Room40’s Open Frame festival to feature unique sets by Charlemagne Palestine, William Basinski, Pan Daijing, and a newly commissioned work by Éliane Radigue

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Like the ne plus ultra of avant-garde experimental music? Trailblazing improv and powerful installation-bound sound art?? Fancy kaleidoscopic melting-pot performances by rebels with a penchant for “divinities” and new compositions by one of France’s most important electronic evangelists??? Renowned sonic adventurer Lawrence English has you covered. English’s Room 40 label has been “day one” since, well, day one; and to prove it further, he is about to present a two-day festival of formidable free artists in Sydney, Australia at the end of this month.

Open Frame will take place in Sydney at the Carriageworks multi-arts center on June 28 and 29 and packs an intensity-inspired lineup, featuring William Basinski (playing a new work), Charlemagne Palestine (his only solo piano concert in Australia), Pan Daijing (solo and part of The Speaker performance), Drew McDowall (presenting Coil’s Time Machines), and — last but not least — a newly commissioned work by French electronic pioneer Éliane Radigue (the world premiere of Occam XXIV, performed by the Australian academic, musician and graphic scorer Cat Hope!).

Tickets for this two-days-long feast for the ears and intellect can be purchased here. Meanwhile, a Radigue vimeo primer and the full lineups are below:

06.28.18 – Sydney, New South Wales, Australia – Carriageworks

• Éliane Radigue’s ‘Occam XXIV’ performed by Cat Hope (World Premiere)
• Charlemagne Palestine (Australian Exclusive)
The Speaker performed by Werner Dafeldecker, Pan Daijing & Valerio Tricoli
• Ears Have Ears DJs

06.29.18 – Sydney, New South Wales, Australia – Carriageworks

• William Basinski (performing new work)
• Pan Daijing
• Drew McDowall presents Coil’s Time Machines
• Gail Priest
• Ears Have Ears DJs

Watch: Amnesia Scanner – “AS Chaos (feat. Pan Daijing)

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Amnesia Scanner and Pan Daijing go together like heat and gasoline. The result is an unstoppable chemical fire, destroying everything it touches, confident in its domination. It spreads at speeds faster than the predicted speed, stealing our attention for longer than we would like to admit. Speedway goes up in flames and everyone smiles internally. Where’s it going next? Go get town hall. Knock it out. A primal surge takes hold of all the witnesses, no one has felt this excited in a long time. Chaos. Maybe it’ll burn down your house. Imagine being the center of all that attention. A lifetime of memories gone instantly. Isn’t that breathtaking?

Watch “AS Chaos (feat. Pan Daijing)” above via PAN.

Houndstooth announces spooky new T.S. Eliot-themed comp. featuring outside artists, including Pan Daijing, Ian William Craig, Gazelle Twin, and more

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Sadly, “more than a year ago” feels like “yesterday” when it comes to the enforced and misguided shuttering of London’s legendary fabric nightclub. But luckily, an agreement was reached to reopen the club shortly thereafter, which fortunately meant a resumption of the musical spoils that fabric and its associated record label, Houndstooth, regularly brought to the international table.

Now, people of all nationalities now have the opportunity to enjoy club nights after first getting cavity-searched by a queue of curiously insistent council members; nor are their nights haunted with nightmares about a world in which the fabric and FABRICLIVE mix series’ aren’t still being released. Back before the question of fabric’s survival was answered to the relative satisfaction of all parties, compilations to #savefabric were released. But now that our outrage/depression has been assuaged, a compilation expressing the change in the mood/time seems to be in order, no??

Well, sort of! It turns out the sky is still falling, but this time in an unambiguously good way: courtesy of a just-announced compilation sponsored by Houndstooth called In Death’s Dream Kingdom. The name was taken from The Hollow Men, a poem by T.S. Eliot; and for this particular album, 25 different artists — many of whom had no formal affiliation with fabric or Houndstooth — were asked to consider the phrase or the entirety of the poem as they summoned their brand new tracks. Music from Pan Daijing, Gazelle Twin, Kangding Ray, and Roly Porter is thus unified by thematic darkness and dystopia. The resulting 25 tracks are currently being released one by one on Houndtooth’s Bandcamp — together with “further online texts” and some pretty damn T.S. Eliot-appropriate artwork by Jazz Szu-Ying Chen — but you can also pre-order “Limited Edition Fine Art Print & Music Files (mp3 or WAV)” bundle here, or the straight-up “Full 25 track bundle (also mp3 or WAV)” here, ahead of their January 26 street dates.

