Missed a lot of new releases while I was gone – around thirty – so bear with me here. Gonna spend a week treading through this massive heap of noise. But till then, he are some of the latest releases I’m most excited to share with you – including a bonafide double EP release from trip-hop rockers CAssette, Beijing-based Mongolian trailblazers Ajinai, Chengdu retro rock pop outfit Mr. Turtle, and the unholy matrimony that is Guiguisuisui and Noise Arcade. Bring it!
A band I’ve kept close eyes on since I first caught them back in early 2012, the trip-hopping, electronic post rocking genre benders CAssette spent most of last year cultivating their sound, releasing a multimedia live show entitled ‘A,T.G.C’, which kicked all sorts of ass. They caught the attention of Italian label W/M Records (Waves for the Masses) in the process and half a year later we have Onion Hell and the Tapir Horse, the newest double EP from the band. Hells yes. Ten tracks that prove that CAssette are a band to watch for in the future. Theatrical, rich with sound, layered to a tee, and not afraid to take its time, there’s a lot to love here. Daisy Zhao’s voice remains visceral and delicate as ever, preying on the music’s quitter moments with rapacious glee before going in for the kill. Give it a whirl kids here and here. Catch CAssette perform this Sunday, July 20th at XP. Good to see Western labels lending a hand – might be underground rock’s best chance to garner international appeal.
Beijing-based Inner Mongolian trope Ajinai has been gathering steam this past year with stints in Europe and further exposure here and aboard earning them a spot at the top of everyone must see lists. What better way to grab hold of the spotlight then release a new album entitled Synthesis and it’s a lovely addition to the bands catalogue. The band has always been known for its contemporary take on the well worn throat singing genre, and their latest pushes this further, taking the rustic rhythms of yesteryears and injecting them with ska, country and rock n roll subtleties that never distract from the core warmth that the band’s sound has maintained throughout their career. Grab it over at Indie Music and give it a preview over here.
Another band that’s been blowing up all over the place have been Mr. Turtle, the Chengdu-based retro rockers, whose genre-hopping ska-happy, rockabilly-tipping, guileless rock and roll has been a hit in the mainstream, even warranting them a few MIDI Award nominations in the past year. Well they’re back with their sophomore release, Where Are You Going?, off of Modern Sky Records, and it ain’t too shabby. While it lacks the immediate light-hearted appeal of their debut, I find their new material a lot richer and noteworthy. Seems there is a lot more weight in Li Hongqi’s lyrics this time around giving the free-flowing melodies a lot more oomph in the end. And is it me, or did anyone else get some serious Bare Naked Ladies views in the second half of this thing? Either way give it whirl over here and purchase it at Indie Music.
After a botched Hobbit screening, the talented (and very much twisted) minds behind Guiguisuisui and Noise Arcade, decided to take their makeshift skateboard guitars, drum machines, Gameboys, and synths galore and cause a ruckus hand-in-hand. The fruits of their endeavor surfaced not too long ago –
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.19. And it’s a doozy and a reminder of humanity’s impending doom – ‘a series of dark electronic hymn about living in sprawling, polluted metropolis in 21st century Asia’. For reals. Amazing how these twos distinct offbeat sounds perfectly complement one other, theoretically turning Guiguisuisui in a raving preacher vigilante (is he seriously ranting off Moby Dick quotes?) and Noise Arcade as a ubiquitous overseeing puppeteer. And if that wasn’t enough, they some of the city’s best electronic producers to throw in their two cents, remix style. Loving it – catch the two in action across Korean and Japan for the next month out-of-town readers. Grab it over here.