Li Chin Sung

Li Chin Sung: Past

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Li Chen Sung is the pseudonym Hong Kong musician Dickson Dee assumes as composer of this collection of short sound collages. Dee characterizes himself as an experimental music artist, sound artist, and turntablist, and he cites John Zorn, Einst├╝rtzende Neubauten, and Depeche Mode as major influences. This CD, released on Zorn's Tzadik label, demonstrates his affinity with that composer's work and aesthetic. Some typical Zornian procedures are present -- the juxtaposition and layering of a disjunct variety of acoustic and electronic sounds -- but Dee is more willing to allow an established pulse or an ostinato to continue throughout a track, and many tracks have a strong industrial flavor. Some pieces seem to be straining for the most eccentric combinations possible -- bagpipes playing a German folk song overlaid with ritualized Chinese vocalizations. The most effective pieces are those in which the sound sources are less blatantly evident or identifiable, where they are mysteriously suggested by fleeting auditory glimpses. Some of the quieter tracks, which use a more limited palette of sources, sound more like documentaries of haunted spaces than planned out compositions, and they are especially gripping. Anyone who appreciates the excitement or beauty or terror that can be produced by apparent randomness will find much of interest in this CD.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 0:41
2 3:36
3 1:55
4 3:24
5 2:14
6 3:01
7 3:36
8 1:21
9 2:37
10 4:13
11 2:20
12 5:12
13 0:29
14 2:52
15 4:22
16 1:55
17 0:21
18 1:55
19 3:56
20 6:05
21 4:21
22 3:29
23 2:25
blue highlight denotes track pick