During the summer of 2014, the band performed prolifically at School Bar, XP and other rock clubs, gradually gaining a small and loyal following within the grungy confines of the Beijing underground.
The Shocking Pinks show took place at the notorious hutong dive School Bar and was supported by two local acts – one of them was Lonely Leary, and they totally kicked ass. Scatty basslines, frantic drumming, possessed vocals, screeching guitar… A week later, I saw them play again at Temple Bar. Again, excellent.
Beijing has provided the Shandong-born trio the perfect environment in which to hone their songs and their live performance, with what seems like endless bars and livehouses to play at on a regular basis.
NU SPACE is proud to present LONELY LEARY, the post-punk/noise-rock trio tipped by critics as the most exciting new band out of Beijing this year.
KIWESE: You guys are from Shandong. Can you describe what Jinan is like for those of us who don’t know?
SONG: Changqing is basically a beautiful place. I think it’s more suitable for old people rather than youths to live there.
QIU: There was originally a village or wasteland. You know, the university and college downtown couldn’t take so many students after enrolment expansion over the years, so the government transformed the villages into campuses and sent a large number of students there. The campuses are isolated by mountains and we have to take illegal taxis to go to other places. There is also a commercial center with many low-cost shops, stalls, internet bars and small hotels for lovers.
Music hobbyists can learn to play guitar and drums in some instrument shops. They used to form bands and cover “Beyond”. There were over a hundred Beyond cover bands I think.
LI: The first time I met Song Ang he was playing guitar in a cover band in an instrument shop. He hated the songs they played, so we began to play together while learning our instruments. Qiu Chi joined us after graduating, then we became a trio and began to cover some punk bands. Our playing technique was poor then.
You started out covering punk bands. What were some of the first songs you covered?
Under Baby, Joyside and Ramones. Including some “punk songs” by Hedgehog.
What is up with the drummer situation?
We have some drummer adjustments recently. Wang Jianan played drums for the last half of the year. She is a student at Beijing Film Academy with a good sense of drum playing. She created many amazing drum riffs in new songs. The only problem she has is technique – it’s a little hard for her to play the fast songs perfectly live and in recording, after all, she hasn’t played for that long.
So she will study and practice the basic skills and techniques, and the original drummer Li will take the place of her at present. Li plays fiercely like a drum machine.
You moved to Beijing in 2014, how does the city influence your music?
QIU: I simply took playing in a band as pastime in Shandong. At that time, I didn’t know much about making music as an amateur. After graduating and being in Beijing in 2012, I separated from them because they were still in Jinan. I think Lonely Leary was about to dissolve then. However, I saw lots of lives in Beijing and was attracted by its dynamic rock’ n roll atmosphere. There are so many fresh bands who studied and vied with each other – they created the scene together. I was encouraged by them and got the enthusiasm to continue Lonely Leary. Then the other guys came to Beijing soon after, so I had no excuse to stop the band any more.
SONG: I think Beijing is a high-speed city with bad environment and people here are restless. I knew nothing about the city beside music before I came here. I didn’t know what to do then and always felt anxious and confused. In fact, three of us all get this feeling and deeply affected. The violent sound of our music has close connection with the situation. Sometimes the bad moods also get the band into trouble. That’s terrible.
LI: Beijing has more bands and lives than I had ever known in college. You know, most bands in Jinan are metal and pop, as well as some folk singers. However, in Beijing, there are many bands whose temperaments are quite same as us, especially in XP Club. I can learn from them at close range. At the time, I thought I would die without regrets if I could perform in XP, ha-ha!
Tell us about the new album, how is that coming along? Where are you planning to record it? Will you release it independently or with a label?
Qiu: Making an album has been our dream for a long time. We decided on it at the end of last year as we think we have enough songs now. In fact, we didn’t think too much on writing songs at first, no uniform style or concept was carried through. Many songs didn’t sound the same because they are written in a different period. It really troubled us then! So we tried to preset a theme for the album to keep our creation in a controllable range. It makes the new songs clearer. We also changed some old songs based on our preset concept. Some old songs have been abandoned.
