Gig Recap: Pool of Light, Li Jianhong, Zafka (2019.06.14)

Shredding metal, hip-hop infused IDM, and meditative drone-based soundscapes – last Friday evening at DDC was no ordinary night. Live Beijing Music alongside Jingweir invited Siberia-born, Shenyang-based ambient artist Anton Bogdanov aka Pool of Light –  the one-man, multi-instrumentalist who utilizes an arsenal of components to form his sound including; guitars, bows, zhongruan, drums, vocal loops, and other tools to lead the listener on a pilgrimage of trance-like meditations.

And what can I say? Was the perfect way to unwind after a long week – an expulsion the thoughts that threaten to pollute our minds – a massage of one’s consciousness with the help of carefully timed (and found) loops that build and build over time, forcing you to ruminate and savor every slight change in the texture of the music. Who needs religion? 

On the opposite end of the spectrum – think the anti-christ – lies Li Jianhong – whose guitar shamanism never ceases to amaze me. With echoes of Jimi Hendrix (on a bad dose of something) he’s a master of his craft, breathing life into every distortion and sound that emerges from his ax, and having those personalities move through him. 

Kicking off the evening was left-field electronic musician Zafka, who brought a much more playful approach to his songs than I was expecting – infusing his sound with old school hip-hop samples and verses, taking every opportunity to take a sound and twist it on its head. As I’ve said before, it’s electronic music that’s not afraid to have a little anarchic fun on its way to the dancefloor.

All in all, a fine evening dedicated to tunes we don’t soak in enough and an opportunity to check out some of the scene’s most arch and distinctive artists. Cheers once again to DDC, the artists, Jingweir and the folks who came out!  

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