Electric Lights - Women in Electronic Music – tamiX

„Pure enjoyment“ w/ tamiX aka Nan Tang

tamiX aka Nan Tang for Electric Lights – Women in Electronic Music (Photo: Katja Ruge)

The Buchla modular-improv-musician tamiX is also a visual artist, photo idol, skate coach and last but not least the founder of www.midifan.com (a music-tech portal leading thousands of Chinese people to the industry).

Nan Tang refuses to perform with computer programs or software, she is specialized in unprepared visual creativity, and music performance with standalone gear to demonstrate physically natural effects as atmosphere changes likewise. As Buchla endorsed artist (with a Buchla 200e modular synthesizer system), her live improvisation has created an impressively unique mode filled audiences with experimentally rhyming tunes.

You are from China. Where exactly there?

I’m from Beijing, the capital city of China.

Could you give us some insights in the local city and scene you are from and how that sharped your artistic paths?

It’s actually a lot like Berlin, not just because they are both capital cities, but also the cultural center of the whole country, it also raises most of the musicians and artists, hosts countless live houses, underground night clubs, galleries, and unlimited possibilities.

What can you tell us about your musical upbringing?

I learned violin when I was a kid, so I’m quite sensitive about
melodies. This is why my performances are very melodic.

When and where was the first time you came in contact with electronic music?
Do you remember your initial feelings?

I suppose it was in high school, when I heard an album from the Chemical Brothers. I felt like I was electrocuted, and I was attracted by all the sounds I had never heard before.

tamiX aka Nan Tang for Electric Lights – Women in Electronic Music (Photo: Katja Ruge)

How different do you experience the electronic music scene in Asia from the European and US-American ones?

I don’t feel any differences. The audience’s behavior on the dance floor after hearing electronic music is human instinct I suppose.

Which music was the first to touch/inspire/move you? What made it so special and standing to you?

”Block Rockin’ Beats“ from the Chemical Brothers. The raw and wild analog synth sound with jazz drum, it totally blew my mind.

Have there been people whose contribution to the development of your musical identity was of special importance?

Don Buchla for sure! I can’t do any live performances without using the Buchla modular system. It is the best gift he gave to us.

Are you able to share the process of evolving your identity with us?

I never defined myself as a musician. I can’t make any music in the studio and I don’t know the basic music theories. I consider my live performances by the Buchla modular system only as a hobby, because I love the machine Don Buchla built. Compare to become a musician, I would rather improve my skateboarding skills.

tamiX aka Nan Tang for Electric Lights – Women in Electronic Music (Photo: Katja Ruge)

What do you hope to find in music?

Pure enjoyment.

What do you prefer, the seclusive working process in a studio or the live presentation of your music in front of the audience?
And why so?

Obviously the latter! Doing live performances on the stage, I just simply can’t produce a bit of music in the studio. Maybe the audience is the activator of my inspiration.

What is your ideal space/place to listen to music?

Late night, at home, alone.

tamiX aka Nan Tang for Electric Lights – Women in Electronic Music (Photo: Katja Ruge)

Please name female artists without whose music you wouldn’t be producing music?

Definitely Suzanne Ciani! She is like my hero, the source of
inspiration. I learnt everything from her in my live performance.

What do you think sets your “voice” or creative expression apart from other’s?

The way I play the modular synthesizer. Me and the machine get connected on the stage, in full duplex mode. I play and manipulate the machine with my hands and gestures. In the meanwhile, the music and groove coming from the machine forced my whole body to dance and

What empowers you or helps you to overcome obstacles and challenges in your work?

I believe the Buchla is the best designed modular synthesizer in the world. So there’s nothing that can’t be done with it for sure!

Your most beautiful experience focused on your music?

When I finished my live performance at Superbooth, the audience gave me a huge applause for one and a half minutes. This was my 71st live performance on Buchla. Finally I felt all the challenges I’ve faced in the 70 performances before, were totally worth it.

tamiX aka Nan Tang for Electric Lights – Women in Electronic Music (Photo: Katja Ruge)

Which music did you buy most recently that carries a lot of value/meaning for you?

„Fantas“ from Caterina Barbieri.  
I bought it on Bandcamp. I learned a lot of how to make an ambient song from that record.

What’s a secret guilty pleasure, an idiosyncrasy of yours or something that would surprise people about you?

I’d like to take some sexy and edgy photos, and publish them as a photo book.

What would be a fantasy venue to play at?

A wild, abandoned, ancient, horrible, scary venue in the middle of nowhere.

Do you see a connection between your femininity and your work??

There’s maybe some contrast effect that I am a girl manipulating a machine.

What is your favorite instrument to create sounds with?

Buchla for sure. Not just my favorite, but also the only one.

tamiX aka Nan Tang for Electric Lights – Women in Electronic Music (Photo: Katja Ruge)

This interview with Nan Tang aka tamiX  is part of the ongoing photo-project “Electric Lights – Women in Electronic Music” by Hamburg based photographer Katja Ruge and Kaput co-publisher Thomas Venker focused on the role of women in electronic music. Each photoshoot is accompanied by a short interview, based on a personalised questionnaire. The interviews will be published on the kaput website on a monthly basis, before finding their way into a book.

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