Built from a shared instant connection and intuitive creative process, Chinese/Australian avant-garde composer Mindy Meng Wang 王萌 and Melbourne-based contemporary Tim Shiel have unveiled their debut collaborative EP, ‘Nervous Energy 一触即发’, out via not-for-profit label, Music In Exile.
Arriving in 2021 as one of the nation’s most innovative duos, their ‘Nervous Energy 一触即发’ EP defines its own lane within the Australian music sphere, creating both a juxtaposition between traditional and modern musical genres, all underpinned by the artists’ like-minded passion and curiosity for diverse sounds.
Opening with the EP’s debut single, Sleeping Tiger On The Bund 蓄势待发 lendsa symbolic reference to the constant struggle in Mindy’s creative process, with inspiration drawn from ancient traditions trying to find relevance in a modern world. Driven by cascading harp-like flourishes and underpinned by traditional guzheng melodies, the racing energy mirrors Shanghai’s Bund district where the city’s ultra-modern and ceaseless pace of life meets protected heritage sites. Followed by Body Of Water (What Is Love) 一线之间, the EP flows into new electronic textures. Inspired by a jungle breakbeat, the single ebbs and flows between chaos and calmness. Breaking the tension with the vocal “what is love”, the rhythms soften to a bed on which Mindy’s guzheng can lie, slowly unfolding melodies alongside guitar strums and skittering percussion.
Next up is the latest single, Hidden Qi 隐.气. Once again pushing the boundaries of cross-genre fusion, the calming drone melodies are further fuelled by looped guzheng tones, brimming with powerful and flexible energy that mimics the harmonious existence of Mindy and Tim’s cross-cultural collaboration. Bringing the EP to a close is new single, My Love Is Not What It Was 嗔念, an all encompassing atmospheric journey through the feeling of being in an exotic foreign city. Shrouded in psychedelic melodies and guided along by dark beats, the track uses tempo shifts and rave synths to draw out emotional intensity and take listeners on a journey from start to finish.
Mindy & Tim’s collaboration found its starting point through Music In Exile’s ‘Building Bridges’ program, a series that was set up to battle isolation and keep artists from refugee/migrant backgrounds connected to the broader music communities during COVID-lockdowns.
Joe Alexander of Music in Exile says on the EP and the program:
“The recordings featured here are a direct result of these times. Drawing upon existing source material, these artists worked remotely over the course of a year, exchanging ideas and developing the finished pieces that you now hold in your hand. In the course of this activity, new means were found, and new works unearthed that may never have seen the light of day.
We do not intend this as a statement of strength and durability, for that would imply that human beings are rigid and cannot change. Instead, we hope to celebrate that fact that we can change, we can adapt. And we celebrate the link of humanity that ties us together in this world that we share.”
Over the course of 2020, Mindy and Tim worked on developing new material in spite of ever changing COVID-19 restrictions. First recorded by Mindy on her 21-string traditional guzheng and then shared with Tim via the internet to be reworked, the result is something neither had imagined possible. What developed was a collection of tracks that oscillate from breakbeat to minimal house influences and laid-back dub and pop sounds, underpinned throughout by an acoustic instrument almost two metres long and thousands of years old.
Since then, the duo have received a wealth of praise and acclaim across the airwaves, including rotation additions across Double J, FBi, RTR, 2SER and SYN, as well as online support from NME, Deafen County, Mixdown, Purple Sneakers and more.
Having already caught the attention of the nation, ‘Nervous Energy一触即发’ enters the world today as a reflective, intuitive and masterfully unique body of work. Finding common ground through music’s most abstract yet powerful connecting force, Tim Shiel and Mindy Meng Wang unite over their shared passion and creative exploration to deliver four exceptionally innovative singles that will set the bar for future creative partnerships.
‘NERVOUS ENERGY 一触即发’ EP IS OUT NOW
VIA MUSIC IN EXILE
BUY/STREAM EP HERE
FOLLOW MINDY MENG WANG 王萌
FOLLOW TIM SHIEL
MUSIC IN EXILE
Thanks to Thinking Loud