Shanghai Avant-Garde Festival Brings Leading Lights of Noise Music to Lofas

By Bryan Grogan, December 24, 2019

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Lofas have put together a stellar round-up of noise artists, avant garde musicians, sound artists and more for its Shanghai Avant-Garde Festival on December 27, and tickets for that are now available on thMart

Bringing together some of the leading lights in noise music and sound experimentation, such as Torturing Nurse, Li Jianhong, Mii and more, Shanghai Avant-Garde Festival promises to be a feast of sonic exploration for fans. 

Torturing Nurse (aka Junky) is iconic in underground Chinese music. His live shows are legendary for their harsh, unpredictable nature, while the man behind the mask is one of the most prolific musicians in Shanghai, knocking out over 400 releases since Torturing Nurse started releasing music back in 2004. 

Praised as “the best noise musician in China” by Polish composer Zbigniew Karkowski, Li Jianhong is another artist who has gained legendary status in the experimental rock scene. Mii is fronted by Dee and A Ming (Liang Qiming), both of whom will also be on hand to play solo sets. 

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Image courtesy of promoter

Other performers at the day-festival include Wang Ziheng, Zhu Songjie, Li Ping, Raying Psychedelic Coalition, Zhang Zhongshu, Li Yangyang, Yang Xiu, Vavabond, Ankar Arken, Acid and Le Crabe Et Le Mecano. 

We spoke to Li Jianhong, Dee and Li Yangyang (Azoik) ahead of the show. 

Why does avant garde music mean to you?
Li Yangyang: It makes me think. Now there’re too many things designed for entertainment, sometimes we need to reflect. I’m an optimistic person and I love to have fun, but there has to be something contrary to see each side of life and to keep balance.

How do you approach songwriting, do you need to be in a certain mindspace to make it happen?
Li Jianhong:
I've always had a passion for improvised performance, both continuous performances and those based on a whim. If it's for our band, VagusNerve, we will have a structure and then improvise within that.

I think China’s underground has always had a good appetite for noise music, does it feel like people here still have the same eagerness for this kind of music?
Li Jianhong:
There is more of an audience than there was 20 years ago. People have a more natural and relaxed understanding and acceptance of noise and improvised music. Some audiences have their own way to distinguish and think about the unconventional music they have heard. It’s a good thing. They are forming the aesthetic idea on their own.

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Image courtesy of promoter

How much consideration do you have for the audience?
Li Yangyang: As a Capricorn, I consider the practical part. I produce music for movies and videos, so I kind of see what the mainstream wants. Apart from appetite, what is good is always good, and I aim to make that happen. When I perform live, it’s always based on the flow of my emotions with highly concentrated improvisation. I love to see if the audience afterwards is crying or thinking. No words to explain it; that’s how I enjoy art.

What influences your sound?
Dee: In the past five years, I have spent more time with nature. At the same time, most of my inspiration comes from invisible nature. For example, I will make the idea of endless peaks that are seen as waveforms, and then try to play it; or listen to the roar of the wind and waves of an ultra-low Hertz cliff. 

To book your tickets to attend the Shanghai Avant-Garde Festival, visit the e-ticket site. You can also purchase tickets easily from your phone by scanning the QR code below:

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Dec 27, 8pm; RMB150 presale, RMB200 door. Lofas. See event listing. Tickets

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