Gigs, dance, art

March 20th, 2009: Xiao He / Vialka


When I first saw Vialka getting ready to start their set, I thought about Schwervon! — especially with their being on tour and hopefully finding a a way to stop around here — but that didn’t last more than a few seconds. The only deep common thread is that both are great live acts, but Vialka plays harder and faster, with more of the best kind of weirdness. The drummer/singer is really impressively good, even though her voice is a bit too polished at times. Not always though, which was an ongoing thing because their set held more than a few changes and surprises. I can’t say I’m fond of their music in itself, but hearing it live makes all the difference, and I am fond of their act indeed.

Xiao He joined them for a piece or two, adding another dimension, but that paled in comparison to his own solo set. Guitar and voice with a side serving of computer samples and a deft piling of loops. I just love loops when they’re used that well. But what really won me over was his voice. Different textures, but the most throaty worked best in my opinion. The loops allowed him to bring those different sounds together and he managed to have the crowding underscore the power of it all instead of watering it down. There were some quieter moments and louder ones, sometimes in close succession, and even though there were some annoying samples at times, I loved most of the set. In fact I loved it so much I even bought one of his records, something I rarely do these days. I definitely would like to hear this guy again, and many thanks to Macario for having him play over here.


March 23, 2009 - Posted by | Music | , , ,

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