New releases – October 2019

Aragorn23 – Selected modular atmospheres vol. 1 (digital, self-released)

South African composer and improviser Aragorn23 presents eleven algorithmic pieces for modular synthesizer.
As the title evokes it, the music is quite ambient and relaxing, each piece developing its own little world. While some pieces would remind of late 1970s and 1980s minimalist ambient music, others sound more contemporary. (cdrk)


Various artists – These Are Our Friends Too (digital, FORWARD)

A project worth to support !
“This album is brought to you by Musicians Unite to End FGM (MUTEFGM) and Tse Tse Fly Middle East. These Are Our Friends Too is a unique album that highlights the work FORWARD does towards ending FGM (female genital mutilation). The album continues FORWARD’s These Are Our Friends project, a collection of poetry from young people from London, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham that responds to the themes of FGM and its consequences. The first stage of the project resulted in a book of the same name that features more than thirty pieces of work, a short film made with Media Trust, and this new collaboration sees nineteen of the poems re-imagined.

Tse Tse Fly Middle East hand-picked a selection of female artists and musicians, and each one was given a spoken word recording of one of the poems read by members of the FORWARD team and poets from the book. The artists then composed and recorded a sonic background for their designated piece, with the resulting spoken word and experimental music compositions making up this new, nineteen-track set, These Are Our Friends Too.

The album features contributions from some of the foremost female proponents of noise from Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Serbia, Bulgaria and Sweden, as well as UK-based collaborators. And the visceral, uncompromising and unsettling tracks that result reflect the disturbing nature of female genital mutilation.” (Tse Tse Fly Middle East)


Yan Jun & Bani Haykal – Rats in the bright southern sky (vinyl & digital, whereisthezeitgeist?editing office)

These tracks were recorded at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Residency Studio, in Singapore by prolific composer, poet and organiser Yan Jun (no-input feedback and contact microphones) and Singaporean researcher and composer Bani Haykal (text, voice and coding), then edited by Yan Jun.
The result of this collaboration is an electroacoustic music album in which voice loops and experiments navigate between waves of noises and feedbacks ; high pitched tones and incidental sonic glitches remind of some Toshimaru Nakamura‘s No​-​Input Mixing Board works while Haykal’s voice brings new elements to this form of onkyokei. (cdrk)


H.Takahashi – Sonne und Wasser (vinyl & digital, Where To Now? Records)

Dreamy minimalistic ambient music at the age of new age, tiny melodies, slow tunes made in Tokyo.
Takahashi tells : “I wanted to express the plant that was slow, quiet, powerful, and full of vitality. In an attempt to express the world of one plant, the four songs that make up this album are all based on the first one, ‘Nymphaea’… The melody, chord and tone throughout become familiar, and each change of scene is expressed by subtly changing the arrangement and development of sounds. This is intended for when you want to feel like a plant, or as an indoor soundtrack – I want the music to be played so that it decorates the plants within a room.”


Ouwan Itaru – Conceptual Works  (digital, equnatrecord)

There’s Goh Lee Kwang in Malaysia who releases zillions of tracks per month and then Ouwan Itaru in Japan who releases an insane amount of tracks too.
Free improv noise, very wild drums, guitar, distortion and noise. (cdrk)


Goh Lee Kwang – OnTheNight (digital, self-released)

Long improvisation for electronic, hypnotic, somehow noisy but not on the harsh noise side. (cdrk)


Hiroyuki Ura – Ghost Note (tape & digital, Zoomin’ Night)

If you are familiar with solo drums compositions of Morihide Sawada, this might be of interest. Track one is a half an hour solo for snare, track two for cymbal.
Both minimalistic pieces are performed gently, unlike Ryosuke Kiyasu‘s wild performances for snare. (cdrk)


Yang Haisong – Fictional film music (tape & digital, Zoomin’ Night)

Very repetitive ambient experimentation by Chinese composer Yang Haisong.
“Yang Haisong is lead singer of P.K.14, one of the top legendary indie rock bands from China, and he is also the CEO of indie rock label Maybe Mars. Beside these main roles, he also has some side projects including Dear Eloise, After Argument, Blonde Eskimo, collaboration with Xie Yugang (Wang Wen), and his tiny label Share The Obstacles. Yang is a poet, a novelist, and also a music engineer/producer. His work could be found in many Chinese rock bands’ debut album. In these two or three years, Yang involved in some film music projects, but for this cassette album, it does not belong to anyone. In the recording, Yang talks about a fictional movie as while as real life’s concealing and uncertain.” (Zoomin’ Night)


Slikback & Hyph11E – Slip B (digital, SVBKVLT)

I’ve been following parts of the bass music and rhythmic electronic scene in China for a while now and the Kenyan one for a shorter time in the recent years too. I now and then thought that musically speaking there were connections between the work of several of those artists such as Zaliva-D (China) or Slikback (Kenya) for example. And here we go. Here’s a beat-oriented collaboration between Shangainese composer and dj Hyph11E and Nairobi based composer Slikback ! (cdrk)

“SVBKVLT invited Kenyan producer Slikback to China for a 3-week tour and residency in April 2019. During these 3 weeks, Slikback performed in 5 cities (Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Beijing), spending time in the studio with artists throughout the tour. The results of these studio sessions are now being presented in the form of two EPs, to be released simultaneously across the two labels Hakuna Kulala (Uganda) and SVBKVLT (China)”


Slikback / 33EMYBW / Osheyack / Yen Tech – Slip A (digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Released at the same time than Slikback & Hyph11E – Slip B, this release features three pieces of beat and bass music by Slikback & Yen Tech, Slikback & 33EMYBW, Slikback & Osheyack. The musicians started to compose the tracks in China and then finished remotely between Nairobi and Shanghai and present a nice mix of all these artists’s styles. (cdrk)


TENGGER – Shikoku (tape & digital, self-released)

Following a pilgrimage on Shikoku island, the South Korean-Japanese project delivers us a double cassette (contact them for ordering it) that, to my knowledge, doesn’t sound to any of their previous recordings. While the duo (Itta & Marqido) performed a mix of noise and psychedelic improvised music at its very beginning (back then called 10) and dived deeper into (partly electronic) psychedelic music, this new release first four tracks are made of field recordings of people (praying at a buddhist temple ?), bells and so on, pitched in some cases ; the five other ones are very minimalistic and meditative recordings of bells (I suppose tsurigane) and silence. (cdrk)


СРАНЪ & brokenchelust – Split (digital, self-released)

СРАНЪ, a Russian punk and grindcore project from Tolyatti, Russia shares this release with noisegrind artist brokenchelust from Baku, Azerbaijan.
Expect a lot of distorted sounds. (cdrk)


Rey Sapienz – Mushoro (tape & digital, Hakuna Kulala)

While Congolese artist Rey Sapienz tends to be hip hop oriented live, his second release on the Ugandan label introduces us to a lot of instrumental pieces (but a few sung tracks are also included, sometimes more sung than rapped), slow beats with various influences from mutant dancehall to electronica. This release could be a modern version of Noir et Blanc this electronic afropop gem published in 1983 by Hector Zazou, Bony Bikaye and CY1. (cdrk)


MC Yallah x Debmaster (tape & digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Amazing collaboration between Ugandan-born, Kenyan-based MC Yallah and French distorted hip hop composer Debmaster.
Live or in the studio, MC Yallah is simply amazing, her voice, flow and energy – it is only unfortunately I don’t understand Swahili ! The release explores distorted and industrial hip hop, as well as electro hip hop and bass music, dark deep and slow but heavy beats. (cdrk)


Yao Bobby & Simon Grab – Diamonds (vinyl & digital, Lavalava Records)

Togolese -Swiss collaboration by Yao Bobby and Simon Grab who have collaborated in Togo and Switzerland for 15 years and this release is a blast : industrial hip hop and that will change your view on dancehall, feedback and no-input mixing desk, distorted bass, political lyrics sung in French, English and Ewe. And the EP includes… two remixes by Asian Dub Foundation (yes, the 1990s band) member Dhangsha aka Dr Das and Churulian (who also joins them live for the best !). (cdrk)

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New releases (August 2019)

Mireille Kyrou / Vox Populi! – Experimental Lineage (digital, nostalgie de la boue)

“This release is composed of the only two recorded works by musique concrète pioneer Mireille Kyrou (1931-2017), and of ‘Koro Wild’, played and composed by her son Axel Kyrou, main member of Vox Populi!”

