Sound of the Week: Laughing Ears

Shanghai-based musician Laughing Ears makes her Chinabot debut with the EP Metamorphosis (Chinese: 形变). Over six tracks, fragmented ambient synths are carefully woven together by dark footwork-inspired beats. Driven by quiet, deep grooves, the introverted Metamorphosis is fascinated by how sounds interact. On the track Melting, shafts of icy synths are gathered together by a propulsive military-style drumbeat, which drives the isolated points of sound together into a swooping whole. Laughing Ears sees her compositional process as akin to stacking layers of sound like building blocks, before processing them using modulated effects and granular synthesizers. Despite a knack for experimentation, her classical training is evident throughout in the precision of her compositions. The complex aural relationships created in this process have come to mirror the unstable nature of human relationships. “If people can be seen as a medium in the world, the relationship between different people is a process of reaction,” she says. “As an unstable individual, the process of contact with others means we can begin in a different direction.” The complex, subtle shifts of Metamorphosis reflects this unconscious swaying of individual will.

Laughing Ears is an electronic music producer who currently lives in Shanghai, China. Her music crosses genres between experimental, ambient, footwork and noise. She has several releases on Beijing-based label Ran Music, Function Lab and has been gaining recognition in the China electronic music scene ever since, including stints on NTS radio and opening for the likes of Varg, Aisha Devi and Machine Girl.