SONG: Some of our songs have been in an indeterminate state for two years before we reached our preset concept. Fortunately, they finally morphed into the shape that we’ve described in our introduction.
LI: Our demo recordings are very simple. We used an iPad to record and mix to get the finished product that you hear on Douban. They have no details or good tones, just a standard of “clear enough to hear.”
Our ignorance towards “real recording” caused this undesirable lo-fi sound. Now we are learning and rehearsing a lot to be ready for the formal recording. Then we probably try to contact labels which are reliable and have interest in us.
You play fairly regularly in Beijing. What are your favourite venues to play?
SONG: We all love XP Club. We can often perform with the bands we like there. I prefer to Old What after XP closed. I feel comfort in its simple and rough environment.
QIU: I would like Old What better if the sound is improved. I like School Bar most now.
LI: We used to play XP a lot because it was close to where we lived. Now we go to School Bar most often.
Who are some other bands you really like in Beijing at the moment and why?
QIU: We all like P.K.14 and Snapline. Alpine Decline is my recently favorite.
SONG: I like Alpine Decline as well. I also recommend Death Narcissist and Bedstars.
LI: I like Re-TROS and Supermarket, also Dr. Liu and the Human Centipede and Soviet Pop.
Your music reminds me of Joy Division and The B52s, as well as more recent bands like Thee Oh Sees and Re-TROS. What bands have had the biggest influence on you?
QIU: David Bowie, The Velvet Underground, Joy Division, P.K.14 and Sun City Girls have a deep ideological influence on me. Savages, Mars, Disconcerts, Sleaford Mods, Mika Miko are my favourites recently. I love their basslines.
SONG: I recommend A Place to Bury Strangers for their destructive lives, firm basslines and manic guitar noise. Sonic Youth brings me inspiration on playing guitar, I’ve learned their tuning and tone a lot. I also like the teen spirit sound of Big Black and Spacemen 3’s psychedelic guitar.
LI: Old post-punk bands like Joy Division, Sort Sol, Talking Heads have influenced so many people for their tension of contradiction.
Have you come to Chengdu before? What impressions do you have of this place?
QIU: I went four years ago. I think People’s Park is a funny place and I love “LengGuo ChuanChuan”.
LI: I went last year. I didn’t go to too many places, but I think some temples here are very good.
SONG: I have never been to Chengdu. I think it may be a wet place.
Anything you want to say to people coming to the show in Chengdu?
QIU: All I want to say are painted on the poster. Really fantastic design ha-ha!
LI: Hi, Person!
SONG: We are three plain dealers from Shandong. Welcome to come and see us!
Lonely Leary’s alcohol of choice?
QIU & SONG: Jingjiu. Absolutely!
Li: I prefer pineapple beer.
Welcome to Chengdu, thanks guys!
We’ve never been out so far for a live show before. Thanks NU SPACE for inviting us!
Lately Chengdu has spawned a lot of places for DJs to play – clubs, bars, restaurants, pool parties… but where have all the city’s live music venues gone?
There’s a NU SPACE that has opened in Chengdu… Kiwese is stoked to be part of it.
The impact from last year’s closure of long-running venues and hippie hang outs Hemp House 麻糖 and Lan Town 蓝堂 has been compacted by the eviction of Morning Bar 早上好 on Minzhu Lu a few months ago. Mini Live haven’t put on a gig in like, six months? The noise from the little Little Bar 小酒馆 on Fang Qing Jie has finally pissed off the neighbours to the point of no return and now the bar can only house folk/acoustic sessions – much like Macchu Picchu.
Reggae acts, dub MCs and jams continue to be a fixture down at Jah Bar, while Steam Hostel 蒸汽旅馆, Submarine Bar 潜水艇 and Gu Bar keep the free jam train rolling, but there seems to be a deficit of venues for acts that cannot fill the big boots of the 800+ capacity Little Bar Space 小酒馆空间.