Mireille Kyrou was born in September of 1931 in the town of Cairo. Her mother was French and her father was part of a family that migrated from Palestine to Egypt.

The only available recorded track by Mireille Kyrou is ‘Etude 1’, released on the mythical album from 1964, ‘Musique Concrète’, edited by Philips, also featuring music from giants of musique concrète, such as Pierre Schaeffer, Iannis Xenakis, or Luc Ferrari. The main sound sources for this track were a comb and a feather. (Editor’s note : the track appeared on several electroacoustic music anthologies such as Archives GRM in 2004 and Traces One in 2012)

The second track featured here, ‘Film Musique’, is unreleased, and recorded in the same environment and historical period as ‘Etude 1’. It is the soundtrack of an experimental film, which nothing seems to be known about. Although Mireille thought that the track wasn’t supposed to be listened without the film, she eventually agreed to release it.

Mireille had a peculiar love for the Vox Populi! track called ‘Koro Wild’ and insisted that it would be played at her funeral. It proved to be a strong experience, felt by all friends and members of the family attending the ceremony.
‘Koro Wild’ was recorded over a long period, 1994 to 2007, in France, Japan and Burkina Faso. All field recordings and instruments done and played by Axel Kyrou. First released on taâlem.” (taken from Axel Kyrou’s note)


Yan Jun – Feedback (CD & digital, Yan Jun / ORAL_records)

“this is one of the first works i created in my new studio in beijing.
actually my first studio in beijing.
i enjoy to stay in the room without doing anything. except some cups of tea.
i let the feedback went on. without any of my manual manipulation.
when i started with this set up back to 2007, i’d rather play it, move it, discover its possibility. nowadays i have “feedback solo” performance that i move my body instead of the instrument. in this recording neither the body of mine nor the instrument.
thanx eric mattson! thanx taku unami!

这是我在北京的新工作室做的第一批作品之一。
这是我在北京的第一个工作室。
我很享受待在这个屋子里,什么都不干,可能喝几杯茶。
我让反馈自己进行。没有做任何的干涉。
2007年开始用这套设置的时候,我演奏它、移动它、探索它的可能性。现在,我有时候会表演“反馈独奏”,我移动自己的身体,不碰设备。在这个录音里,既没有动自己的身体,也没有碰乐器。
感谢eric mattson!感谢宇波拓!” (note taken from Yan Jun’s page)


Vo Ezn – Mo​.​ar (digital, self-released)

Georgia starts to be well-known for its techno scene but Mika Motskobili aka Vo Ezn is part of a more radical concept : she experiments with sound. Mo.ar is a extract of a live performed at Heart of Noise Festival, TRAMatic ride in Innsbruck, Austria. Her musical approach reminds of musique concrète, repetitive electronic minimalism and early noise music. (cdrk)


Phubber – Phun (digital, FunctionLab)

Phubber is a young Chinese electronic music artist who studied conputer graphics in Japan – a universe that can be reflected in his often dystopian ambient and electronica : science-fiction universes and Chinese music influences that sometimes reminds me of Zaliva-D‘s work but more gentle.


Grave Blankets/Gamnad737 – Split Tape (cassette, digital, Tenzenmen)

Split release including one collaboration between Thai noise wall artist Gamnad737 and drone-noise-punk (or something like this) project Grave Blankets. Nice mix of ambient, harsh noise wall and psychedelic-noise-punk with a touch of post rock at some point. (cdrk)


Rey Sapienz – Mushoro (cassette, digital, Hakuna Kulala)

“Hailing from the Nord Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, exiled Kampala based producer Rey Sapienz new 6 track ep continues to explore his unique style of weirdly abstracted soukous and kalindula. Fitting into a trajectory of Congolese artists who were fascinated by the possibilities of progressive electronic music of their time such as Denis Mpunga and Zazou Bikaye.

Rey breaks down traditional Congolese pop music into its constituent elements of dramatic vocals, fluid bass chords and dark and slowed down Soukous Synth melodies.” (Hakuna Kulala)


Liew Niyomkarn – The Secret of Mountains and Tropical Fruits (CD & digital, self-released)

“Inspired by a novel, The classic of mountains and the sea. The secret of mountains and tropical fruits conjures an image of a warm-cool landscape and airy atmosphere that can drive us somewhere.” (Liew Niyomkarn)

Liew presents here a softer variation of her music than makes you travel between ambient, electronica and new age. Dreamy atmosphere, electronic glitch and melodies that reminds the listener of water, khaen (a Northern Thai and Lao mouth organ), cicadas and so on. (cdrk)


Wukir Suryadi – Industrial Mutant 01 Indiestrial Mutant live concert at Semeru Alt Space (digital, self-released)

Wukir Suryadi, one half of infamous Indonesian duo Senyawa has been involved in the improvised music, noise and experimental scene for more than a decade now, inventing and building new instruments, he then creates a form of improvised music that blends distorted sounds with classical Indonesian music influences and repetitive sequences that now and then remind of doom and industrial music. (cdrk)


Wukir Suryadi – Nginguk (digital, self-released)

Second live concert release for Wukir, this time perhaps a bit more in the field of ambient rock and drone with some parts that clearly remind of Senyawa. (cdrk)


Gabber Modus Operandi – HOXXXYA (digital, SVBKVLT)

Indonesia’s Gabber Modus Operandi comes back with a powerful hardcore techno album on Shanghai-based label SVBKVLT. The release includes strong influences of happy hardcore, dangdut koplo (a variation of dangdut music that emerge in the 1990s), gamelan and rave music, each track track presents its own variation of the genre, from more melodic pieces to pure fast beat oriented hardcore techno. (cdrk)

“For this album, we owe a lot to the metal/noise scene and to the small rapidly growing rave crew in Denpasar, while at the same time a ton of influence strongly came from all the sounds blasting out from our banjar (neighborhood) community, the loudest spirits of Dangdut Koplo and Indonesian happy hardcore, to gamelan sounds and everything in between.” (Gabber Modus Operandi)


Various artists – Noise À Noise 2019​.​2 (digital, Noise À Noise)

This is the second compilation published by Iranian label Noise À Noise run by experimental musician and organiser Soheil Soheili.
Twenty carefully selected tracks, mostly composed by Iranian artists Abtin Gholampour, Owrang ft. Ghodsea, Aruman, Yellow Cream, Xerxes The Dark, XSIX, but also German-Taiwanese duo Stampf! who recently toured the country and did this Music for bycicles project, Leonie Roessler, C-drík, etc.
Glitch, dark ambient, electronica, electroacoustic, field recordings, techno and more. (cdrk)


Omar Fadel Hadi – The Destiny (digital, self-released)

Four new tracks by Iraqi artist Omar Fadel Hadi : new age, ambient with a pinch of traditional Iraqi music influence. (cdrk)


Goh Lee Kwang – Operator (digital, self-released)

Due to his more than prolific, it is hard to review all Lee Kwang’s release but also hard to not at least present one or two now and then.
Operator is a noise-glitch 45 minutes piece, one of his numerous sound experiments published this month. (cdrk)


Mukta-feen – رحلة الضوء الأزرق – the Journey of the Blue Light (digital, self-released)

Palestinian artist Mukta-feen composes political ambient music that incorporates a lot of noises, field recordings, some electronics and voices.
According to Ahmad Zaghmouri, this work is a multi-layered philosophical installation exhibition. (cdrk)

 

New releases (June 2019)

Yikii – Flower’s Grave・花之墓 (digital, Genome 6.66Mbp)

Japanese project Yikii presents an album that includes elements of distorted techno dark ambient and above all horror film sound track, like a fairytale gone wrong. (cdrk)


KMRU – OT (digital, self-released)

Joseph Kamaru aka KMRU is a field recordist and ambient artist from Nairobi, Kenya. OT is a three-track release based on a same theme that include ambient strings, field recordings and minimalistic glitch and melodies. (cdrk)


Kenji Kihara – Dawn (CDr & digital, eilean rec.)

