Lala is the drummer of St. Sloth Machine. I got to know her after sharing the stage with Berserk, who then introduced me to Taipei’s second hand record shop, Senko Issha. She started her solo project as LaLa Reich after St. Sloth Machine stopped regularly performing, and she plays on and off with various artists. Her bandmate, Jyun-Ao Caesar, is also still active in the scene. I invited him to perform at Lacking Sound Fest when I curated it in 2018. Recently, he has been using guitar to explore high frequencies, suspended in space, that resemble the sound of crickets.
Lala was not trained as a conventional drummer. During her childhood, she considered herself more visually oriented rather than focused on sound. While we were chatting about her roots, we realised that our young selves were both into the Japanese band Dir En Grey and their album Macabre; Lala laughed and told me that at the time the floor tom in that album was an important trigger point toward being interested in drumming.
When exploring drums, Lala’s path was rather different than most drummers – almost the opposite: generally speaking, drummers train on changing the beats in the measure or on maintaining a constant tempo, whereas Lala only did training on that later on. I enjoyed listening to her percussion that does not deliberately put herself on tempo but responds to collaborators or band members, it reaches a delicate and clear direct sense of body and reflects her intuition honestly. The way she plays freely; like an animal exploring while playing, is unpredictable and spontaneous and it reminds me of Zun Long – the drummer of the band Forests which is not active at the moment.