Preview: February's special edition of Space Out!

We talk to Santo Chino about the Sunday afternoon full-album chill out

Does the relentless pace of Shanghai ever leave you feeling like you could do with a lie down? How about a musical therapy session via an ambient album on a good soundsystem? That’s the basic premise behind Space Out!, the monthly Sunday afternoon chill out organised by Santo Chino.


Shanghai residents of a certain vintage may already be familiar with the event, which first appeared at Regional bar in 2014 before taking an extended hiatus consisting of ‘a trip around the galaxy’. They landed back in the city last September, this time at Elevator. Attendees are invited to kick off their shoes, turn off phones and get horizontal.


‘After doing it at two other venues, it became clear that Space Out! needs a couple of simple but not-easy- to-find things to succeed: an intimate space, a nice soundsystem and management who are friendly to the idea that this is a labour of love, not $$,’ Chino told us. ‘Those conditions don’t align every day. If you look at it that way, Elevator makes perfect sense.’


Past space outings have included albums by Boards of Canada, Terry Riley and Kendrick Lamar. And the February edition is set to be a special one, with Nik HilP presenting Jean Michel Jarre’s Les Concerts en Chine. Electronic experimentalist Jarre was the first Western musician to be invited to post-Mao China, and this is the recording of his legendary China performances in 1981. It’s also the first time Space Out! will incorporate video as well as music.


Here are some amazing photos and posters from Jarre's trip to China in 1981.


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‘I cannot imagine what the audience must have been thinking during that concert,’ Chino says. ‘I think that presenting, or re-presenting, this album that was recorded in China, after 36 years, to the children and maybe grandchildren of the original audience members, is just too... resonant? to not present the full package.’


It’s not an experience you might expect to have at Elevator, but it sounds like fascinating viewing. Catch it at Elevator this Sunday at 5pm. Entry is free, but you need to RSVP to santochino@gmail.com.

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