NIGHTLIFE in Shanghai will heat up in the coming weekends, with the 4-piece English band Wild Beasts and acclaimed UK producer Lone lined up.
Wild Beasts has been critically acclaimed since the its launch. A departure from the mainstream, the quartet bundles an eclectic collection of influences into a symphony that speaks to the idiosyncrasies of humanity.
Now music lovers in Shanghai will get a chance to taste the poetic strangeness of one of Britain’s most vital and innovative bands tomorrow night at QSW Culture Center.
Growing up together in the rural town of Kendal, northern England, Wild Beasts members have been friends since childhood. The migration from their hometown to Leeds in 2005 and the addition of fellow Kendal man Tom Fleming on bass lent the band a sense of adventure.
“I thought it was completely mad, but I could see they were completely making their own world, and that was something I wanted to be a part of,” Fleming says.
A Domino Records deal was struck in 2007 and since then, the group has released four albums. In February 2014, they presented “Present Tense,” a new direction that takes cues from signature moments of the 1980s and 1990s, with a retooling of classic electronic sounds.
On the same night in Shanghai, acclaimed UK producer Lone, whose real name is Matt Cutler, is coming to present a visually magic show, as part of Split Works’ “Wooozy Offline” electronic series, which will feature DJ and visual creative star Konx-om-Pax, with a live performance of sights and sounds that are beautiful and unique.
The hyper-chromatic music of Cutler marks him out as a true impressionist. As Lone, he drizzles brightly colored melodies.
In “Reality Testing,” Cutler’s fifth Lone album released in June, he has combined rhythms that ebb and flow, shifting from propulsive club constructions to beatific coastal hip-hop.
“I was listening to a lot of Detroit techno and old Chicago house that had the same grain and dirtiness to it as a lot of the hip-hop I was listening to,” says Cutler of the genesis for “Reality Testing.”
“That was the real spark. I wanted to make an album that had both hip-hop and house beats, but that weren’t completely different from each other, that shared the same sort of vibe,” adds Cutler, who has produced for Azealia Banks, and remixed for the likes of Radiohead and others.
To further celebrate the mood of Lone’s tracks, famed album designer Konx-om-Pax began creating stunning live visuals to complement Lone’s sonic sketches. In May 2014, London crowds saw the debut of their collaborative live audio and visual show, which has since toured worldwide, including stops in Russia and the US.
The performance wave in Shanghai will last through next weekend, with American singer-songwriter Bill Callahan's concert at the Shanghai Symphony Hall. The artist, previously known as Smog, will come to China as the third artist for the monthly series “Contemporale.”
Callahan is known for setting poetic lyrics against a backdrop of simple yet profound melodies, sparking emotions in his listeners. The artist will be accompanied by fellow guitarist Matt Kinsey and a small ensemble of strings and flute for a select number of songs.
Callahan’s singing is characterized by his striking baritone voice. Melodically and lyrically he tends to eschew the verse-chorus approach favored by many contemporary songwriters, preferring instead a more free-form approach that relies less on melodic and lyrical repetition. His generally dispassionate delivery of lyrics and dark irony often evoke complex emotional and lyrical twists and turns.
From 1993 to 2000, he recorded two albums with the influential producer Jim O’Rourke and Tortoise’s John McEntire, and collaborated with Neil Hagerty. After this, Callahan returned to a slightly simpler recording style.