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Live Review: PREMIERE: Mindy Meng Wang 王萌 and Tim Shiel announce their collaborative new EP with immersive new single

28 January 2021 | 4:30 pm | Emma Jones

Mindy Meng Wang 王萌 and Tim Shiel have joined forces for a brand new collaborative EP, out this March via Music In Exile.

Chinese/Australian avant-garde composer Mindy Meng Wang 王萌, and her Melbourne-based contemporary Tim Shiel have been hard at work creating a new, collaborative EP titled Nervous Energy 一触即发.  Set to be released via new not-for-profit label, Music in Exile, March 12th, we are thrilled to premiere the very first taste from this forthcoming project in the form of the single, 'Sleeping Tiger On The Bund 蓄势待发' — an immersive, transportive and evocative release you can get lost in again and again.

'Sleeping Tiger On The Bund 蓄势待发' is an immediately captivating single, with deep roots in electronic music as well as traditional Chinese instrumentation thanks to the inclusion of Mindy's 21-string traditional guzheng. The two-metre-long, thousands-of-years-old acoustic instrument features throughout the collaborative EP, underpinning the songs as they seamlessly weave through a multitude of sonic realms and influences including breakbeat, minimal house and even dub and pop.

Meditative vocals echo out before gentle guzheng plucking heralds in an intricate and racing beat, and as more and more is added to the fray, the shimmering and hypnotic work continues to push and bloom. Referencing Shanghai's Bund district, a location which plays host to not only ultra-modern cityscapes but protected heritage sites as well, the juxtaposition speaks to that of Mindy's creative process and the amalgamation of ancient traditions and influences in the modern world. The title of the single references "a popular Western view of China as a sleeping threat, which may at any moment awaken," according to a press release.

Mindy said of the single, “There is a special and complex feeling of power and strength in this song. It is clean and thorough, strong yet soft; decisive and delicate. It is full of a dynamic and urgent sense of time.”

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Amplifying and elevating the new single even further, today we are also debuting the official music video, directed by Tim Shiel. Paying tribute to the juxtaposition of ancient and modern, fast and slow, the clip highlights this through AI. Speaking of the clip, Tim said, "Like a lot of people, I find machine learning and AI to be equally transfixing and frightening. This video is just me dipping the toes in the machine learning water to see what it feels like. It’s far from exhaustive and it all comes from filtered through a certain aesthetic lens but nonetheless I think it's a snapshot of both the diversity and the normalcy of real urban life in China. I’ve never been to China but I’d love to go. Mindy talks to me often about the balance between the ancient beauty of China and the more modern infrastructure and faster pace of the cities. From a distance, it feels to me like a part of the world that is simultaneously very slow and very fast - so I like that this clip tries to capture that, busy moments in urban life are paused and then stretched, hinting at bigger, longer timescales."

A wholly impressive, captivating and thought-provoking release, together Mindy Meng Wang 王萌 and Tim Shiel merge multiple worlds together with exquisite skill and vision. We cannot wait to hear more.

'Sleeping Tiger On The Bund 蓄势待发' is out via Music In Exile January 29th.






Words by Emma Jones

Image: Supplied