Zoomin’ Night is D-22’s weekly experimental night, and while I would never call experimental my favorite genre ever, I can appreciate it and I love that D-22 does this — now, for free — every Tuesday. There’s Raying Temple, like I went to last week, but for the university crowd, having a space to perform in the city is important. And despite my recent increase in consumption of experimental music — some of which I’ve loved, some of which I haven’t — this is the first time I ever made the trek out to Zoomin’ Night. And I have to say, this night delivered some of the best I’ve heard.
This particular night was called “Solos x 4″, and as might be obvious, showcased four solo experimental artists. The first, who I missed, was Liu Xinyu, lead singer of Chuiwan. Next up was Simon Frank of the duo Hot & Cold, to whom I have only recently been introduced. Of course, his set sounded similar in ways to Hot & Cold, but he definitely made it his own. First of all, he set himself up so that his equipment was on stage, but he was standing in the audience area to perform with his back to everyone. It was an interesting approach, and at first I thought it was a bit shoegazery of him, but after a few tracks, when we were all feeling the groove, he started bounding around the mosh area, jumping and singing and running the mic cord around a bunch of people. It was a great performance, which is something you don’t always get with experimental music, which often involves someone hunched over their synth for forty minutes. Unfortunately, I have learned that Hot & Cold will be having their final show later this month, so get out to see them while you can! Their last show will be at D-22 on August 27.
The second soloist was Zhang Shouwang, famously of Carsick Cars. His solo experimental work, as can be expected, sounds nothing like Carsick Cars. It was definitely more melodic than Soviet Pop (the experimental side group of the rest of the original Carsick Cars), and he was also quite performative for an experimental artist. Though I wouldn’t say I could get up and dance to it, his set had a great beat and was definitely more cohesive than some of the experimental stuff I’ve heard lately.
Last up was Felicita, the only artist who usually performs solo (as far as I know). I’d “seen” him at the show at Raying Temple, but as I may have mentioned I was watching through a window, and he was sitting on his knees on the stage, crouched over his equipment for the entire set. All I saw was his back. So seeing him at D-22, where he got a table and set up his computer and everything in full view was a bit better. Still, not the most performative of the evening, even though I actually enjoyed his music quite a bit.
All in all, it was a really good night. I suggest you get out there soon!