“Kenji Kihara is a Japanese musician based in Hayama, in Japan, a place surrounded by nature near to the sea and mountains.”
His electronic and ambient works are truly inspired by the sound of nature. His music oscillates between ambient and new age. (cdrk)


Aken’s Sleep – Beauty in Decay (digital, self-released)

Ambient guitar composition by two Egyptian composers : Ali Soliman & Mohammed Ashraf (aka Pie Are Squared), melancholic drones, subtle distortion, and a tiny touch of techno by the end of the release. (cdrk)


Edwin Lo – Field Recordings Archive: The Days in Queen Pier (digital, self-released)

“The recordings speak for themselves on the construction of Central–Wan Chai Bypass.” (In Hong Kong)


維度本身的結構 – Zukunft (digital, Shanshui)

維度本身的結構 one of the monikers of Chinese musician Sun Dawei aka Sulumi. Known for his techno and breakcore projects, Sun Dawei introduces us to a more intimate atmosphere : ambient guitar and electronics. (cdrk)


Don Zilla – From the Cave to the World (digital, Hakuna Kulala)

Two drastically different pieces by Kampala’s composer Don Zilla. The first track explores a dark side of Ugandan bass music, the second one is a twelve-minutes dark ambient piece that sounds like a soundtrack made in a submarine. (cdrk)


Jeritan – Chaos EP (digital, self-released)

Indonesian solo project Jeritan introduces us to a world of harsh noise, glitch and epileptic micro-loops. (cdrk)


Various artists – in his knotty ears, the donkey’s bells would jangle (cassette & digital, AqTushetii)

“in his knotty ears, the donkey’s bells would jangle’ is a selection of music either performed live, bootlegged, composed, or partly developed at AqTushetii artist residency & festival, summer 2018. Mirroring the diversity of the residents that took part, this compilation is an eclectic mix of genres and styles — musique concrete, computer music, Ashiq music, Circassian folk, post-industrial, modular synthesis, electro-acoustic music, tape collage, noise, drone, ambient, audiobook — from different parts of the world: Georgia, Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, North Caucasus, USA, UK.”
Georgian artists include Mess_montage, Vo Ezn, VAZHMARR, TeTe Noise, etc.


Various artists – place : georgia (digital, place)

“place : is country specific – electronic music compilations where the proceeds are donated to local human rights groups. Highlight the local producers, and bring awareness to the social causes that are important to the creative community there.
In May 2018, Georgian police raided multiple popular clubs in Tbilisi, using excessive force against workers and guests. The officially stated reason for the raid is due to recent drug-related deaths and accusations of drug trafficking.
Proceeds from this release will be donated to the Georgian organisation Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC).
The compilation includes a lot of Georgian artists from the local electronic music scene, mostly techno and ambient : Hanker, Benvol, Natalie Beridze, etc.
More information about the protest that happened in Tbilisi following this link The first protest expressed through massive rave to electronic music in Tbilisi (Georgian Journal).


Theo Nugraha & Tesla Manaf – Sikap Eksploratif (digital, Noise Bombing)

“This composition uses an improvised practice approach. Each artist responds to the sounds that are present and explores the possibilities.”
Sound collage influenced by Indonesian popular music, electroacoustic, free improv, noise, tape experimentation, electronics and film samples. (cdrk)


Dharma – Electric Animism (cassette & digital, self-released)

Dharma, member of famous Singaporean band The Observatory, is a brilliant guitar player, his new release composed with electric guitar, effects and objects i a powerful adventure into drone, free improvised and industrial music. (cdrk)


TENGGER – Spiritual 2 (CD, vinyl & digital, Beyond Beyond is Beyond)

“TENGGER is a traveling musical family, made up of Pan-Asian couple, itta and Marqido, who create their brand of psychedelic New-Age drone magic through the use of harmonium, voice, and toy instruments (played by itta) and analogue synths (played by Marqido). The duo originally started out with the moniker “10” but since the birth of their son RAAI (who joins them on tour and often on stage) in 2012, have called themselves TENGGER (meaning ‘unlimited expanse of sky’ in Mongolian) to mark the expansion of the family. It also means ‘huge sea’ in Hungarian.”
This new album is probably their most ambient and psychedelic release.


Various artists – Peninsula Volume 1 (digital, Liquid Frequency)

Liquid Frequency is an Indian label known for its psy trance releases but this time Yidam selected ten artists and duos who play ambient and new age music, among them, drill┼mallo, Subhas Mazumdar, Shivacult, and Coma Conscience. Field recordings, minimalistic atmospheres, drones, electronica, a lot of relaxing music. (cdrk)


Yan Jun – Plays John Cage (cassette, digital, foreign lands)

“Yan Jun is a musician and poet, based in Beijing. His work involves performative music, experimental composition, field recording, improvised music, experimental electronic music and relative presentation of exhibition.
He uses non-musical materials such as the body, blankness, in-situ conditions and everyday noise.
In further, he experiments on structure and concept of music.”


Koeosaeme – OBANIKESHI (vinyl, digital, Orange Milk Records)

Yoshizawa Ryu “Koeosaeme”‘s album is a very nice and diverse composition between collage and modern electroacoustic music that blends violin, sound design, glitch, deconstructed electronic beats and the likes. (cdrk)


aragorn23 – Desert Meditation Drone (digital, self-released)

South African artist aragorn23 aka Asqus composes generative music with modular synthesiser. Desert Meditation Drone is a 23 minutes long ambient piece. (cdrk)


Omar Fadel Hadi – The Room (digital, self-released)

Four compositions by Iraqi musician Omar Fadel Hadi. Mostly ambient, with a touch of post rock for the third track Minimal. (cdrk)


Farouk Adil – Continuum (digital, self-released)

Farouk Adil is an very prolific musician from Iraq who mostly works in the field of ambient music, sometimes techno or electronica and organises small events in Baghdad.
Continuum is a collection of field recordings, a project from The Institution Of Fine Art in Baghdad. (cdrk)


Hüma Utku – Gnosis (vinyl & digital, Karlrecords)

Turkish musician Hüma Utku aka R.A.N. just published her second vinyl on Berlin-based label Karlrecords. Far away from her electronica composition, she now composes hypnotic and ritualistic beats and dark ambient. (cdrk)


Izumi Kawasaki – Moromi (cassette & digital, Gerpfast Record)

Izumi Kawasaki is a Japanese multidisciplinary artist active since the 1990s whose noise career started in 2018. Moromi is her first album. Expect harsh noise and syncopated distorted loops. (cdrk)


Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective – Degradation (digital, Flaming Pines)

Composed and produced by Zach, with instrumentation by Lam Lam, voice by Lý Trang and Harvey Stauss and engineering by Đỗ Tấn Sĩ, the international project Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective, based in Ho Chi Minh takes a more abstract direction than their previous album Libyan Circle Voice Simulation. Glitch, ambient, heavy basses. (cdrk)

New releases

 


Forests 森林 – Idol Collapse (vinyl, cassette, Lonely God)

“Left Hand Path presents the second full-length LP, IDOL COLLAPSE, from Forests 森林. Written by Jon Du, Kuo-Hung Tseng, and Zun Long in Taipei, Taiwan. Eight songs in 36 minutes that unfurl like a flower and expand like a mushroom cloud, designed for utter osmosis and total absorption. The helix twists; the loop is closed. The cycle begins anew”

For fan of old school industrial (metal percussions, electronics, guitar, bass, voice) with a tiny SPK and Last Dominion Lost influence, especially on the great track Non-marginal. I release not to be missed !