Just up from the Wide and Narrow Alleys 宽窄巷子 on the peaceful residential street of Kuixinglou 奎星楼街, NU SPACE has opened out the back of MiNTOWN 明堂, the place behind October’s NUART Festival which Orchestra of Spheres headlined last year.
The stage is low and the space is narrow – there’s no boundary between the performer and the audience. Capacity is small, around 250-300 people. The sound system is epic, plus the space has been soundproofed, so there’s no chance of offending the neighbours…
We’ve got Ale and IPA on tap from Chengdu Beer, the crew who recently crowdfunded the rebuilding of their brewery after it burnt down last year.
Here are some snaps of our gigs so far…
Pascal Pinon (Iceland) w/ Wu Zhuoling6 May 2016
The lovely Jofri of Pascal Pinon brought over her fellow Scandinavian Kari a.k.a. Farao on her recent South West China tour with Martial Artists Management, run by the inimitable DJ/promoter/entrepreneur Ni Bing. Having played the main stage at Chunyou and toured around the south-western province of Kunming, the girls returned from a spicy encounter in Chongqing to bring Chengdu a full and intimate set of songs new and old.
It was Jofri’s third time in China – the first time was with her sister and co-founder of Pascal Pinon several years ago on a tour also organised by Ni Bing, promoted as cutesy folk-pop twins from Iceland. Since then, Jofri has developed her own songwriting and music making technique away from the original Pascal Pinon prototype, presenting a more lo-fi, early twenties version of previous material. Armed with a Fender Telecaster and a cheap thrift store keyboard, Jofri and Kari performed a set of songs old and new to an adoring crowd at our very first NU SPACE show.
We were sure to bombard the pair with a night session at the Poly Centre and a spicy hot pot ordeal at 青年火锅 before they left back to Europe. Stay tuned for future China tours from Jofri’s electronic band Samaris and Kari’s band Farao!
Check out these little videos we filmed on a mellow afternoon down at East Lake Park…
草动没有排队 No Party for Caodong (Taiwan)
14 May 2016
So I had no idea these guys were such a big deal. I mean, their latest video 山海 has over 800,000 views on YouTube, but I was still overwhelmed by the response in Chengdu. The 200 tickets we put on Zaomengshe sold out at 150RMB a pop. Fans turned up at 3pm with special Caodong street signs, some had come as far as Shenzhen for the show. Young and old queued for hours in the rain for a chance at a door sale, even when there was no guarantee. It felt like One Direction had arrived in town.
Our second ever show saw indie rock band No Party for Caodong play to a seriously packed NU SPACE, as we tested the capacity to it’s very limits. Lol, safety first… The fans knew all their lyrics, bantered with them from the crowd, shouted proclamations of love for the drummer. I’d never seen fans like that in Chengdu – the sort of just-post-high school age demographic of fangirls who need selfies and autographs with their favourite band.
Pretty buzzy experience for me – emphasised by the fact I was super hungover, had about three hours sleep and walked into a glass door.
The band love a good piss up and the guitarist proved her beer sculling ability afterwards at a shaokao joint which was far too spicy for their Taiwanese palates. Solid people with good humour. They’re also surprised by how their music has taken off so wildly. I got the feeling they don’t want to be in the limelight like they are, pop doesn’t suit them, but when you’ve got hundreds of fans turning out to see you, how could you possibly be gutted?
罗友生 Luo Yousheng (Chengdu)
20 May 2016
Chengdu’s most humble and soft-spoken rockstar Luo Yousheng presented his solo project to a crowd of friends, family and fans on the Friday night before Aus-atmen. Presented by 早上好, who are involved in the production and technical side of things NU SPACE, this was a special night for the long-established musician, producer and sound engineer to perform solo following his band set at Chunyou. See the interview I filmed with him at his studio across the road from my house to find out more:
28 May 2016
Mellow guitar and red wine smooth vocals from 彤鑫李 on his tour of China. With a loop pedal and various guitar effects, he seamlessly produced an series of layers and textures beneath his vocals. This was a seated affair with a small crowd. Nice stuff.
atmen is an independent electronic music label in Chengdu, founded by local DJs Su and Xiang in 2015.