As you might well surmise from the title, there’s really nothing suuuper “danceable” about it…but it turns out, that’s pretty alright! We’ll take it! Or, more specifically: we’ll stream the tracks as they’re released down below and anxiously wait until January 26 for our own full descent into death’s spooky-ass nightmare lab.

In Death’s Dream Kingdom by Various Artists

In Death’s Dream Kingdom tracklisting:

01. Otto Lindholm – Cain
02. Pan Daijing – The Island Within
03. Lanark Artefax – Styx
04. Petit Singe – Komm Wieder Mit
05. Peder Mannerfelt – Post Sense Perspective
06. Tomoko Sauvage – In Some Brighter Sphere
07. Pye Corner Audio – Box In A Box
08. Sophia Loizou – Irregular Territories
09. Abul Mogard – Trembling With Tenderness
10. Par Grindvik – Speaking Their Minds
11. Koenraad Ecker – Rat’s Coat
12. Roly Porter – Without Form
13. Hodge – Sunlight On A Broken Column
14. Gazelle Twin – The Dream Ends
15. Shapednoise – Ghostly Metafiction
16. ASC – Tessellate
17. Batu – Zoo Hypothesis
18. We Will Fail – Carbon Trail
19. Peter Van Hoesen – 98 Lines
20. Spatial – Haunted Dance Hall
21. Yves De Mey – Solemn But Fading
22. Mindspan – Accept Things As They Are
23. Kangding Ray – Glacier
24. ZOV ZOV – Post Six
25. Ian William Craig – An End Of Rooms

Europe’s SHAPE platform shares 2018 lineup, featuring Pan Daijing, Nkisi, Tomoko Sauvage, and practically all of your non-problematic faves!

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Dear Europe: I hope you’re ready for a 2018 to end all 2018s, because the SHAPE platform — that’s “Sound, Heterogeneous Art and Performance in Europe” — just announced their 2018 list of artists, and it turns out that they’re bringing all your favorite musicians and sound artists to festivals across the continent (and beyond!) throughout the year. Better start gassing up the Volkswagen!

The SHAPE platform, for all you sorry non-SHAPERS out there, centers “audiovisual projects and sound artists alongside musical acts that range from post-grime and techno to free improvisation and acousmatic music” in collaboration with teams from 16 festivals (and then they pass the savings on to you!!!) and various media partners like Tiny Mix Tapes (that’s us!!!), The Wire, NTS, The Quietus, and more. Originally slated to run for only three years, SHAPE is back until 2021 with support from the European Union’s Creative Europe Programme, which just proves why they’ve always been my #1 favorite EU programme.

But let’s get to that sticky, juicy lineup, huh?! Next year, SHAPE will be bringing you: Pan Daijing, Nkisi, Tomoko Sauvage, Malibu, JASSS, Yamaneko, Bonaventure, and exactly 41 others (full list on SHAPE’s website here) at events all around this big, dying marble we call a globe. It all kicks off January 26 at Berlin’s CTM Festival, featuring “artistic presentations and public talks” from acts including JASSS, Nene H, and NAKED; so be sure to come thru.

Of course, if you’re hankerin’ to keep up-2-d@te on SHAPE’s goings-on throughout the year — or otherwise desire to offer a nuanced critique of their web design — stick close to this link right here, and we’ll make all your dreams happen. In any case, *happy holidays, Europe* — and a SHAPELY New Year!

Music Review: Pan Daijing – Lack 惊蛰

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Pan Daijing

Lack 惊蛰

[PAN; 2017]

Rating: 4/5

The culture of noise music is a strangely static entity considering the ambiguity of what noise truly means. Often represented in blacks and whites, either violent obliteration or soothing ambience, the concept of an overpowering and all-absorbing noise ignores how sound actually slithers into our perception of the surrounding world. Silence can be deafening, and as immersive as it can be to drown oneself in a vat of shrieking frequencies and tonal dysphoria, it’s these exact types of single-rule environments that allow one to settle in, to become comfortable amidst their chosen position.

Lack 惊蛰 does not allow for this sort of complacency. Constantly tearing itself between delicacy and dissonance, the album presents a new set of tools with each passing track, re-mutating itself again and again as we pursue it in hopes of finding something resembling a pattern. Pan Daijing’s work up until now has always carried this sense of transience, freely drifting between formless performances and tense club production, and Lack 惊蛰 manages to unify this volatile sense of possibility into a frame that makes sense, even as it seems to decompose right before us. Its sounds are sparsely chosen, sometimes complementing each other, sometimes contradicting themselves, and always leaving us in a middle area between form and void.

