Math rock gets high on jazz with DaSeven’s debut EP. The Shanghai trio made up of just bass, keyboard and drums give their instruments an alter ego of rhythmic swagger as they lay out some mellow soothing jams embedded with offbeat time signatures and intertwining phrases, throwing some very interesting unexpected curveballs. And while there’s something low-key about their overall palette, it subtly draws you in and their world. Call it math rock for jazz lounge lovers.
Shanghai’s The Flying Game bring their rounded indie rock sound to the masses on their effective debut. Plenty of the staple indie rock motifs are there – descending bass lines, angsty reflective vocals, and melodic guitar dissonance. But it never feels tired or false – for all it’s schmaltz and pop pizazz, there’s a lot of dynamism in their arrangements and the instrumental chops they’re are built on top of. It never goes for the easy kill – they put the work in and it shows, offering one catchy melodic indie rock jam after another. It leaves a pop aftertaste for sure, but one that feels just right.
Shanghai label Genome 6.66mbp has been keeping busy this year with a slew of releases highlighting not only artists based here in China but across the globe, tapping into an aesthetic that’s twisted, dark, and haunted, taking chopped up industrial bass sounds and tossing them into a blender with even more esoteric elements. Case in point: Changchun producer Yikii, whose shapeshifting LP ‘Flower’s Grave, Flower Tomb’ is utterly impossible to categorize. A Brain De Palma thriller crossed with over-the-top J-Horror tropes, there’s something deeply unsettling and alluring in the way the producer draws you in, utilizing blasts-out bass, field recordings, and her bewitching voice, not unlike a Siren leading its transfixed victim to their demise.