Kiwese is very proud to be part of this collective.
Resurfacing from last year’s raves in an empty swimming pool and an underground air raid shelter, atmen return with Aus-atmen Festival 2016, an independent electronic music festival in the lush Chengdu countryside. Techno, camping, fresh air, chill zones, food, drink, what more could you want?
Read more below about the DJs, registration for the Open ‘Shua’ Stage and how to win two tickets!
Video by VJ Mian Music by Su
〖 DATE 〗
Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 May 2016
4:30pm – end
〖 TICKETS 〗
Door sales 100RMB
Pre-sales on Zaomengshe, click here!!
Featuring electronic music all day and all night on the AUS-STAGE and the Open ‘耍’ Stage. Dance. Camping. Tattooing. Market zone. Food and drink.
The AUS-STAGE will feature a handpicked selection of ten local and international DJs, with techno, minimal, house and electronic music pumping from mid-afternoon to the following day… With chill beats, teepees and a swimming pool to cool off in the summer sun, Aus-atmen caters to both your relaxation and party inclinations.
Aus-atmen will fuse music, dance and art with the elements, featuring natural art installations,tattooing and a craft market housed amongst the trees.
Club experience 俱乐部演出经历:
❀ 北京的DADA和灯笼Lantern Beijing
❀ Ein-atmen 2015
❀ Golden Gate (Berlin) Edgar Peng China Tour – Support DJ
❀ Seafood Party 海鲜派对
Currently based in Chengdu, founder and curator of independent fashion retailer Sihe, electronic music collaborator HAO brings his distinctive style and multiplex technique to the AUS-STAGE. From Europe to Asia, from Fashion Week to music festivals, art museums to clubs in Berlin, Hao’s creative outputs as a tech house & techno DJ are underpinned by a passion for independent culture and belief in the spiritual power of electronic music. ❀
MAY Chengdu, CN
在MAY心里”音乐的律动就像是甹驰在沙漠里的感觉”作为一个新鲜电子乐DJ的May，从小受民族乐器的熏陶，这使得之后她在电子音乐的道路上有着自我的风格和意识，对于她而言，能够一直保持极简主义的方式去表达音乐，才能将音乐中的精髓完美释放。偏爱techno的May ，希望用自己的感知去构造出一个通透的音乐时空。正如她所说：“在这个浮躁不安的时代里,通过内心的简化与沉淀，才会找到音乐上的自我表达。” With a university background in traditional Chinese music and performance, May is an up and coming talent who sees music as a “warrior galloping across the desert.” Surrounded by the uplifting sounds of ethnic instrumentation as a child, May holds the power of minimalism at the core of her electronic music expression. By giving people the opportunity to experience new and exciting styles of music, she hopes to build a bigger and better electronic music scene in Chengdu for everyone to enjoy. ❀
DJ, producer and promoter Bchir has evolved from a humble bedroom mixtape creator, to a festival organizer in the late 2000s, to one of the most well-loved techno DJs in Chengdu. As a DJ with refined musical taste and ability to blow the roof off till 8am, Bchir also spreads the gospel of techno with the Chengdu party collective TechnoPowa. With a diverse bag of tracks and an intuition for the dance floor, Bchir will bring his good vibes and deep hypnotic groove to Aus-atmen this year. ❀
Ewan favours deep and edgy techno. With strong post industrial and classical romanticism influences combined with him being a true pioneer in music culture, Ewan has developed a strong personal style. Having played at all of Chengdu’s best underground clubs, as well as Lantern and Dada in Beijing, Ewan is now one of the highlights of Chengdu’s dance scene. ❀
Known for his deep, dance-floor ready house and techno selections, Xiaolong’s sets are unwavering in quality. With over ten years experience at clubs and festivals around China, Xiaolong is one of Chengdu’s most experienced and well-loved DJs. ❀
When hearing the likes of Mike Ravelli, don’t be fooled by his undeniable fresh sound, he’s by no means the new kid on the block! He became a pioneering artist with the infamous Amsterdam based ‘GZG’ collective in the early 00’s, known for their wild warehouse parties that changed the face of the electronic scene. From slow and melodic to fast-paced and energy-packed, his music meets the criteria craved by heated dance floors.
