--By Corbett Wall Translated by Yvonne
...and no "let
me hear you say yo!."
When most people think of a band, they
envision guitars, a drummer and a lead singer romping
about on stage. This is not so with innovative electronica
group Nylas. A Nylas show consists of an assortment
of laptops, mixers, electronic effect boxes, synthesizers
and a vocalist singing light, airy harmonies. No thrashing
about, no stage antics, and no "let me hear you
say yo!". Instead, the listener is treated to a
creative blend of ambient downbeat art house moods,
abstract video backgrounds and compelling melodies --
a fresh direction in Taiwan's fledgling indie scene.
Nylas began three years ago as a collaboration
of mixed interests and personalities -- two graphic
designers, an audio engineer, and a "guy who works".
They would all gladly give up their day gigs if playing
music could pay the bills. Inspired by influences such
as the French electronica group Air, and Iceland's Slowpho,
Nylas sound can be likened to watching the clouds drift,
or the subtle pulse of flowing traffic. One layer of
sound blends into another, and another, slowly transforming
into an auditory whole, comprising in the end a song.
With the advent of DJ music here in
Taiwan, it is only natural that the music scene will
produce live electronica. Many traditional bands are
moving away from standard instrumentation towards effects,
software and laptops as their main instruments. With
computers, potential musicians are no longer limited
by the practice and training required to perform a traditional
instrument. They can immediately focus on the sound
in their heads, getting right to the music element.
They plug in a laptop, learn the software and start
creating. In this way, computers have become a new generation
of instruments, no longer just editing machines or storage
Nylas is a good representation of this
new generation. They've accomplished their artistic
goal of "giving people something different than
what they get on TV" with their first album "Where
Are You My Dear Uncle K?" released through Silent
Agreement Music, and they are expecting to finish another
later this year. You can learn more at: http://spaces.msn.com/members/nylashouse.
Definitely give them a listen, they play once or twice
a month around Taipei.
Nylas is: Arny (laptop, keyboard), Labi (vocals, effects),
Punk Can (laptop, effects), A.J. (mixer, synths)
Corbett Wall has enjoyed a successful music career in
Asia, and is owner of the popular live music venue,
the Living Room.