SXSW Review: Enji, Tengger, Dasom Baek, March 13, Central Presbyterian Church

20240314 Enji

Enji is a Mongolian vocalist from Munich, Germany. Her jazz-infused song repertoire had the warmth of a 1990s Miyazaki animation soundtrack, choked full of ebullience.

The songwriting is free spirited and at no point across the 45 minute set did I feel any redundancy in the numbers. Technically she sounded effortless as well, even if she was simply accompanied by bass and guitar. Only the occasional solos may remind you that, yes, this is still grounded in jazz. Overall, this was my favorite of the sets this night.

20240314 Tengger

Tengger has already been reviewed by Ricky based on another show they played later in the week, so I will be brief and honest – it was a bit too new age for me. I will spare you the Jackson Pollock analogy, but I heard a hodgepodge of elements thrown together like spaghetti on the wall. As described in our previous review, they performed a ceremonial cleansing of sorts on each of the audience members and took a good 10 minutes….

20240314 Dasom Baek

Dasom Baek is an artist utilizing traditional Korean flutes with a loop machine. She uses voice, speech, and three flutes of distinct ranges to mix her work on the fly. The biggest visual difference that I can spot was the apparent use of shoulder for the larger flutes.

She played from her album Mirror City, I believe. There is a tranquil quality to the set. One flute similar to a piccolo added flourishes in a similar way to how it would be used in other music genres. She can obviously play her own harmony, and those to my ears tended to be heard in the more western pieces. But those were also more expressive for me. Her use of distorted speech is something that I am still trying to parse. But it’s a great and thoughtful effort.

Posted on by Gary in South By Southwest