Over the past several years 16 mins, the alternative rock outfit led by singer Siyu and guitarist Robin, has undergone numerous evolutions, expanding on their sound and galvanizing a more palpable form of change, reemerging as Mimik Banka. Now two years later, the trio (which includes Tongtong) is ready to share their shape-shifting, genre-bending sound with us as they release their robust, elegantly assembled self-titled debut. With a sonic fingerprint that touches on everything from trip-hop, dream pop, and indie rock, with hints of jazz and classical music, they’re a band that defies categorization. With a deftness for seamlessly blending sultry cabaret compositions with a more contemporary indie-pop slyness, bare-bones in its approach, but subtly more complex upon exploration, it’s a ‘post-impressionist’ album that rewards those patient enough to jump on its wavelength.
Life Awaits – Fluorescent
Beijing melodic hardcore outfit Life Awaits returns with their sophomore release – taking their sonically intricate and emotionally draining sound to new depths. With echoes of metalcore, post-hardcore and emo rock (ala Architects, Crystal Lake) the band has tapped into something primal – hitting one musical catharsis after another and delivering their message loud and clear via earnest lyrics upon gut-wrenching vocals, swirling instrumentation that’s brutal yet accessible, and a fraught ‘go for broke’ musical commitment to exposing every raw nerve for what it is. A tonic of intense guitar-charging breakdowns and tranquil electronically-infused calms, Life Awaits maneuvers the many peaks of valleys of disenchanted youth with precision and sincerity. Striking a chord never felt so enriching.
Self-taught Hong Kong-raised Beijing-based producer and musician Heta Uma delights on his wildly eccentric debut EP OPA!. A deluge of influences and twisted layers spinning frantically one on top of another, it’s a carnivalesque affair that the producer has put together – crossbreeding vivacious KTV-laced Dan Deacon inspired mayhem, Panda Bear-evoking neo-psychedelic pop, and even some straight-up surf rock swagger. Electronic music filtered through punk rock, there’s a devilish charm to the Technicolor LSD-laced animated world Heta Uma has dreamt up.