“Left Hand Path 推出「Forests 森林」第二張黑膠專輯「IDOL COLLAPSE」,收錄Jon Du、國宏及尊龍共同創作,總長 36 分鐘的八首曲目。想像凝視著一朵正在綻放的花,在你回神意識到時已開展成鋪天蓋地的蘑菇雲,這是張有意識地滲透聽者每一絲神經的專輯,既是捻捆的雙螺旋、閉鎖的迴圈,又在每次輪迴產出新聲。”


Pupa – Lies (cassette & digital, Ujikaji Records)

“PUPA is a cooperative of two: Jun and Zeek, names to place in action bubbles in a hypnagogic, homoerotic episode of Batman (and his Boy Wonder) starring Adam West; boys with their toys electronic, ringing the body electric.

The music on Lies has a fuzzy temporality, conjuring an electronica that could have come from 1998 as it could 2018. But if ’90s electronica – growing alongside the early days of the  internet – was a dream of the future rife with utopian possibilities, the music in Lies seems instead to commemorate a laundry list of unrealised dreams. In sound and mood, Pupa are fellow travellers with artists like Boards of Canada, The Caretaker and William Basinski. Lies moves at a ponderous pace, as if surveying the wreckage of time caused by everything that has prevented the promised technological utopia. Tape loops underscore the passing of time as uncluttered elements build with the subtlest of shifts. Tape loops re-released on tape, the Basinsking of the Titanic, repeat a lie enough times and it becomes…”


Xiang – Gateway 出入口 (digital, self-released & Prajnasonic/Atmos)

Chinese composer Xiang presents five minimalistic compositions made of vocal samples, field recordings taken in various locations in France and China, and analogue synthesizer (performed by John Richards and Max Wainwright). The result is a very beautiful cinematic composition that flirts with dark ambient (without the usual clichés), noise drones and industrial music (without current the distorted techno beats trend).


Teenage Granny – Glossolalia (The Harsh Sounds of the Internet)  (cassette & digital, Gerpfast Record)

Filipino electronic artist Teenage Granny got a physical release of her Glossolalia album previously published on her Bandcamp page,
“Glossolalia (The Harsh Sounds of the Internet) is a collection of raw sounds of random Internet data (html files, photos, text, etc). These contents have been converted, translated, and databended into audio using a variety of programs. The result is harsh and defining of our online culture and consumption. The piece shows, however, that with noise coexists sound, in which we may form our own meanings, which in turn form the rhythm of our lives. We struggle to hear through this raucous nebula but through critical subtraction and selection, our plights and intentions will be heard, whether we are speaking for ourselves, or for those without a voice. ”


Das torpedoes / Torturing nurse – Split (lathe cut & digital, foreign lands)

US project Das torpedoes, relocated in Shanghai if I understood well presents a drony, ambient, industrial piece, while Torturing Nurse presents his usual powerful harsh noise.


若潭 ruò tán – Live at L’homme Sauvage (CDr, WV Sorcerer Productions)

Chinese project 若潭 ruò tán recorded live at L’homme Sauvage Festival in France in September 2018, one long take (45 minutes) of ritual industrial, noise and dark ambient music.


Pisitakun – SOSLEEP (cassette & digital, Chinabot)

“Created shortly after the death of his father to cancer, Thai artist Pisitakun has combined traditional mourning instruments with harsh noise and techno beats, wrapping them around intimate recordings of the hospital machinery keeping his father alive during his final days.

The result is SOSLEEP, a meditation on the raw, messy chaos of grief. Opening with the sound of a Buddhist monk’s funeral chants, the record’s BMP is led by real recordings of his father heartbeat, turned into electronic blips by the hospital pulse gauge.


Eartaker – Harmonics (vinyl & digital, Bedouin Records)

Japanese trio Eartaker (Goth Trad, Die Suck, Masayuki Imanishi) presents a mixture of dark industrial electronic and doom music. Few parts of the release remind me a bit of Ichiro Tsuji’s project : Dissecting Table blended with a voice closer to the one of Rully Shabara (Senyawa). Their music unique and fantastic mixture doesn’t come as a surprise, knowing that Goth Trad has collaborated with Boris and is part of the dub and drum n bass duo Rebel Familia


Lafidki – Derichan (cassette & digital, Chinabot)

“Saphy Vong was born to Cambodian parents in a Thai refugee camp. He has lived in cities across Europe and Asia, from Paris to Phnom Penh to Riga. These experiences have seeped into his music – a vivid, high energy collision of synths, samples and off-kilter polyrhythms”
“I wanted to give a voice to ethnic minorities, indigenous people, environmental activists who’ve been killed or jailed in Cambodia. I used samples from field recordings of Cambodian tribes, made in 2015 with the help of ethnomusicologist Julien Hairon.”

The interesting result is an electronic music album that navigates between ambient, electronica and traditional music samples.


v.a. – Pop Hits Bootleg Chiptune Compilation (1984​-​2008) (digital, Indochip)

An Indonesian chiptune compilation that include covers of popular hits such as Boys don’t cry (The Cure), Creep (Radiohead), Song 2 (Blur), etc. – Yes, Indonesia, apart of hosting one of the biggest grindcore, punk or noise scene in the whole Asia also hosts a very important chiptune scene, check it out ! Featuring : Astrojo, Chips4breakfast deat. Givana, Giffari Rifki, Gyld, Little Sound Orchestra, Lonely Tunes, Luglio, Patrick Electric, Remedmatika, Shakaboyd.


33EMYBW – Golem (digital, SVBKVLT)

Sinotronic ? 33EMYBW is a member of Chinese duo Duck Fight Goose, her electronic music incorporates a lot of Chinese music elements (but no world music stereotypes !), she is part of a new generation of Chinese composers who managed to blend modern and very dynamic, rhythmical electronic music and an original Chinese influx, such as Zaliva-D, among many others.

You can also watch a video clip made by Fang Yang on Youtube.


Safira Anjani & ɟɐɥɯı ɯnɹsʎıp – Illusion (digital, self-released)

Fahmi Mursyid is a very prolific artist from Indonesia who often collaborates with other musicians, this time pianist and singer Safira Anjani. The three tracks presented in this release bring the listener to an ambient, almost eerie universe, nevertheless delicate and beautiful. You can read more about Fahmi’s work in this article : Eerie, amazing sounds from tape loops, patches – like whales in space by Peter Kirn.


Necromishka – The space between us (CD, digital, self-released)

Necromishka is an Israeli duo that operates in the field of ambient, drone and (noisy) dark folk. Expect blurry atmospheres, distorted instruments and melancholic melodies.


Miteai Narico / Synthmolación – If there was a light, it was gone (digital, No Records)

Japanese artist Miteai Narico composes ambient and drone loops that remind me of Japanese musician Aube, Synthmolación, from Paraguay plays straight in the face noise music.

