Alex Zhang Hungtai, David Maranha & Gabriel Ferrandini
Not so very long ago Dirty Beaches arrived as a true breath of fresh air into a somewhat sluggish indie pop scene. The solo project of Canadian-Taiwanese Alex Zhang Hungtai blended Suicide-like toxic synth-rockabilly with a reverb-drenched version of the 'Twin Peaks' soundtrack. Hungtai was synonymous with wild, sultry live shows. After the album 'Stateless' he buried Dirty Beaches and moved on to new horizons, both musically and geographically.
In 2014 Hungtai found himself in Portugal, where he befriended local underground musicians David Maranha (cello) and Gabriel Ferrandini (percussion). Maranha is a tireless avant-garde musician who worked with Helena Espvall, Chris Corsano, Arnold Dreyblatt, Richard Youngs and Carla Bozulich, to name a few. Ferrandini is one of Portugal's upcoming jazz drummers and belongs to the RED Trio.
Put these three gentlemen together on a stage and you get a whirlwind of free-jazz and no-wave. Think intensely rhythmic percussion, cyclical trance by a manic saxophone and psychedelic keyboard drones. And of course, as the icing on the cake, hiccupping vocal bursts by Hungtai. The debut album 'Ancora' was released last year on Grain Of Sound, and can now be seen live for the first time in Belgium.
Qualitative homegrown avant-noise: that's Remörk. With the album 'Principium 2.1'- released on Ultra Eczema - Kris Delacourt created a monumental conceptual mind-fuck. Visual artist Vaast Colson invited Delacourt to create an interpretation of one of his works of art: a kind of graphical soundtrack on stickers. The result is a series of Casio keyboard drones of layered octaves following the pattern of these drawings - without a doubt one of the most intense experimental releases of 2016.
beeld © Pedro Gomez