Lack by Pan Daijing

Daijing has described Lack 惊蛰 as an “opera piece,” and its loose procession of corridors and shapes certainly allows one to imprint whatever narrative they might like as the album continues to unfold. The panging strings of opener “Phenomenon” create a sickly atmosphere, almost inhuman were it not for the ghostly vocals circling over everything; but before long, a digital signal enters the picture, twisting about like a life form emerging from within a crater. “A Loving Tongue” multiplies the electronic tones, letting them bounce against one another sensually as brief, dark pulses of noise appear and recede; the piece is less a composition and more a textural shade, and, as with the rest of Lack 惊蛰, its nature feels excitingly resistant to categorization, elegant and hypnotizing yet deeply unsettling in its porousness.

Oftentimes, Pan Daijing’s sonic ethos throughout Lack 惊蛰 is atomistic in nature, uncovering the logic of her music by constantly allowing it to tumble forward, breaking it down to its barest pieces and understanding the relationship between her sounds and empty spaces between them. Like the general theory of atomism, Daijing’s perspective is one of reduction, paying close attention to the microscopic (or even invisible) elements that constitute sound and allowing them to stand for themselves rather than as pieces of a larger, more pleasing whole that we might be more accustomed to. This minimal style comes through prominently in pieces like “Practice of Hygiene,” which commences with an ASMR-like recital of words before delving into an extended juxtaposition between what sounds like plastic being slowly rubbed, a single haunted piano note, and Daijing’s clenched, painfully constricted exhales. Each sound swerves about unpredictably, as free-willed as particles twisting through a vast nothingness, powerful and intricate in their brutal simplicity.

It’s works like Lack 惊蛰 that redraw the lines of what noise can be and that remind us of how quickly we tend to create labels, even for our most supposedly confrontational forms. Pan Daijing goes as far as to include a nod to her more tech-heavy side with the throbbing bass rhythms of “Act of The Empress,” but even this track undercuts the club for something much more horrified and in-between. The framework of Lack 惊蛰 is stark, its various pieces all seeming to point against one another, leaving us to stand in the middle of a disparate array of figures all gazing at us as if we were uninvited. It’s these exact environments that allow us to truly discover something new, to leave our preconceived notions of fear and release behind for something that cuts on an even deeper level.

Pan Daijing exposes her mental depths on debut album Lack 惊蛰, out on PAN

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Exercise is frequently cited as a temporary but reliable mend for what mentally ails you, and even though Pan Daijing has previously commented on her positivity-driven desire to stay active through yoga and boxing, what happens when a sparring blow to the pancreas isn’t quite enough to reach neural stabilization?

The China-born musician makes no bones about using music (especially noise) as an additional means of catharsis and resolution. Her recent A Satin Sight EP was composed in part while she was enduring an especially tough time living in Shanghai, and the tracks that resulted might be said to represent an aural therapy session, which could potentially be re-utilized by listeners in a similar manner — thus helping them forgo the need for cathartic sidewalk-driving while playing GTA V.

And, in another possible effort to reduce the need to compulsively exact sadistic video game mayhem in order to control one’s emotions: Pan Daijing has just announced Lack 惊蛰, her debut LP, out on PAN July 28. The album came about after two years of composing, recording, and editing field recordings and improvisational live performances, and the process as a whole is being described by PAN as “intuitive and raw” for the now loosely Berlin-based artist. One might reasonably argue that she took stream of consciousness to the musical realm. Daijing elaborates:

When I was finalising this album, they didn’t feel like tracks to me anymore, but more like a psychoanalytical process. I saw myself being this absurd, mad person ‘acting’ out the sounds… It’s rather physical, and became like a mindgame. All things came out naturally as part of me.

For continued therapy, head over to PAN’s SoundCloud to listen to the track, “Plate of Order,” head here to pre-order, and check out the cover art and full-album tracklisting down below — after re-experiencing the excellent, shimmering cut that Daijing co-contributed to this year’s resplendent Mono No Aware collection.

V/A – mono no aware (PAN 77) by PAN

Lack 惊蛰 tracklisting:

01. Phenomenon
02. A Loving Tongue
03. Practice of Hygiene
04. Plate of Order
05. Act of The Empress
06. Come to Sit, Come to Refuse, Come to Surround
07. Eat
08. The Nerve Meter
09. A Situation of Meat
10. Lucid Morto