SXSW Music Review: Taiwan Beats Brings the Island to Us

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Backed at dusk by hills and three men in black, author, actress, and singer-songwriter Enno Cheng began the four-act hour, delivering smooth, mild-mannered vocals to minimalist synths and chugging guitar. Cinematic pans of the lush scenery moved the three-song set along, light opener “2017, You” building to pop belter “Light Years of Solitude.”

Indie trio The Chairs soon took their bedroom pop to — naturally — an indoor shrimp fishing center, dreamy guitars and Beach Boys harmonies leaning heavy on the retro.

Moving indoors, punk nationals Fire EX honored the working class with a fiery performance from a Kaohsiung factory. Green Day influence on full display, the scene veterans’ impassioned, political guitar rock proved unafraid of a drum breakdown, a guitar solo, or a singalong chorus – just what “Stand Up Like A Taiwanese,” “Don’t You Fight,” and “Keep On Going” need to rally legions of disaffected youth.

Indie trio The Chairs soon took their bedroom pop to — naturally — an indoor shrimp fishing center, dreamy guitars and Beach Boys harmonies leaning heavy on the retro. The Mac DeMarcos and Rex Orange Countys of the world find a companion in Yun Jin, Zhong Ying, and Benson, whose psychedelic slow jams sooth. In the beach vibes of “Dreaming With You” and the mid-tempo lullaby “Rolling On,” let the solo slow-dancing commence.

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