Gig Recap: Torturing Nurse, Dong Yifan, Blur Jesus (2021.12.09)

Torturing Nurse, Dong Yifan 董逸凡, Blur Jesus 不乐基斯 – SYSTEM 系统 2021.12.09

SYSTEM the new livehouse/club/art space/theater space – located on Middle Huaihai Road – has been testing the waters in how to utilize their kick-ass space over the past month and I’m all for it. Serious potential there and it’s nice to see they mix it up and try to stand out. Their newest endeavor is COOKIES – which have them setting up a space for the experimental, improvisational, and other offbeat characters of the underground scene on Thursday nights. I decide to pop in for a couple of hours last week to see what the vibe was like and I’m all for it.

The evening kicked off with my new Christmas tradition of Torturing Nurse – the OG analogue harbinger of harsh noise and audial chaos in these parts. And yeah you’re either team Torturing Nurse or you’re calling the cops on this individual who’s actively trying to destroy your circuit box whilst wreaking havoc upon your ears. I love how much more anxious and unsettling it is when he steps back and allows the silence to cut through like a blade. And props for tossing together an art installation midway through the set – a piece that I’m certain people who came in later thought was part of an exhibition. 

I was also in awe of Dong Yifan – particularly for his masterful performance on the flute and saxophone. It’s clear our man is a mercenary musician of the highest order, so to see him fall into himself this much more was truly something. Did I mention he was simultaneously throat singing and playing the flute? Definitely a cat to keep your eyes out for. Skills out of this world. 

Blur Jesus, the ever-evoking coupling of Midori and Aming, seems to be fleshing itself, even more, utilizing the pairs’ offbeat yet melodically pleasing synth-soaked, guitar looping, psych electronica to new effect. A lot of interesting ingredients at play here and while the core appeal of the act is its playful elasticity, I can see the two making a splash in clubs and venues across town in the future. 

Already at this point, I was more than convinced at the idea of COOKIES and the kernels of discovery and freedom it could provide Shanghai. And while I snuck around for a bit of Lochoi’s set as well as some more flow and fire spinning (courtesy of TinE) I had to make the journey home before midnight, telling myself I didn’t miss a thing. Boy was I wrong.

Holy molly – you crazy beautiful bastards. 

Pop into SYSTEM on Thursdays for COOKIES – free of charge by the way. Whether or not it’s your cup of tea, trust me – it’ll surprise you. 

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