Sunday, March 12, 2017

Asian tour report

I feel like a have to write at least a bit about this trip, although it's not easy, because still my head is a bit of a mess, still I'm trying to understand what happened ; )
There were so many difficult situations, so many unexpected and uncomfortable things that made really strong influence. After all I'm glad I came back home, even not in the best health, but with (i hope) wider perception of the world and bigger understanding of myself.
So now I would like to write mostly about the music related things I experienced in Southeast Asia. 


The first show took part in Quezon city, which is a part of Manila metro. The place called Green Papaya is a nice art space, which reminded me of many European venues and I really enjoyed playing a show there. The next show was the next day organized by Jon from Ruthless collective in a bar kind of space called Today X Future, which I didn't like that much, because it was quite dark, spread and playing near the entrance/exit is always not good. Although I made quite a punky show, did something totally different, because I can't play the same stuff in the same city even the crowd was a bit different. In this gig I heard quite a few good local acts that I recommend to check, it's Caliph8, Ram Milisec 8, there's also American guy Alex Puzzle, playing on his diy modular synths. But firstly check this compilation video of the show. I'm here from '00:56

Both shows were free entrance, so there was quite a bit of a crowd, maybe around 30-40 people, which was ok for the size of places. There were also a few old timers of noise scene in the crowd and it seems that Manila has a nice little community of experimental music lovers. Must say thank you to Tengal who helped me with finding shows and other things. By the way he runs a festival WSK that you might check. 


Visited twice this country on this tour. Firstly right after Philippines. I chose not the best time to come to do shows because it was Chinese new year, so venues and promoters were not enthusiastic to do events on that period because people where out of the city. Anyway I got a gig at the space called Minut Init which is situated quite far from central Kuala Lumpur and among shopping malls, big houses, so a bit weird place. It was Monday evening, so just a few people showed up. On the bill there was me and a dancer Jessie Jing based in Hong Kong / KL I'm glad that she found out about this event and decided to join. So we made the improvisation, at one moment we were dancing together and I think it worked well, so I would be into repeating it again if there will be opportunity in the future. 

The second show in Malaysia was on the second visit, at a small town called Seri Iskandar. So, finally the small town! ; ) The art space Kapallorek was situated in the industrial and shopping area, the environment somehow reminded me Lithuania or Siberia and it was really good feeling. Overall it's good to see that in such a small town there can be art space open for new forms of sound and visual art. Together with a local artist Kamal Sabran we made solo sets and a duo. The documentation of duo is below. Again it was not the best time for the event because all students were out of town, so it was intimate thing with a discussion after the show. Big thanks goes to Fadly, one of the founders of Kapallorek who helped to make it. Also Cloud Nimbus made a really beautiful poster for this show, so maybe someone of you wanna hire him? ; )


Before the tour few people were telling that Indonesia is mind blowing.... And it was ; ) The most blowing thing was to play a show in the early morning in the field in Cirebon. This decision of the organizer Rangga was because the field was near the road where people are jogging in Sunday morning so, as he said it was the potential audience for the show. And it was ; ) There were also kids dancing on pop music right between the noise artists. Need to say it was so hot even in the early morning (8am - 10am) and you couldn't escape it, cause the trees were a bit far. Crazy ; ) There was also Belgian artist Tzii playing with his girlfriend and because of quite a bright sky they couldn't see if the buttons of the sampler were on or off, so the playing was very intuitive. Here's the video:

The other show (the first one actually in Indonesia) was held near Yogyakarta, in the village called Bantul there's a house own by Ruang Gulma collective. The show started around 4pm with my show and with 9 acts in total varying from sludge metal to guitar solo improv (yep this act called Iqbal Lubys made an impression to me). I didn't hear all the acts and I don't know if all of them played that night, because the electricity was off a few times.
The last, 3rd show in Indonesia was held in the capital city Jakarta. It was a show held in a bar, organized by Adythia, the guy who has made a movie about the Indonesian noise / experimental music. On the bill there was a few harsh noise acts and also a few more quite, more kind of electroacoustic and Max/msp based. The project called Radioage made impression, also was interesting to meet and hear Patrick Hortono, who has been studying in Den Haag, and knows a few Lithuanian artists that are studying there.
All in all Indonesia is vibrant in case of experimental / noise music, there are a lot of places to play but ready for surprises ; )


In early 2000's I was in contact with crust punk band from Singapore, forgot the name, but now when I finally came to this country / city I thought that probably all the punks are out of here because everything is so clean and looks posh and expensive. After talking with the sound artist Dennis Tan, who helped me with this show, it seems that it's really hard to be artist in Singapore, but luckily still there are someone who organize and play. Thanks to Mark from Ujikaji records that organized this show. I liked the description of the event:
"Mark Fisher's "capitalist realism" describes the situation in contemporary neoliberal societies where capitalism seems the only viable political and economic system, and we have lost the ability to imagine an alternative to it. Future Detour is a new series of performances presented by Ujikaji, where we'd like to suggest otherwise, and offer you sounds from a reclaimed future."
The show place is called Artistry  and it's where usually most of experimental artists play. It's a cafe. On the bill there's a quartet of local artists together with Dennis called Balbalab, also artist from Norway Christian Meaas Svendsen, who just came from Australian tour. His unique way of playing double bass impressed me and we are already discussing about bringing him to Baltic countries. Balbalab guys though made electroacoustic improv set with various objects with contact mic attached, also tapes and electronics. As later Dennis told that it was the first time they used this technique, usually they are more electronic, but as for the first time it was ok.
So, it was very short but pleasant stay in Singapore, but I hope I will come back there one day.


Till the last days in India I thought that maybe I will get a show in New Delhi, but in the end it seemed that hardly something like this can happen, so maybe next time... not soon ; )

In conclusion: if you're an artist -  do it, go there and do the tour, but know, you will loose money, most of the times you won't get paid although it's cheap there, you will sweat a lot, you'll probably get a diarrhea, but you will get the experience, if you still need it ; ) 

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