Nowadays, Mike Ravelli is recognised in the Netherlands for his borderless energetic sound in his DJ sets and has built a solid reputation as a popular act. Not only his highly acclaimed productions, supported by artists such as Karotte, Edu Imbernon and Dubfire, but also residencies at favourable Dutch techno and house organisations such as Shoeless, Perception, Thuishaven and the notorious Beachclub Woodstock 69 have lead him towards a career with international recognition. ❀
SU Chengdu, CN
出生于川剧世家的她，从小就对音乐及艺术有着浓厚的兴趣和基础。中学的时候开始接触电子音乐, 从此便迷恋上了这种充满无限创造空间的音乐形式。她始终坚持自己的音乐理想，游走在国内外自己喜欢的派对及电子音乐节，长年在德国、法国、意大利、西班牙等欧洲国家著名电子音乐俱乐部派对及音乐节的现场体验中，萌生了要将真正纯正、高品质的电子音乐及派对带回国内的念头，她逐渐的踏入了音乐推广的行业内，也同时成为一位dj和开始电子音乐制作，希望通过自己对电子音乐的理解和诠释来感染及影响更多的人了解并同样的热爱电子音乐。2014年，她同其他的三位伙伴在成都推出一家地下电子音乐俱乐部 TAG CLUB 其意为 To Another Galaxy,致力于推广电子音乐文化，希望通过这样一个平台，让生活在烦嚣城市生活中的人们，褪去浮躁、烦恼，感受电子音乐的魅力，体验身心灵同电子音乐艺术碰撞的奇妙旅程。同时，四名年轻人亦希望在这样一个充满无限可能的空间里，编织自己的音乐梦想。
Su is one of the co-founders of atmen. Born into a family of Sichuan opera artists, Su grew up surrounded by music and art. First exposed to electronic music in high school, she has had a crush on its infinite space and sound ever since. Having absorbed the energy of German club parties and European electronic festivals for years, Su felt compelled to bring high-quality electronic music to people back home, thus beginning her journey into promotion, DJing and music production.
In 2014, Su and three partners founded an underground electronic music club in Chengdu called .TAG, “To Another Galaxy,” dedicated to pushing electronic music culture and creating a platform for people to create and share a space of endless possibilities and musical dreams. ❀(Check out Su playing at the Morning Bar after party of Orchestra of Spheres: Te China Rockumentary EP. 2 CHENGDU!)
Xiang is one of the co-founders of atmen. Classically trained as a child, two years of university in Germany amidst the backdrop of the mid-2000s techno scene inspired her to become a DJ. Xiang captivates audiences with her intuition for sound and flow – her live set integrates electronic textures from synthesisers and recordings sampled from nature and daily life.
Xiang also collaborates with artist Little New in their audio-visual project XX², amalgamating elements of the natural world and everyday life into a real-time sensory experience. ❀
KR Wellington, NZ
Kristen是一位来自新西兰的吉他手。她在惠灵顿玩过车库摇滚乐队，也喜欢用四轨机做一些Lo-fi的卧室录音，来到成都认识atmen以后就开始使用数字效果和循环来创造电子噪音。她的影响包括krautrock，实验音乐，碧昂丝和techno。这次Aus-atmen她跟Su和Xiang一起演出。Yours truly. Transplanted from Wellington, New Zealand, Kristen is a guitarist who comes from a background of garage rock bands and lo-fi bedroom recordings. She uses digital effects and looping to create electronic beats. Her influences range between krautrock, experimental music, Beyoncé and techno. She will play with Xiang and Su on the AUS-STAGE. ❀
CHAMBERLAIN Beijing, CN / New York, USA
张伯伦 出生在北京 生活在纽约 写诗同时也做声音 也做live performance用诗，声音和视觉交互在一起。 即将就读于在旧金山的Mills College的electronic music and recording media专业 全球最好的Avantgarde Music Academy(先锋音乐学院)。 用声音这个媒介创造空间\环境让人脱离现实/假象。用感官带来的未知，去发现新的可能性。 我相信’气’和能量来自于现在(now) 和每个人都有权利拥有的自由(freedom)。A DJ and a poet. Originally from Beijing, Chamberlain has been studying and living in New York for years. He explores sound that is integrated with body movements and spatiality/sound and architecture, dealing with the sound inside and outside by organizing system of frequencies to intertwine the sonic space and physical space, producing sonic sculptures which remains.Nothing essential happens in the absence of noise. ❀
HIROSHI Hiroshima, JP
Techno, consistency, Japanese ramen. ❀
Come join us in Flower Town on Saturday 21 May! Full moon!