New releases

IZ – Kөlêngkê – 影子 Shadow (vinyl, WV Sorcerer Productions, Old Heaven Books)

“IZ is a Kazakh/Chinese band founded by Mamer, “IZ” means “footprint” in Kazakh. “Kөlêngkê 影子 Shadow” was recorded in 2010, when IZ was mutating from Kazakh folk / epics to post-industrial music, this classic album is a mixture of their recent experimental sound and early Kazakh traditional music instruments. Dombra, kobuz, mouth harp, with metal junk percussions. Previously released in CD and tape format, after 7 years, now “Kөlêngkê 影子 Shadow” is re-mastered by James Plotkin and finally released as a beautiful gatefold LP by Old Heaven Books & WV Sorcerer Productions.”
IZ樂隊在當代中國音樂中不可忽視,多年以來由哈薩克傳統音樂一直蛻變到現在的實驗工業聲響,參與過IZ的樂手也涵蓋了當下中國音樂圈很多重要的名字。IZ在不斷的否定自己,也在不斷的變異。除IZ之外,馬木爾和張東還有眾多的分支計劃,出品過大量的唱片,馬木爾個人也十分高產,從國內外的實驗音樂人到新疆乃至中亞多個國家的傳統民族音樂大師,探索的腳步從來沒有停止。《Kөlêngkê 影子》是2011年IZ以三人陣容錄制的唱片,當時IZ正處在從傳統哈薩克音樂到現在的工業噪音的轉變階段,這張專輯同時涵蓋了IZ後期的暴力聲響和早期的民間原聲樂器,獨一無二,也不會再次出現。
時隔7年之後,舊天堂書店攜手遊走在中法之間的音樂廠牌巫唱片/WV Sorcerer Productions將這張經典專輯首次出版為黑膠格式(180克),由著名美國制作人James Plotkin重新制作母帶。
“(WV Sorcerer Productions)


Sun Dawei – 僧侶與藝術家 / Monks & Artists (digital, Shanshui)

Active in the Chinese scene since the early 2000s, Sun Dawei (aka Sulumi, also member of breakcore duo Panda Twin) has since relocated to Osaka, Japan.
This new release is above all a very quiet and ambient album with gentle techno influences on the tracks Cliff / 崖壁 and Replace / 替代. (cdrk)


Fahmi Mursyid – The Actualising Self (digital, self-released)

The Actualising Self is the final year project done in Lai Wei Min’s final year at the NTU School of Art, Design and Media for their specialisation in visual communications. the soundtrack (that contains voice over by Lai Wei Min) has been composed by Fahmi Mursyid (aka Idiologikal) from Bandung, Indonesia. Both mixes featured on this release are meditative ambient tracks, you cal also watch the original audiovisual work on Youtube. (cdrk)


Xu Cheng – IN RED (digital, play rec)

Xu Cheng is an ex-member of Shanghainese noise project Torturing Nurse,  who co-founded in 2017 the label play rec with experimental musician Wang Changcun. The three pieces presented in this release are re-works and adaptations of music composed in 2012, 2013 and 2018. The first piece contains samples of a previous performance together with Huang Lei and Wang Tian, such as in the third piece, Xu Cheng operates in the field of drone and electroacoustic  with a pinch of soft noise ; the second piece was part of a theatre play called Ge Le Mountain (歌乐山) by Yao Bo. Zhao Chuan and co. and is a more meditative work. (cdrk)


Audrey Chen – Runt Vigor (vinyl & digital, Karlrecords)

“Audrey Chen’s long-awaited new solo album “Runt Vigor” is an adventurous sonic exploration of the voice, cello and analog electronics.

She began her relationship with sound through the cello and voice over 30 years ago and since the past 15 years, her predominant focus has been her solo work, joining together the extended and inherent vocabularies of the cello, voice and analog electronics.” (Karlrecords)


Konstrukt + Keiji Haino – A Philosophy Warping, Little By Little​ ​That Way Lies A Quagmire (Live) (vinyl & digital, Karlrecords)

“Second album by Turkish free jazz musicians Konstrukt and the Japanese avant-garde / noise icon Keiji Haino, this time recorded live in concert. Celebrating their 10th anniversary these days, Konstrukt have since been creating an impressive catalogue including collaborations / performances with significant musicians like Peter Brötzmann, William Parker, Akira Sakata, Evan Parker, Thurston Moore, Michael Zerang (and more) that gained them an ever growing audience and media attention.” (Karlrecords)


R.A.N. – Şeb​-​i Yelda (vinyl & digital, Karlrecords)

“R.A.N. is the dark electronic / rhythmic ambient music project by Hüma Utku. “Şeb-i Yelda” is available as 12” and download. Hailing from İstanbul and based in Berlin for a couple of years now, Hüma Utku has been a prolific artist lately: as R.A.N. (Roads At Night) she released her debut album ”Her Trembling Ceased”, followed by the remix album ‘Remixed: Stories Retold’ (both 2015, Partapart Records), and contributed several tracks and remixes to various compilations.” (Karlrecords)


Zhu Wen Bo – Duo with Jun-Y Ciao (digital, self-released)

Chinese experimentalist Zhu Wen Bo (clarinet, founder of the cassette label Zoomin’ Night – 燥眠夜) and Jun-Y Ciao (sopranino saxophone), recently published three improvised music pieces performed live and infamous Beijing music venue fRUITYSPACE, in September 2018. (cdrk)


Domadana Kadodi Performers, Sun C, Bamba Pana – Kadodi (vinyl & digital, Nyege Nyege Tapes)

“After almost 15 years of peddling his own cd’s and tapes on the streets of Mbale, Robert Mugamba’s Kadodi finally get a proper introduction to the outside world thanks to the increasingly vital Nyege Nyege Tapes crew. ‘Kadodi’ pairs a transfixing percussive soundtrack with modern electronic contributions from Bamba Pana and Sun C, resulting in another remarkable document from the pearl of Africa.” (Boomkat)


Morego – Solivagant (digital, self-released & D.M.T. Records)

“Morego is the musical project founded by Tehran-based producer Morego Dimmer (aka Xerxes The Dark, Nyctalllz). Known for his cerebral and experimental vein of dark ambient music, Solivagant dips into peculiar, yet cohesive IDM/downtempo strains. Its nine tracks spanning just over 30-minutes, the release feels like an album with an extended player outer shell.” (D.M.T. Records)


BNSU – Brand New Shit Upcoming #1 (digital, Brain Pussyfication)

Noise ? Noisegrind ? Extreme industrial ? The Berlin-based Japanese-Turkish duo (Kazehito Seki : voice & BEEATSZ : drums, electronics) offers us ten radical live tracks recorded at Villa Kuriosum’s Krach Keller in Berlin earlier this year. The album clearly evokes Osaka’s radical japanoise scene of the 1990s, all for the best ! This is a pre-order. (cdrk)


sinin – V1 (digital, self-released)

Bengali electronic musician sinin just released four minimalistic gems, subtle intimate atmosphere that oscillates between gentle ethereal techno and ambient music. Don’t take me wrong, this is not minimal techno, fortunately ! (cdrk)


Jacqueline George (cassette & digital + magazine, Autogenesis)

Jacqueline George is a composer and field recordist from Cairo, Egypt. She is a member of the international collective Salims Salon. For this release (that comes with the first Autogenesis magazine), she was asked “to reflect on her coming to be, crossing individual and collective memory, in order to deliver a sonic piece to serve as a manifest of identity and empowerment.” The result is a sound scape made of field recordings, voices, whispers, cinematic atmospheres. Probably her most accomplished work until now. (cdrk)


v.a. – Anthology of Electroacoustic Lebanese music (CDr & digital, Unexplained Sounds Group)

Unlike the title seem to imply, the compilation is not about the electroacoustic music genre but music that blends electronics and acoustics. In any case, this is one more fine selection of artist done by the Italian label Unexplained Sounds Group : Tony Elieh, Marc Codsi, Jad Atoui, Youmna Saba, Fadi Tabal, Joseph Doumet, Sharif Sehnaoui, and more. Post-rock, free improv, musique concrète, ambient, drone, modular synthesis… Some of the biggest names of the Beirut scene on one album, there is nothing to complain about ! (cdrk)


v.a. – Girih: Iranian Sound Artists Volumes I – IV (cassette & digital, Zabte Sote)

This brilliant compilation comes in two different versions (apart of the digital ones) : one box set of four cassettes with booklet and the four cassettes releases individually. I would consider it to be a follow-up of four other great Iranian compilations : Visions of Darkness (Unexplained Sounds Group & Cold Spring, 2017), Dūr Untash (Unexplained Sounds Group, 2017) and Iran experimental underground 016 survey (Unexplained Sounds Group, 2016) and Kollektive 1 (BITROT, 2015) – a compilation published in Tehran which also includes a few foreigners. Nevertheless, Girih does not only explore the dark ambient side of Iran such as the Unexplained Sounds Group one did, they let the listener reflect on the great variety of electronic music that is being produced in Iran and by the Iranian diaspora. 42 pieces and artists in the field of ambient, industrial, techno, electroacoustic, drone, electronica, such as NUM, mHz, 9T Antiope, Pouya Pour-Amin, Saba Alizadeh, Mehdi Jalali, Leila, etc. Not to be missed ! (cdrk)


