Gig Recap: Tation, Psoralen, Li Zenghui (2024.3.15)

Tation 天声, Psoralen 补骨脂, Li Zenghui 李增辉 at Yuyintang Park 育音堂音乐公园 2024.3.13

Hard-edged rock and roll not afraid to go off into the deep end – last Friday at Yuyintang Park has a gut punch of a show featuring an act I’ve been dying to catch for some time (天声), an act that I was coming into blind to (补骨脂), and a rabble rouser of the highest caliber (李增辉). So yeah, definitely a gig that’ll stick with me for some time.

Qinghai-based instrumental rock troupe Tation, known for their exploratory sound that blends in Chinese traditional folk, Tibetan, and Mongolian music and experimental music into the bedrock of post rock doesn’t exactly play by the rules. Grandiose yet delicate at once, firm yet limber, Tation are apt at maneuvering across the genre’s many facets, weaving in samples and a political edge. And when madman, saxophonist and glassware fashion icon Li Zenghui joined in, I knew I was seeing something special. 

Speaking of Li Zenghui – the madman got the stage to himself afterwards, serenading audiences with a bewildering, often hilarious, sometimes menacing set anchored by the performers’s cock-eyed presence, glitch-filled backing tracks, and of course his always emotive and feral saxophone. He might just be my spirit animal. 

Lanzhou rock outfit Psoralen was a bucket of cold water to the face in the best possible way. A cold, dark, and alluring blend of industrial, experimental and classic rock that was as chaotic as it was mesmerizing – the band recalled acts like 6501 – a reminder that of the grit that comes with bands in the west. Just love the analog touch to their sound – it felt very real and very dangerous – with even a chain and tin bucket becoming a prominent component of their sound. 

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