Mini-E at Yuyintang

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P4150837.jpgI didn't get to see as much of the Mini-E showcase at YYT last night as I would have liked. I had good reasons though. First off, I got there late because I went to see Ho-Tom The Conqueror playing at Fanfare earlier on in the evening. Tom's a good friend of mine, but luckily he doesn't suck - in fact, he's really good - so I can recommend his shows with a clear conscience. Seriously, he has some great songs and last night he punctuated them with some spoken word stuff. It was really good. He was followed by 周勇 who also seemed like a really strong performer. Unfortunately, I only caught one of his songs as I wanted to head to YYT. Fortunately, you can catch them both in action at next week's New Faces Underground show at Yuyintang on Wednesday. Here's the details.

I also have to admit to bailing a little earlier than I would have normally, because I wanted to go catch a bit of Grandmaster Flash at MAO. Yeah, I know that seems a bit hypocritical given that most of what follows is an appeal for more Mini-E events, but there you have it. 

So Mini-E then. It was a modest turn out, a few regulars including the Stegosaurus? boys (did we mention they've got a CD out this weekend?) and their collaborator Xiao Bai (listen here) with a few friends of the acts, but this was a Thursday night after all. The music was great though. I got in part way through Sun Ye's set and everyone seemed to be enjoying it. You've probably realised this by now, but I'm a big fan of Sun Ye's stuff. Check out more on him here

All the acts were good in truth and hopefully this is the start of more regular Mini-E events. Before this one and the one a couple of weeks ago at 696, there hadn't been a Mini-E showcase in a long long time. There are some quality acts on the label/collective and it'd be good to see them more regularly. Michael Ohlsson, who knows more than most about these things, has written before about how the country's electronic scene has struggled to grow, especially when compared to its rock equivalent (read his thoughts here). Michael has been at the forefront of efforts to showcase local electronic talent through his Antidote events and there are some great acts out there. 

That article linked to above by Michael was written around the time he launched a talent search in collaboration with Neocha to find the country's brightest new electronic acts. It turned up some great artists, including ZLOX, who the Antidote crew put on at The Shelter a couple of months ago and who provides one of the standout tracks on the forthcoming eXpo CD. Speaking of which, several of the Mini-E acts are going to be on show next month as part of the release party for said eXpo CD together with the excellent The Band of RPG from Xi'an - make sure you check it out and while you're there, pester them to do more shows in the future.

The fact that we have a strong collective of artists based here in Shanghai is something to be celebrated and should be the foundation for regular events. I know it's not always that easy, I'm just saying I'd like to see more of them.

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Yeah the Mini-E show at 696 two weeks ago was really good. Would definitely looked forward to more of these.

BTW, I saw last time I was at 696 that Xiao He is playing there on Friday May 8th. You know if he's playing any other "unscheduled" gigs in town? 696 is a tiny bar and I assume it'll be packed solid for Xiao He.


I did the same tour but not Grandmaster Flash.

Tom is really good and I haven't seen that kind of music for ages. When I lived in Calgary there were some bars around doing nights like that ... kind of poetry/spoken word and song combos in the Beat Generation literary style. Loved it.

Mini-E was not my thing musically, especially when it went out of the ambient sounding experimental tracks and into stuff with straight dance club beats. But what Michael said is right. Technically it's easier to work on Electronic stuff than to coordinate a rock band and the places you can play/money you can make are way more. So more power to Mini-E.

Nice to meet some ppl there like the Stegosaurus? crew and Xiao Bai, also Nick from CW. There was this really cool girl there whose name I didn't get, her contacts had dried out and her eyes were shot but she didn't have a case or fluid with her and she ended up keeping them in her mouth while asking around on the off chance anyone had contact lens moisturizer on them. Ouch.

Good times.

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