Gao Jiafeng – ‘Selected Works 2013 – 2017’

Posted by on May 15, 2017


Shanghai experimental recorder Gao Jiafeng is a bit all over the place, literally and figuratively thanks to a relatively rigorous touring schedule and output over the last several years. His CD-R retrospective for the budding NYC-based Reading Group imprint is no different, with six tracks covering the same years under the title Selected Works 2013-2017 — Jiafeng and the label have even included a 2016 live set, recorded by Shanghai noise legends Torturing Nurse. That variety was important to Reading Group proprietor Derek Baron: “Feng sent me a ton of music, we ended up going through a huge body of recent work, which was as varied and uncategorized as his live sets. It was a real joy to dig through and pick out an album’s worth of material that felt representative of his totally errant, sort of merry bricoleur vibe. I find it to be a rich and baffling listen.”

The opener, “It happened in the past life!”, sounds like a troubled soul’s passage through… something. Maybe a drain pipe? The track has a surprisingly entertaining spin, but “Bricoleur” is clearly the right word for Jiafeng regardless. “蹦迪治大病” tilts down a bouncy, rainbow road of oddball synths and guitars in a way that lives up to most of the interesting Google translations I can find for the title, while “내친구푸른하늘” switches things up with a bit of Korean and a brilliant, skronky duel between horn and percussion. “日落sunset” is an elegant sort of cool down, calming and minimal, while the spare threads of track 5 — confidently titled “IV” — lead into Jiafeng’s otherworldly, alternatively bizarre and hilarious 22-minute set from Chair Club in Shanghai. Very highly recommended.

Order Selected Works via Reading Group.