Captured on the XR Stage at 180 Studios, Shanghai producer and visual artist 33EMYBW performs live ahead of her appearance in the A/W ’23 issue of Fact Magazine.

33EMYBW, a fixture of the Shanghai-born, now Manchester-based label SVBKVLT, always likes to begin with a concept. On her 2019 album, Arthropods, she used the titular invertebrates as a means of unpacking the ideas around organic and synthetic life, animism and the nature of the soul she first touched upon on her debut, Golem. Appearing in the upcoming A/W ’23 issue of Fact Magazine in conversation with journalist Merilyn Chang, 33 has developed her post-humanist ideas even further. “The failure of evolution is not decisive,” she asserts, “it’s hard to say if evolution is progress or regress.”

Featuring digital-analogue hybrid images from artist Furmaan Ahmed, the feature explores 33’s singular approach to sound design, her constant oscillation between the organic and the synthetic, as well as the music she has been working on over the last four years, her third album, Holes Of Sinian, which features contributions from Forrest Gander, Marina Herlop, Batu and writer oxi peng. During the shoot Fact was able to catch the artist jamming live on the XR Stage at 180 Studios, adapting elements of her current live show into a winding improvisation caught between a digital drum ritual and a club ceremony reminiscent of one of SVBKVLT’s legendary parties at the label’s now shuttered birthplace of Shelter Club, Shanghai.

Set against Ahmed’s ethereal, post-humanist imagery, 33’s performance is testament to her commitment to concept, cycling through a patchwork of motifs and melodies that shift and lock together like a Rubik’s Cube. It’s a methodology 33 applies to all of her live performances, as Chang notes, “she focuses on the continuity in the progression of music and will often design a theme or framework which she will build for club-goers to dance within.” Here, we’re given some insight into how 33EMYBW constructs these frameworks, a thrilling glimpse of the artist at her most generative.

You can find 33EMYBW on Instagram. The A/W ’23 issue of Fact Magazine is coming soon.

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