9999

Earsnail is an electronic music duo comprised of musicians Wang Xu and Yan Shuai. Combining their individual approaches to music, the duo is unconstrained by boundaries of genre. Their experimental style reimagines the possibilities of sound and how music can be presented. Under FakeMusicMedia, the two have recently released their debut album, 9999, and locked in tour dates that takes the duo across China. We grabbed drinks with the duo during the Shanghai stop of their tour to learn about their recent musical developments and what we can expect from them in the future.


耳蜗是北京非刻文化旗下的电子乐团,由音乐人王旭和阎帅组成。二人对音乐及乐器的把控有着不同寻常的理解及释放,没有风格的界定及预想,他们发掘着新的方式,试图用不同于以往表达的途径和声音构建一些新的可能。借着新专辑《9999》的发布,耳蜗的全国巡演来到了上海站,我们就在一个雨夜,跟耳蜗一起喝着啤酒聊了聊他们以及他们正在做的事。

Having played in bands when they were younger, Wang Xu and Yan Shi have both been interested in creating music even prior to Earsnail. In 2013, the two would meet up and experiment with the production equipment they each had on hand. These early days of experimentation became the foundation for Earsnail. Now, the two’s production style have matured immensely since those early days, with each track filled with richly complex elements. Yan Shi shares that one of his favorite samples is from a field recording of a random saxophonist they met at the park – even though the original recorded sound wasn’t interesting, they were able to take segments of it and integrate it perfectly into a track.


王旭和阎帅早年都身处各自的乐队,13年两人决定把手头上的电子设备攒在一起,开始创作电子音乐。耳蜗的音乐里包含着丰富的元素,阎帅跟我们分享了他们录取的公园里有人在练习吹萨克斯的声音。录音本身也许极不协调,却被很巧妙的融入他们的作品中。

The new album, 9999, is a reference to Beijing’s nickname of “The Four Nine City,” a fitting name considering that the duo sees the album as a compilation of their memories from living in Beijing. For Wang Xu, the most meaningful track on the entire album is “City Bird.” “The song has to do with the place where I called home,” he shares. “There was a tree in front of my house, and during that time, Beijing’s air quality was particularly bad. A few birds made their nest there, and I would observe these birds as they grew and hatched babies. Watching them survive in this kind of environment gave me a lot of different ideas. It made me feel like our lives were not too different from the lives of these birds.” Similarly, their “Ant” track builds on the theme of living in urban environments. The song is a statement about the daily lives of the working class, likening them to a colony ants, continuously working to survive without a moment of respite.


《9999》意为四九之城,这张专辑也记录了两位创作者在北京的生活状态,让王旭印象最深刻的是《城市小鸟》,“这跟我住的地方有关,我们家前边有一棵树,北京那段时间的空气特别不好,有几只鸟在那棵树上筑巢,那两只鸟越来越大,后来还生了小鸟,它们拥有这样的一个小窝在这个城市里生存着,我每天看着他们的状态,有一些想法就记录下来了,觉得我们其实跟它们差不多。”而《蚂蚁》也正是反映了生活在北京的全国各地的人们的一种共同的生活状态,在这个偌大的城市里,我们也许像蚂蚁一样微不足道,却始终推动着大齿轮的转动,一刻不得松懈。

Listen to select tracks from the new album below:

Earsnail – Ants

Earsnail – City Bird

Earsnail – Post Soho City


点击下方链接试听新专辑的精选曲目:

耳蜗 – 蚂蚁

耳蜗 – 城市小鸟

耳蜗 – 后现代城

The two share a similar mixed feeling around the current state of electronic music in China. They’re both eager to see more new faces and hear new sounds but also feel a sense of apprehension. “I feel like it’s good that more and more people are interested in this kind of music, and more are willing to try and produce it,” Wang Xu comments. “But at the same time, I feel like people are very impatient in this kind of environment, whenever they start anything they’ll first think about whether or not their work will succeed or be recognized by others.”


对目前的电子音乐创作环境,他们有担忧也有期待:“我觉得有一点特别好的是,越来越多的人对电子乐感兴趣,也尝试去创作。 只是其实当下的创作环境还是挺浮躁的,大家在做一件事的时候可能会先去想我的作品会不会成功,会不会被认可。”

As their tour nears the end, Earsnail has toured through a number of different cities across China. The duo has been documenting every city along the way. “Of course, every city is different,” Wang comments, expressing an eagerness to revisit certain cities on their tour. “I’m curious about the changes that these different cities have undergone over the years. The plan is to snap some photos and also keep my ears open to try and find interesting sounds to sample in these different cities.” Concluding their China tour, Earsnail will be stopping by Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai. Click here to purchase tickets.


巡演过程中,耳蜗去往全国很多城市,熟悉或不熟悉的都有,他们也期待纪录下更多内容。“每个城市都特别不一样,最大的好奇点是这些城市相对于几年前发生的变化。我们会在这些城市采集一些有趣的声音,拍一些有意思的影像。” 接下来,耳蜗的巡演还会去到广州、深圳及珠海三个城市,点此购票。

Xiami: ~/Earsnail
QQ: ~/Earsnail

 

Contributor: Shou Xing
Photographer: Ye Zi
Additional Images Courtesy of Earsnail


虾米: ~/Earsnail
QQ: ~/Earsnail

 

供稿人: Shou Xing
摄影师: Ye Zi
附加图片由耳蝸提供