By James Rivers. Photo by Bannai Roo.
Having been run of their feet hosting the marathon Panggung lapan Art Weekend one might have expected an air of fatigue nearing its conclusion. Sunday nights’ closing show however was the antithesis of this. A motley assortment of acts bannered as experimental and/or electronic brought the audience on a journey through everything from electro-pop to heavy and committed noise art.
The show kicked off with a duo, the frantic and haunting saxophone of Yong Yandsen –who we would see feature a number more times throughout the evening– melded itself into the digitally manipulated drones and found sounds of Paul Timings (NZ). To follow this, and as a refreshment of sorts, we were served the experimental pop stylings of Dae Kim and Jocelyn Stemilyn. From there the audience was thrown headfirst back into the realms of the experimental. Performed improvisationally by Kent Lee, Manjii Hwang, Shoupihou and Ian Han, the unnamed group hit with force; noisy warbling, screaming and scratching tones poured out overlaying heavy driving drums and thumping bass.
The tension in the air built by this act only compounded as the next group of performers took up their instruments. Dharma Shan’s bizarre prepared guitar, Max Riefer’s electronics, bells, gongs and freeform drumming and yet again the incredible saxophone playing of Yong Yandsen came together to provide what we think was one of the most riveting improvisational sets we’ve seen. The room seemed to buzz afterwards as Shelhiel set up his equipment and we were soon treated to a mellow assortment of structured post-dubstep electronic tracks, occasionally garnished with beautifully executed vocal performances. The remainder of the night was taken away by the experimental crew once again, Dharma Shan, Max Reifer and Yong Yandsen reappearing alongside the fresher face of Goh Lee Kwang to provide variations and further improvisation.
This showcase of musicians and artists, aptly named Electric Dreams, gave Sunday nights a new hope. Well done Findars!
Dharma Shan (prepared guitar), Yong Yandsen (saxophone) and Max Riefer (drums).