In the bleary eyed haze of 4am in the morning, I stumbled home from the after party at Morning Bar 早上好 and began mashing about on my phone trying to decipher a Chinese van booking app. Several hours later, a comedically large house moving van appeared, and we were ready to go. Chongqing, here we come!
With a lot of laughs and a bit of KFC, the OOS x Lady Lazer Light x Kiwese China tour bullet trained it’s way to the sprawling, hilly municipality of Chongqing, home to 30 million people, the most populated centre in China.
NUTS Livehouse Chongqing is one of the most professional venues I’ve been to in China. These guys have their shit down pat, from the lights to the sound to the promotion to the vibe. The venue itself is located in Deyi Fashion Mall, a bizarre building in Jiaochangkou full of different levels, sections, awnings and shops.
The crowd was electric, with more than 100 people turning up on a weeknight. Although there was no warm-up band arranged, the Spheres magically mutated into a mysterious New Zealand hip hop act called The Niubis™. Never before has Chongqing been so educated about multinational milk corporations, the uterus or breakfast condiments.
It’s the second day of the national October holiday break, and we’ve just taken a 19hr overnight train from Beijing to Chengdu.
After arriving at the Chengdu Music Hotel, we chucked back some egg pancakes 煎饼 and a hot sour noodle 酸辣粉 round the corner on Minzhu Lu (R.I.P.). Back in my neighbourhood, I ran back to my house for a quick shower and change of clothes – having been in Beijing for the past three weeks, it was so good to be home and see all my friends, along with this amazing band from Wellington that I had been raving about for the past year!!
The Spheres were playing the headline slot on Day 3 of the second NUART Festival, a three day music, art and tech extravaganza that takes places over two streets and stages, featuring both local and international acts and artists. They played on a street stage built of bamboo to an enormous and adoring crowd of people young and old. Quite simply, Chengdu has never seen anything like it.
The quiet old street of Minzhu Lu, next to where the gang were staying, will be demolished to make way for a music hall complex.
That includes Morning Bar 早上好, our local watering hole and the venue for the Chengdu after party. Following the festival, Lady Lazer Light set up her projector and eyeballs and Riki presented his techno/juke project Cave Circles for the second time on tour, ultimately pushing his soundcard to the state of kaput. My beautiful friend Su from the electronic label atmen had just come back from Germany and brought her minimal techno vibes to the party.
As usual, Morning Bar was bustling with all sorts of friends. I found Riki eating spicy chicken wings with a reggae band from Guizhou at 3am in the morning.
Morning Bar has since been walled off and left to decay, the glass windows and wooden fixtures have been extracted and recycled by local workers, the eateries and stores have ended their decades long business to move elsewhere. When I walk past the old place on Minzhu Lu my heart sinks, now an empty shell of what was such a joyful hub of drunkenness, music and good times.
But when I glimpse over the blue retaining wall and see the Orchestra of Spheres poster still stuck to the alcove outside, I know that is a memory that can never be demolished.
In the first instalment of our five-part China tour series, Orchestra of Spheres reunite with Lady Lazer Light in Beijing and wreak havoc at School Bar, Temple Bar and Brother’s BBQ Tribe in Feijiacun.