Vo Ezn – Live at Red Light Radio x Tbilisi (digital, self-released)

Mika Motskobili aka Vo Ezn is a composer, musician, sound artist, painter, video artist and sculptor from Georgia. She works with acoustic sounds, loops, electronics and composes a kind of repetitive music concrète, a form of sound art that evokes little machines operating in a parallel universe. Live at Red Light Radio x Tbilisi is devided in three parts, all recorded live. (cdrk)


Fung | Sudarshan Chandra Kumar | Goh Lee Kwang – Mou Tou Rooftop Artist Run Space, July 21st  (digital, self-released)

Goh Lee Kwang is obviously the most prolific sound artist and improviser in Kuala Lumpur. The live session recorded in two parts with two other improvisers, Sudarshan Chandra Kumar and Fung is in the vein of Lee Kwang’s work but not as repetitive as his latest compositions, still minimalistic but more eclectic, concrete sounds, no-input mixing desk screeching high pitched tones and some “wilder” moments where all three musicians surf around free improvisation for electronics. (cdrk)


Yuen Chee Wai and Ryoko Ono DUO – NEWDUO series 009 (digital, self-released)

The NEWDUO series are improvised duo recordings series initiated by Japanese alto saxophonist artist Ryoko Ono (小埜涼子) who presents this time a collaboration with Singaporean electronic improviser Yuen Chee Wai. Abstract sound art meets free improv. (cdrk)


Barkın Engin & Tuna Pase – Rest (digital, self-released)

Turkish composers Tuna Pase (electronics, flute, voice & glockenspiel) and Barkın Engin (electronics, guitar & glockenspiel) started to play together in 2014. They are now back with a second album, a pleasant mixture of partly improvised, electroacoustic and ambient music with a touch of ethereal pop. As the duo mentions it, improvisation forms  the backbones of the pieces, nevertheless these improvisations lead to neatly composed tracks. (cdrk)


More links about those mentioned artists can be found on Syrphe’s database.

Asian Music Network, an interview with DJ Sniff, by C-drík.

AMN 2016 artworks-000144010391-glpcx7-t500x500

In 1969, South Korean artist Seok Hee Kang founded the Pan Music Festival where himself and Hwang Byungki performed a piece for daegeum and tape, four years later, in 1973, the Asian Composers League was founded in Hong Kong with the aim of fostering contemporary music which uses both Western and Asian Pacific instruments.
Today in the 21st century, a new generation of composers, free improvisers, noise artists and turntablists cross the barriers again but this time in a less classical and conventional way : Far East Network (FEN), Asian Music Network, and more are reshaping the far east and south east music landscape…

19455802553_aa17d5f902_bPhoto by Kuniya Oyamada –  写真 小山田邦哉

The Asian Music Network festival 2015 took place in Tōkyō and Kyōto and was the first avant-garde festival in the region to include such a large variety of artists from east and south east Asia  : dj sniff (Hong Kong), Bin Idris (Bandung), To Die (Yogyakarta), Iman Jimbot (Bandung), Kok Siew Wai (Kuala Lumpur), Leslie Low (Singapore), Yuen Chee Wai (Singapore), Yui-Saowakhon Muangkruan (Bangkok), Nguyễn Hong Giang (Ho Chi Minh), Lương Huệ Trinh (Hanoi), Sachiko M (Tokyo), Tadashi Yonago (Osaka), Tatsuhisa Yamamoto (Tokyo), Kimiya Sato (Tokyo), Shinobu Kawai (Tokyo), Tamura Fumitake (Tokyo), KΣITO (Tokyo), Ai Watanabe (Tokyo), Ryoko Ōno (Nagoya), Ōtomo Yoshihide (Tokyo).

The 2016 festival will be held in Tōkyō, Kōbe and Kyōto, from the 5th until the 12th of February and featuring the following artists : Ōtomo Yoshihide (Tokyo), dj sniff (Hong Kong), Fiona Lee (Hong Kong), Okkyung Lee (New York), Pete TR (Bangkok), Skip Skip Ben Ben (Taipei), Natalie Alexandra Tse (Singapore), Krisna Widiathama (Yogyakarta), Son X (Hanoi), Yong Yandsen (Kuala Lumpur) and guest Japanese artists Umeda Tetsuya, True Oshiro, Takahiro Kawaguchi, Toshio Kajiwara, Doddodo, Yoko Higashino, Mizuuchi Yoshito, Katsura Mouri and more !
Feel free to listen to the following mix prepared by dj sniff that include the 2016 participants and some of their projects while reading the interview.

20094059991_73ac490eb6_bPhoto by Kuniya Oyamada –  写真 小山田邦哉

1. How did you and Yuen Chee Wai got the idea to create the pan Asian network ?

The idea originates from Ōtomo Yoshihide’s long standing work in trying to connect experimental musicians, in mainly East Asia, with Japanese musicians and the public.

Ōtomo worked extensively in Hong Kong during the early 90’s, and since early 2000’s he had been playing in China and Korea which evenly lead to his band FEN with Yan Jun, Ryu Hankil and Yuen Chee Wai. In 2005, he organised the first Asian Meeting Festival which was born out of both an optimism towards new communities enabled by the internet, and fear that it is also accelerating hate speech and xenophobia in Japan. Since my time at STEIM in Amsterdam, I was always trying to invite any Asian musician that was on tour in Europe, and Chee Wai was also active in organising events that featured Asian experimental musicians in Singapore. I moved to Hong Kong in 2012 after finding Europe being utterly dead, and wanting to tour more in Asia.

2. Do you have more logistic and financial ease and possibilities in Japan than in, let’s say Hong Kong or Singapore ?

For our project Ensembles Asia / Asian Music Network, yes, because we are funded by The Japan Foundation Asia Center (国際交流基金アジアセンター) which is a government cultural body. Ōtomo was invited to lead a new project that focussed on cultural exchange between South East Asia and Japan, and he invited me and Chee Wai. Japan also has a larger audience and generally better infrastructure than Hong Kong or Singapore, so that helps too.

19454000574_83842f32dc_bPhoto by Kuniya Oyamada –  写真 小山田邦哉

3. I noticed that step by step, some networks are being build in Asia, connecting musicians and organisers to each other : Asian Music Network, FEN, Border Movement. Seeking independence ?

It is still a challenge. Generally Asian people would rather work with people from the West for such cultural projects. It has to do with local prestige and also not wanting to be confronted with long history of dispute between neighbouring countries. For us we have to be very careful in running a project supported by Japan in Asia – scars from war don’t disappear that easily.

4. Does living in Hong Kong makes it easier for you to connect people together and travel around than when you were in Japan ?

I don’t know if it makes it easier, but it does give me an identity and edge within the scene. I haven’t lived in Japan for more than half of my life now, so I can get away with being “ignorant” to certain local conversions or political tension – that is quite convenient.

5. Would you organise the festival or some other events in other Asian countries and outside of Asia, such as FEN slowly does ?

Yes, we are trying to do this more. Our vision is that we develop programs and collaborations that take place initially in Japan, but can be brought to other cities. This is very challenging because each country has their own difficulties, but what we keep hearing is that it’s much more difficult than we think for South East Asian artists to connect with each other. We hope we can be a catalyst for new forms of collaboration within the region. Also we would like to bring these artists to Europe and North America as well. This is of course to introduce them to a wider audience but also playing in Western countries significantly helps them back home to receive recognition or funding.

19589047162_005d743b53_bPhoto by Ayane Morishita - 写真 森下綺音



Some recommendations, references and links.

