Hangzhou singer-songwriter Yang Ji reoutfits her punk roots in atypical and alluring ways on her wildly impressive debut LP – fastening it with a kitsch KTV Anime-pop gloss and tossing it in the blender with bubbly lo-fi style production, seamlessly blurring the line between vulnerability and keen self-awareness. It’s offbeat, bewildering, unpretentious – both confessionally honest and affectionately sincere. There’s an innocence to both the deliriously giddy production, which utilizes everything from tortured guitar chords to kitschy synth horns to drive its dreamy funhouse aesthetic home, as well as the wistful, quirky and bittersweet lyrics – creating a singular voice and style that’s easy to fall in love with. The release comes with instrumental versions of each song, a great way to uncover all the bizarre layers at play within each track, as well as an opportunity to get your on KTV night on. A gem of an album.
Qian Qian: http://www.taihe.com/album/662627664
With just three years of production experience, Jinan-based electronic producer has already built up quite the resume, with releases on a variety of labels – from Ran Music to FAD Records. His latest deep dive into the world of techno and deep house comes via Beijing label Prajnasonic. Entitled ‘Ripple’ it’s chock full of dense soundscapes whose notes penetrate the listener’s ears with precision and melodic inertia. With a fervent control of rhythm, the young producer knows when to tighten his grip and when to break the tension at the drop of a beat, all the while keeping the sound wrapped in a warm layer of ambiance and kinetic momentum that feels tailor-made for a brisk evening stroll through urban back alleyways. House music infused with depth and atmosphere.
Shoegaze comfort food out of Shanghai – Pale Air inject the genre with turbulent tension on their debut EP Still Water out on SJ Records. Excavating into the mirroring contrasting states of happiness and pain, the young trio are aiming for something more transcendent within their music, finding an almost cosmic beauty and rage in the reverb-heavy resonance and nebulous yet impassioned lyrics (their song ‘Enthusiastic Lunatic’ and the line ‘please do you a favor go fuck yourself’ calls to me DIIV at their most savage). While the wispy elements of the genre are ever-present, the band really shines when it cuts through their sound with fierce dissipated force, creating a storm of emotions that are bound to stir you up.