Writing about new bands is the fun bit. Wading through acres of PR email bluster to get to the bands is the hard part.
PR emails are a necessary evil – without them I’d have a lot more spare time in my life and would certainly have heard many fewer dreadful Evanescance sound-a-likes that hopeful/stupid PRs think I’ll some how find fascinating.
And yet I would also have missed out on a a raft of thrilling new artists. Thrilling new artists like Li Daiguo, who, on the strength of the PR blurb, ought to have been a truly hellish prospect. Just take a glance at the checklist of horrors:
- Finnish Folk/Nu-Jazz ensembles? Check.
- A focus on improvisation and human beatboxing? Check.
- Formal training in Classical music? Check.
- Collaboration with clowns, jugglers and actors? Check.
I have cut that list out and kept it as not only an example of all that’s wrong with music, but also as a reminder to ignore what’s written and get stuck in to the music. Because Li Daiguo – get this – is brilliant.
Listening to Lullaby is like watching a slow motion video of a room full of randomly gathered objects exploding, but in reverse. Slowly, the seemingly unconnected sounds – a plucked noise here, a zithering buzz there – stop pinging madly between the speakers and form one coherent and beautiful noise-mess.
Wonderfully, all of his songs are like this. Like a study in carefully-formed madness, there is a wonderful balance of precise control and ludicrous sound-spasms. A real treat.