Live Wire: Dub and dubber

By Alita Rickards  /  Contributing reporter

Fri, Jan 25, 2013 - Page 11

For real life experiments with sound and vision check out multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter Wouter “Wally” De Backer — better known by his stage name Gotye — on Monday at Neo Studio. The Belgian-Australian rocketed to fame with Somebody That I Used to Know, a single off of his most recent album Making Mirrors, which was recently nominated for Best International Male at the 2013 Brit Awards.

His voice, often compared to Sting and Peter Gabriel, is only one of the reasons he’s become so popular. The other is his artistic sensibility that has led to the creation of the video for the song: it is the 15th most viewed video of all time, and the number four most liked on YouTube. Although he achieved some success and recognition with two previous releases, Boardface in 2003 and Like Drawing Blood in 2006, it was the viral nature of the single and it’s artistic paint-by-numbers video that gained him international recognition.

■ Gotye, Monday at 8pm (doors open at 7:30pm) at NeoStudio, 5F, 22 Songshou Rd, Taipei (台北市松壽路22號5樓). Tickets are NT$1,600, NT$1,800 at the door.

Instrumental experimental band Blood Orange will play a live show at Underworld tonight for the first time in over two years, since their guitar player Anthony Medeiros left the band to spend more time with his family.

The remaining duo, consisting of drummer Jubba Van Wyk and bassist Kader Bellahouel, have been rehearsing together every week since then, and have added sounds and samples with a laptop, with Van Wyk experimenting on Ableton.

“We’re trying to surprise the audience with some mad tempo and unexpected changes touching different kinds of music like hardcore, jazz, reggae, dub and noise,” said Kader Bellahouel. “We love what we’re doing 120 percent, and sometimes we’re trying to push our limits just for the fun!”

They didn’t originally intend to remain a duo: “Of course, we tried different people, guitar, piano, DJ, about 10 — then we decided to stop,” said Bellahouel. “But it didn’t work out. With Jub, we think that people so far don’t understand our music [or] the way we play, or perhaps, they don’t know what to play!”

“We’re still open to try anyone,” Van Wyk said. “But we’ve found a level of strength in performing together that kind of scares away new comers.”

■ Tomorrow with Posh Inverse, 9pm at Underworld (地下社會), B1, 45 Shida Rd, Taipei City (台北市師大路45號B1). Admission is NT$300 and includes one drink.

The experimental gets even more mental from tomorrow with the first series of events from new production crew Taiwan Boredom, culminating in a mini-festival Sunday at Pipe Live House. Organizer Allen Liu (劉培倫), better known as @llenblow from the group Hanging in the Air, got the idea for the name from Japanese friends who have a company called Tokyo Boredom. Liu decided to bring over Japanese bands to “introduce the live dub scene to Taiwan.”

One of his favorite acts, Arakajime Kimerareta Koibito Tachi e (For Pre-determined Lovers), a project by Shouji Ikenaga, agreed to come after playing a show with Hanging in the Air in Tokyo last spring.

The group (known to their fans as Arakoi) have a chaotic, noisy and fun sound, blending and playing with styles that range from dub to post rock with added weirdness and creativity via instruments such as the Theremin, melodica and a process that involves looping, musical jump cuts, and collage.

“I would say it is cinematic instrumental dub music,” Ikenaga said.

The Theremin, an instrument that was used to create horror movie scores in the 1950s, adds a visual element because its two antennas change the volume and frequency depending on the position of the player’s hands. Add live drums, bass and an energetic and frenetic live performance, and you have a band that creates a sound that is truly original.

■ Arakoi, Kirihito, and Groundcover tomorrow from 6pm to 10pm at Sound Live House (迴響音樂藝文展演空間), B1-1, 429, Henan Rd Sec 2, Greater Taichung (台中市河南路二段429號B1-1). Admission is NT$500, NT$400 in advance.

VJ team Endospace will provide additional visuals on Sunday at the Taiwan Boredom Volume 1 party. The event kicks off at 4pm with Taiwanese stoner metal band Sleaze, followed by Japanese progressive rock band Groundcover, which incorporates noise and dub effects to create their sound.

Taiwanese live dub group Otaku 3, Japanese progressive psychedelic rock duo Kirihito, and pop-punk alternative group Touming Magazine (透明雜誌) play next, with headliners Arakoi finishing the night at around 10pm. Kirihito were featured in We Don’t Care About Music Anyway, a French-produced documentary about experimental music artists from Japan. The group uses drums, drum pads, vocals, guitar and a foot-synthesizer, even though there are only two members.

Tomorrow, @llenblow will take the three visiting bands to his hometown of Taichung to play a show at Sound, returning on Sunday to join the Taiwanese bands at Pipe.

“I want a real show, I want people to say ‘Oh yeah, that’s cool!” @llenblow said.

■ Taiwan Boredom Vol 1 with Arakoi, Kirihito, Groundcover, Touming Magazine, Otaku 3 and Sleaze from 4pm to 10pm Sunday at Pipe Live House, 1 Siyuan St, Taipei City (台北市思源街1號). Admission is NT$1,000, NT$700 in advance.