44OUT Day One/44千瓦夏日艺术音乐派对: WaChi 蛙池, Hardcore Raver In Tears 白纸扇, Mii汨, Berlin Psycho Nurses 柏林护士 @BFC 2020.07.09
44KW’s ’44OUT’ party – an ambitious three-course festival that showcases 44 groups of creators of all variety – bands, producers, DJs, sound artists, engineers, graphic designers, etc. – kicked off last Saturday at the BFC overlooking The Bund. Especially, a 6th-floor office block party complete with a rooftop electronic stage, vendors, art installations, and of course some top-notch live music. And while going was very much a last-minute decision, I just couldn’t say no to checking out some of the scene’s newest trailblazers.
I arrived in time to catch the end of Miii – the psych improvisational collective headed by former Beijing ruffian Dee – and tonight rounded out by Mirror’s Aming and The Dyne’s Bai Tianke. As always with Mii汨 – it’s amazing how off the hinges they can push their sound whilst keeping within the constraints of the beat – making for some seductively organic moments of musical discovery.
It was my first time catching Dongguan’s WaChi 蛙池 – the indie rock outfit that’s been building immense amounts of hype over the past year. And it’s easy to see why – there’s a potency to their hard-hitting indie rock chops and a cathartic pull to their anthemic melodies that’s hard to deny. It strikes a great balance between its heavier rock and roll chops and its pop sensibilities that above all feel genuine.
Wuhan’s Hardcore Ravers In Tears 白纸扇 is essentially the second coming of AV Okubo – the mischievous electro-punk band heralded by Lu Yan. A streamlined, disco-filled version of that band and that ain’t a bad thing. While far from trading in the band’s deadpan synthetic kick, there’s something more ethereal (and even tender) about their demeanour as synths wash over both lyrical loopholes and more warm-hued melodies. Their mischievousness streak and party tricks remain at large, as well as their love for the genre – and the crowd loved every second of it.
The evening closed out with a riotous set from Berlin Psycho Nurses 柏林护士 – the Changsha outfit who take their love for post punk and bands such as Joy Division, Echo & The Bunnymen, and Nick Cave and breathe new deliciously deviant life into it. What I was surprised most is how charmingly rhythmic they were, with its dark melodic post punk streak only rearing its brooding head when needed. It’s lean and fun, both made with theatrical finesse and instrumental heft from each of its members – making them a band that knows how to use the live setting to their advantage.
So yeah – 44OUT day one kicked my ass. Let’s see if they can continue their streak.