Taiwanese-Canadian musician and actor Alex Zhang Hungtai is something of a musical chameleon: Under the moniker Dirty Beaches, he combined dissonant indie love songs with pomade-shiny rock ‘n’ roll aesthetics. Just as the hype machine started, he shed his skin and turned into a sort of jazz musician using the name Last Lizard. Only to reappear in Love Theme, a drone trio – and as a member of a fictional band in the second incarnation of David Lynch’s TV series Twin Peaks. Somewhere along the way, he began playing the saxophone, practiced for four years and wrote music on the new instrument which he refers to as failed, in the sense that it does not live up to the expectations of others. Gradually, a new idea emerged: To free oneself from the limitations that exist in everyone’s own narratives of who we are and what we do – and in his case what kind of musician he was. By sampling, EQ’ing and stretching the sound waves from the saxophone, Alex Zhang Hungtai created a maze of mysterious yet inviting sounds that make up the album Divine Weight. The songs can be described as sound sculptures carved out of a few blocks of sounds: Seemingly large swells of choruses, wind instruments and church organs.
Dear friends in Europe,
After consulting many friends in the EU, due to the coronavirus situation and the fear of unaffordable testing, potential quarantine hospital bills here in the US, I’ve decided to postpone the tour. Once everything is back to normal I hope to make it out to Europe again. Please be safe, and remember to extend a helping hand if you see any verbal or physical abuse against people in public due to the racism incited by the virus. In times like this, our humanity is being put to the test on full display.