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Wetware Douban Music Festival

  • Tango 79 He Ping Li Xi Jie Beijing, Beijing Shi China (map)

Douban Music Week Official Site:

In Fall 2016, D-Force, Douban’s record label, organized an event for DOC and Duck Fight Goose called ‘The Limbic Man’, our first attempt to blend music, visual arts and technology into a multi-faceted presentation. Its warm reception in both Beijing and Shanghai was a major boost for us. We hoped to develop the concept further, and over the last 9 months we have put together Wetware, a 4 day event at Tango & School Bar in Beijing, featuring progressive, contemporary music styles, visual arts, talks, workshops and technology.

After deciding the venue and time, the next step was to choose the artists to perform. For this task we invited Gaz Williams, manager of the recently closed Shelter in Shanghai and boss of record label SVBKVLT. Gaz has selected the majority of the electronic acts playing at the event and his selections have helped broaden and develop the concept of Wetware. As well as Gaz, Ni Bing of Drum Rider Records, indie promoter Abe Deyo and Douban’s own D-Force have rounded out the line up, and the result was way beyond our initial expectations. We hope you agree, it’s a pretty exciting line up.

Wetware’s main stage (located on the 3rd floor of Tango) is its spiritual core. The artists playing there, who come from different countries and backgrounds, are all innovative leaders in their fields. Each of them will present a unique audio/visual experience. We have indie rock pioneers like Low and Cass McCombs, as well as Stephen O’Malley, founder of drone metal group SunnO))) and modular synth pioneer Alessandro Cortini. Actress and Dopplereffekt will both perform live supporting their new album releases, Kode9 with be performing live for the first time in China with visual/video artist Lawrence Lek, Howie Lee will premiere his new live set with Thoiid, Duck Fight Goose will perform a newly updated version of the Limbic Man show, as well as first China shows from Andy Stott, Tim Hecker, Laurel Halo and more.

Wetware’s second stage (1st floor of Tango) pushes forward even further. Multimedia artists Kim Laughton and Jonathan Zawada will turn the stage into a ever-flowing, ever-changing digital landscape, a world which will develop and evolve throughout the festival. Performing in this digital environment will be legendary producer Nightmares on Wax, footwork originator RP Boo and Teklife member DJ Earl, PC Music’s A.G. Cook and Danny L Harle, a live set from Palmistry and Faded Ghost (aka ChaCha) will release her latest album and perform it live for the first time, as well as a few more special guests and some of the best electronic artists and DJs from around China. This stage will also host the festival after parties, with Friday night hosted by Beijing’s Do Hits and Saturday night hosted by Shanghai’s SVBKVLT.

Wetware’s third stage (at School Bar) is an extension of the ‘Outside the Billboard’ spirit of Douban Artists. On one side, we are expanding the horizon of indie music in China: Diel Guik, whose works are rooted in the traditional music and culture of the Miao people; Liujiafan, a young band that sings in the old dialect of Teochew; and Wong Hin Yan, a singer-songwriter with a social focus on local life and thoughts in Hong Kong. On the other side, we are extending our discussion of synthesizers in another way with this stage: .one and Dateline from Sweden and Mark Verbos from the US will expand our conception of electronic music.

Some of the names on this list might sound unfamiliar to you, but delve in deep and we believe you will find something quite special. We have uploaded bios and sounds from all of the participating artists on the Wetware site, which is now online and waiting for you to explore. There will be more discussions and online events around Wetware, more topics to dig deeper into, and a guide to the events in the following weeks. Check out our website for full info on Wetware music week, and follow our WeChat or Weibo for more updates!