Asian Music Network is part of Ensembles Asia, that also includes Asian Sound Research (a project started in 2014, directed by Japanese musician Sachiko M that focuses on sound art research, including Malaysia, Cambodia, etc.) and Ensembles Asia Orchestra (a project launched in 2014, with the mission of creating a free-form orchestra that engages with people who are not professional musicians. The project is organized by the Japan Foundation Asia Center, with musician Ōtomo Yoshihide as artistic director. Ensembles Asia Orchestra aims to uncover new and unprecedented ways of making music and connecting with people, by sharing the joy of making music and fostering communication with people from elsewhere in Asia – site in Thai, Japanese, Indonesia, Tagalog and English).
You can follow Asian Music Network 2015 on Soundcloud.
And see a few interviews and short live extracts here.

FEN (Far East Network) recently performed at the Festival All Ears in Norway. FEN is an improvised music project group made up of musicians from different parts of Asia. The quartet comprises Ōtomo Yoshihide (Japan), Ryu Hankil (South Korea), Yan Jun (China) and Yuen Chee Wai (Singapore). FEN was started by globally renowned musician Ōtomo Yoshihide and it made its debut in 2008 at MIMI Festival in Marseilles, France. Following its début, FEN has performed extensively throughout Europe and all across Asia.

Border Movement is a platform that aims to encourage interaction between the electronic music scenes of South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan) and Germany. Border Movement tends to be more on the dance side than FEN and Asian Music Network but includes also a few sound experimentalists.

Syrphe contains a database which included more than 1500 references of artists, venues, radios, labels, magazines, networks working in the field of alternative electronic music, electro-acoustic, free improv, noise, electronica, chiptune, breakcore, industrial, ambient and more, it is regularly updated.

Some pan-Asian compilations (and beyond for one and we need more like this !).

Live at Htein Lin’s Studio / 7000 Padauk, Yangon, Myanmar, (Syrphe, 2014, digital), an compilation of live recording made in Yangon, Myanmar and featuring six artists mostly living there and coming from Asia and Europe. Free download.

Art of the Muses (Syrphe, 2012, CD and digital), an experimental music compilation featuring 10 female composers from far east Asia (Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Singapore).

Beyond ignorance and borders (Syrphe, 2007, CD and digital), an African, Middle-Eastern, Asian noise and electronic compilation which includes electronic, experimental and noise artists from 21 Asian and African countries (Vietnam, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, Israel, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Lebanon, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa, Laos, Tibet, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia).

Soundtracks For Bride Of Sevenless (Auscultare Research, 1998, CD), 12 noise and sound artists from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong.

Eternal Blue Extreme: An Asian Tribute To Derek Jarman (Somnus, 1994, CD), 9 noise, experimental and industrial artists from Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.


If you happen to be in Berlin in early February, I (C-drík) will give a lecture during CTM festival : An introduction to electro-acoustic, noise and experimental music in Africa and Asia, 2 February, 13h, Kunstquartier Studio 1 .

My new essay Power through networking : reshaping the underground electronic and experimental music scenes in East and South East Asia will also be available in CTM Magazine to be out very soon. More info soon !

 

Feminism in electronic and experimental music, the failure of most Westerners.

art of the muses

For a few years now, I see and meet plenty of feminist enthusiasts who try to develop new networks, events, workshops, festivals dedicated to women and feminism in the often male-centric experimental and electronic music scenes, where indeed, most djs represented are men, most famous electro-acoustic composers are males, most power electronics artists are males, most famous electronica artists are males and so on and so forth.

Many of those who call themselves feminists and quite rightly scream and shout that they want more equality, more exposure and recognition and want to offer women more opportunities to access the electronic and experimental music world have for most a western-centric vision of the scene.
Never did I see them promoting female artists in the field of electronic and experimental music who come from Asia and Africa (or even Latin America). The victims of exclusion exactly behave like their oppressors and should definitely admit that their fight is a failure and will remain so unless they include all women of the various scenes (including underground rock, metal, punk, grindcore, etc.), no matter what their ethnicities, nationalities, geographic locations, social classes are.

Of course, I hear some of you fulminating against me, accusing me of disempowering them, telling me : “But we didn’t know ! We never heard about them ! How could we imagine there were women doing this music in those places !?” (sic).
It sounds to me like those men telling :”Seriously ? You know of women building modular synthesizer ? I never imagined that it would be ever possible !”
Zero difference.
This is one of the problems of the Western World, it is so much self-centred that it often lacks of imagination and curiosity (even not going so far away as Asia or Africa, how many times did I hear some being surprised that there are musicians in Sardinia or Kosovo or whatever remote village lost in the Swiss mountains who do play underground music).

Now that we live in a more and more interconnected society, to me it is some kind of pure egotism and a certain form of social racism to imagine that only women (or people in general)  in the west do compose electronic, experimental music or punk, metal, oi, you name it… In the time of the invasive internet where those who want, especially those who pretend to fight for some rights, can search, deeply, all kinds of informations using search engines, social networks, databases, music streaming services, it is a shame to see that those born in the “wrong” place still often remain excluded.

I remember women from some networks I will not name here telling that they wanted full support and promotion for women´s projects but how many of them bought or promoted the works and publications I was telling them about ? How many of them attended the concerts I organised ? Very few ! Some even decided to work in closed circles, excluding men from their networks or activities, even those who supported them from the beginning. Some gave me the feeling that they were working for their own ego, that the feminist fight was an excuse for them to clime higher and reach the peak… I may be wrong, I wish so but this is how I perceive this situation for many years.

Now to conclude this small article, here are a few CD references among many others, and following those, you´ll find a non-exhaustive list of under represented women. The CD list is only a small sample that what is currently existing, of course.

Art of the Muses (CD and digital, Syrphe, 2012, international) with Alice Hui-Sheng Chang [Taiwan], Aki Ito [Japan], Itta [South Korea], Tomoko Sauvage [Japan], Kismett [Singapore], VAVABOND [China], Pei [Taiwan], Verita Shalavita Koapaha [Indonesia], Lương Huệ Trinh [Vietnam], Lau Mun Leng [Malaysia].

Egyptian Females Experimental Music Session (CD, 100Copies, 2013, Egypt) with Asmaa Azzouz, Shorouk El Zomor, Hala Abu Shady, Jacqueline George, Nina El Gebaly, Ola Saad, Yara Mekawei, details on 100Copies.

_Litter – Newfound Grids (CD and digital, Syrphe, 2013, Lebanon)

VAVABOND – HOLOGRAM OF sea (CD and digital, C.F.I Records, 2012, China)

PEI ‎– Normality Envision (CD, Sub Jam, Kwanyin Records, 2007, Taiwan), details and extracts here.

Leila Bela – Angra Manyu (CD, Ellahy Amen Records 2003, Iran/USA), details here.

Hui-Shen Chang Alice – When She Was Asleep (Cassatte, Antifrost, 2011, Taiwan).

Okkyung Lee – Noisy Love Songs (CD, Tzadik, 2010, South Korea), details at Discogs.

And one more western oriented ones that I anyway find worth to mention (and because most feminist activists I talked to in the scene told me they never heard about it and it´s a pretty good one !) :

Women Take Back The Noise (3xCD, UBUIBI, 2006) with Michiko Kawagoe, Dark Muse, BCO Women’s Auxiliary, Passiflora, Suzanne Quincey, Ava Mendoza, Meri von KleinSmid, Analog Tara, Fe-Mail, Experiment Haywire, Hertta Lussu Ässä, Cosey Fanni Tutti, etc.

