Every couple months I need my Old What? fix. There’s nothing like being stuck in a eighteen square meter dive bar in the on the side of the dead zone that is the Forbidden City, and having no other choice than to take the music on at face value. It’s intimate in ways that no other venue comes close to (and a surefire way to get smashed). This particular evening saw the convergence of some of Beijing’s regulars, albeit in a different format. Electronic artist Charm grabbed hold of his drums sticks for a free jazz set with well-known producer Soulspeak, who was testing out his guitar chops. Meanwhile, Alpine Decline brought back out the modular synth for a ambient drone-filled set that got me sitting cross-legged like a bewildered child. Resident electronica artist thruoutin, who’s always testing the boundaries of sound, joined by none other than his visiting sister, Michelle Rose Seippel, a fellow audio/visual artist. And finally, the evening closed with a rambunctious post punk outing with one of the year’s best new acts, Lonely Leary. Always a good sign when your student is passed out cold on the bar. Good tunes, good people, good vibes – just what Old What? provides.
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