Though synthesizers are the backbone of Shen’s music, while performing live, she plays self-made synths, invented instruments, and even acoustic objects like a bull whip. Her live show vacillates between moments of restraint and swells of frenetic and confrontational movement. Her sound is dynamic with a sensitivity to texture and structure throughout. This sensitivity is maintained in her debut LP Hair Birth, the result of several weekends locked in a studio creating cacophonous, wondrous synth noise with Harvard’s Buchla 100 and Serge modular systems.
She tracked hours of stems before cloistering herself in a painstaking editing process. Songs like ‘Under The Stall Door’ sound like a cybernetic rollercoaster with rumbles and shrieks that hurtle the listener through virtual space. Others, like ‘Bolete,’ are tense, dense mood pieces that move from the queasy to the tranquil to the surreal.