This non-exhaustive list comes from this database I´m permanently working on, this database contains more than 1500 references for Africa and Asia. I could have added more of them but sorry, my time is limited at the moment !
Note I noticed that the formatting of the list appears incorrectly but I can´t correct it for some odd reasons…)

Algeria :
Rula El Bahr Soundcloud [electronic, sound art, lives in France, see Kamekaz]

Armenia/USA :
Farhadian, Thea Site [electro-acoustic, improv, video, lives in the USA]

China :

Arrebato (Li Huihui) Tudou Douban (豆瓣) Soundcloud (1) Soundcloud (2) Bandcamp [sound art, see lllllllllllHH, Hhiña, Kazorp, Arrebato]
Chen, Audrey MySpace Discogs [sound art, improv, free jazz, lives in Germany]
Chen Yi Discogs [electro-acoustic, classical, lives in the USA ?][1984]
Pan Daijing Soundcloud Tumblr Instagram [noise, industrial, ambient]
Shenggy (Cosmic Shenggy) MySpace1 Myspace2 Rock In China Discogs [sound art, noise, minimal techno, see White]
VAVABOND (Vavabond) Site MySpace Soundcloud Discogs [sound art, ambient, noise]

Egypt :
Azzouz, Asmaa Discogs [electronic]
Bosaina Site Soundcloud Facebook [electronica, electro-pop]
El Zomor, Shorouk Discogs [electronic]
George, Jacqueline Soundcloud [electronic, sound art]
Abu Shady, Hala Youtube Vimeo [sound art, video art]
Hani, Dina Soundcloud [electronic, field recordings]
Mattar Nahla Site [electro-acoustic, classical]
Mekawei, Yara (Yara Mekawi) Blogspot, Soundcloud, Facebook, MySpace Twitter Tumblr Meetphool [electronic, electro-acoustic, audio-visual, sound installation]
Saad, Ola Soundcloud [sound art]

Hong Kong :
Lee, Fiona Site Vimeo Tumblr Jux Soundcloud [sound art, audiovisual]
Lee, Ingrid Site Discogs [sound art, modern classical, lives in the USA]

India :
Desai, Poulomi Tumblr Facebook Facebook Youtube [audio-visual, sound art, lives in the UK]
Sandunes Site Bandcamp Soundcloud Facebook Twitter Instagram [electronica]

Indonesia :
Menstrual Synthdrone (Dyah “Woro” Isaka) Soundcloud [drone, noise]
Sabrina WordPress [noise]
Sarana Soundcloud Facebook [drone, noise]
Shalavita Koapaha, Verita Bandcamp [contemporary classical]

Iran :
Bela, Leila (ليلى بلا) Site MySpace Discogs [noise, sound art, lives in the USA]
Bigdeli Shamloo, Sara Soundcloud Twitter [electronic, sound tracks, lives in France]
Hatam, Farahnaz MySpace [sound art, lives in Germany]
Pazhutan, Honey Haq Site Soundcloud [see vH+] / vent aitcH Plus (vH+, V H +p) Site Soundcloud [ambient, drone, see Honey Haq Pazhutan]

Iraq :
Nadeem, Aida (Aïda Nadeem) Site Soundcloud Twitter Tumblr Wikipedia MySpace Discogs Youtube [electronica, traditional, contemporary lives in Denmark]

Israel :
Asher, Meira Site MySpace [industrial, sound art, lives in the Netherlands]
Elyakim, Dganit MySpace [electro-acoustic, classical]
Olivero, Betty Wikipedia [electro-acoustic, classical]
Rosenbaum, Keren Facebook Discogs [electro-acoustic, jazz, classical]

Lebanon :
Andraos, Joanna Site MySpace [electronica]
Chlela, Liliane (Queen Lil) Site Soundcloud Facebook [ambient, improv, psychedelic, improv, see Hezbel Taleta]
Dally, Rhéa (Rhea Dally) Facebook Soundcloud [chip tune, breakcore, lives in South Africa]
Sehnaoui, Christine MySpace Blogspot [jazz, sound art, lives in France]
Zaven, Cynthia Soundcloud Youtube [improv, modern classical, electronic]

Malaysia :
Kok Siew Wai WordPress Youtube [improv, experimental]
Lau Mun Leng Myspace Discogs WordPress [sound art, video artist and graphic designer]

Philippines :
Barrozo, Teresa Site Soundcloud [classical, electro-acoustic]

Singapore :
Ang, Lydia Soundcloud Youtube ReverbNation [film score, ambient, new age, electro-acoustic]
Cheryl Ong & Vivian Wang Youtube [drone, industrial]
Ding, Debbie Site Soundcloud Twitter [sound art, audiovisual]
Kismett Bandcamp [sound art]
Reiki, Jean (DJ Reiki) Site Bandcamp Soundcloud Twitter Facebook Youtube Mixcloud Indabamusic [ambient, electronica]
Tara Transitory Site MySpace Discogs Facebook [electronica, ambient, sound art, see One Man Nation, lives in Spain and Asia]

South Africa :
Beckmann, Inge MySpace Discogs Facebook [electronic, contemporary]
Isadora Dustmite Junk MySpace Bandcamp Facebook [electro-acoustic, noise, sound art]
Schneider, June [electro-acoustic, multi-media installations][1971 ?]

South Korea :
Itta (있다) https://www.youtube.com/user/TxNxGxRMySpace Facebook Twitter MySpace [sound art, ambient, minimal, member of 10 and Tengger]
Okkyung Lee Site MySpace [classical, improv, sound art, lives in Germany]
Shin, Amy Soundcloud [classical, sound art, post rock, etc., USA/South Korea] – she´s an American of Korean descent who migrated to Seoul.
Ha Jane Facebook [improv, see Pika & Pikasland] – from the US I think but lives in Seoul.

Syria :
Asma Shams (شمس أسمى, Asma Ghanem) Soundcloud [sound art, ambient, lives in Palestine]

Thailand:
Liew Pichanan Niyomkarn Site Souncloud [noise, sound art]

Taiwan :
Anchih Tsai [electro-acoustic] Youtube – unfortunately, she passed away a few months ago.
Betty Apple (ßetty ∆pple, Reiki Jelly, Yi-Ping Cheng, Xiao-Biao, 瀟薄 ) Site Soundcloud Twitter MySpace Tumblr Youtube Vimeo Mixcloud Soundcloud (Reiki Jelly) Facebook [sound art, noise, electronic, techno]
Hui-Chun Lin Site MySpace [improv, sound art, classical, lives in Germany]
Hui-Shen Chang Alice Site [electronica, sound art] – she mostly experiments with her voice when she plays solo.
Kueiju Lin [classical, improv, sound art]
Lai Chi-Hsia Site Soundcloud [sound art]
Pei Site1 Site2 [minimal sound art, onkyokei, lives in Switzerland]
Pei-Yu Shi Youtube Facebook [sound art, electronic, folk, audio-visual]
Luo Chao Yun (駱昭勻) Site MySpace [traditional, classical, improv, sound art]

Tunisia :
Abdelwahed, Deena Site Tumblr Facebook Arabstazy Mixcloud [electronic]
Houaïda (Miss Machine) Soundcloud Facebook [electronica, industrial, noise pop,lives in Germany]

Turkey :
Ah! Kosmos Site Soundcloud Soundkick Facebook Twitter Instagram Last.fm [electronica]
Gürkan, Gülce Özen Site Bandcamp MySpace Soundcloud Vimeo Discogs [electro-acoustic, sound art]
Pase, Tuna MySpace Facebook Soundcloud 1 Soundcloud 2 Soundcloud 3 [electro-acoustic]

Vietnam :
Cao Lan (Cao Thanh Lan) Site [electro-acoustic, sound art, free improv, classical, see Parallel Asteroid, Swiss Army Wife, lives in Germany]
Lương Huệ Trinh (Luong Hue Trinh) Soundcloud MySpace Facebook [sound art, electro-acoustic]
Ngọc Trần Thị Kim (Ngoc Tran Thi Kim) Weebly Youtube [sound art, electro-acoustic, classical]
Nguyễn Nhung (Nguyen Nhung) Site Bandcamp [dark ambient, drone, minimal electronic, noise, electroacoustic, classical, see Sound Awakener][2007]

And a list of female composers from Latin America here, thanks to Alma for providing the link.