A faster-than-light, spatio-temporal train ride through Chinese history, featuring cameos from some essential figures of China’s electronic music scene, including 33EMYBW, Gooooose, who’s track ‘TAE’ provides the score, Tianzhuo Chen, Hyph11E, Osheyack, Scintii, Tzusing and many more.
Back at the start of the year audiovisual artist Weirdcore joined forces with 33EMYBW and Gooooose, two of Shanghai-based label SVBKVLT’s mainstay producers and DJs, for ORIENT FLUX, an expansive AV exhibition that saw Weirdcore constructing an “airport of the future” in the T-10 art and culture space in Beijing’s “avant-garde luxury department store” SKP-S. Taking cues from ’70s and ’80s science-fiction, the futuristic spaceport provided an immersive lens through which to view the artist’s psychedelic take on China’s past, present and future. Central to Weirdcore’s spatio-temporal exploration was ‘Trans-Aeon Express’, an installation designed to simulate the experience of riding in a faster-than-light train, one which moves through time, as opposed to space. Starting in the ancient past, Weirdcore pushes through Chinese history, projecting a dizzying zoetrope of the people and places you might catch sight of while looking out of the window of the Trans-Aeon Express.
In a nod to his musical collaborators, as well as the ongoing inspiration the artist draws from China’s experimental electronic music scene, Weirdcore has adapted the piece to include key figures from the wider scene as a love letter to the community surrounding SVBKVLT and the label’s contemporaries. Trans-Aeon Express features cameos from some essential artists, DJs and producers, including 33EMYBW, Fact Resident Tianzhuo Chen, Gooooose, Hyph11E, Ikke, Kilo Vee, noctilucents, Osheyack, Scintii, Swimful, Tzusing and many more collaborators, hailing from Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. “The way the video looks is technically inspired by the artist Eric Dyer’s work with the forgotten art of the zoetrope,” explains Weirdcore. “To me it looked like an abstract view from a train window. The zoetrope was ideal for this, but I wanted to make it evolve over time, so replicated it in a digital way, rather than with a paper cut out.”
Weirdcore continues: “I was also keen to create my own take on one of my favourite cartoons as a kid growing up in France, Il Était Une Fois… l’Homme, which definitely has the best cartoon intro ever. 33EMYBW and Gooooose did all the sounds for the whole exhibition and Gooooose did the sound for Trans-Aeon Express. My brief was for him to make his take on Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europe Express, but faster and with time distortions. I think he nailed it, rhythmically the result really reminds me of Philip Glass’s score for Powaqqatsi, which is perfect as that score was for a film all about life in transformation.” This iteration of Trans-Aeon Express features an edit of Gooooose’s track ‘TAE’, which will be included on a split album of the same name from Gooooose and 33EMYBW. Featuring tracks taken from the exhibition, tracks made from sound design elements from the exhibition, as well as tracks inspired by the exhibition, the album will be released on SVBKVLT towards the end of the year.
“I actually made three different versions of the track for Trans-Aeon Express,” explains Gooooose. “The first version is made for the exhibition, which I then exported a different part of for the final track, to then play them simultaneously from different speakers on-site. The original idea is, when all the stems are aligned, they will form the final track, but if they are not aligned, they still form harmonically interesting sonic experiences. Different sets of chords will be formed depending on the relative latency of each of the stems.” He continues: “some of the speakers on-site played the same stems with slight differences in frequency, so when audience stood at different locations they heard subtle wobble movements. It’s all simple sonic illusions, but for me this concept best fit the visuals. The video version is pushed slightly harder than the album version, to fit those additional actors from the local scene. The whole process of making the track felt very intuitive.”
Trans-Aeon Express, a split album from 33EMYBW and Gooooose, will be released via SVBKVLT later this year. For more information about Weirdcore and his work you can follow him on Instagram and visit his website.
Trans-Aeon Express Credits:
DOP – D.J. Furth
Video editing – Kynan Puru-Watt
Special thanks – SKP-S Beijing and Kennedy London
Watch next: LUX – Es Devlin – ‘BLUESKYWHITE’