Noise rock with a whimsical twist, indie electronic pop that entices, an acoustic rendition of a black metal outfit’s top tracks, and an one man sound shifter, it’s our latest batch of releases out of China including the latest from Skip Skip Ben Ben, Nocturnes, Deep Mountains, and Dee.
Taiwanese band Skip Skip Ben Ben (former residents of Beijing mind you) return to their noise rock dreamscapes on their latest wonderful and strange LP, Mirror in Mirror, out on Maybe Mars and Re:Public Records. It’s no secret I crush hard on the genre-morphing outfit, fronted by the brilliant Ben Ben, whose imaginative twist on any song has made her and Skip Skip Ben Ben a one of a kind band for years. Whether it be the piano bar croon of ‘8oul’, the carnivalesque unease of the title track ‘Mirror in Mirror’, the Sergeant Pepper crossed with shoegaze flights of ‘Macherie’, the Italian new wave throwback of ‘The Tsunami Train’ – the band is complete control of their world and it’s simply masterful. Now if only Beijing would bring them back over yonder. Bandcamp it up and fall in love all over again.
Tai’an atmospheric black metal outfit Deep Mountains take the path of lightness on their latest release, Enchanted by the Blooming Echo. Essentially an unplugged version of the band’s sprawling opaque soundscapes, the band finds solace in their compositions as they’re rendered into bittersweet melancholic folk ballads that suggests the band could have taken a completely different path music-wise. The band has always pointed to their natural landscapes as their inspirations, and those images run even truer in their natural folk state. A truly engrossing release from one of the metal scene’s unsung heroes. Dig into it over at Pest Productions’ bandcamp and also check out the band’s live album, Mist in July, where you can get a taste of what the band’s sounds like with the darkness cranked up to 11.
Fresh from the Beijing hutongs comes indie electronic duo Nocturnes. Last year, I caught a listen of guitarist/producer Dave Carey’s previous duo, Palaces, and while that duo has since gone on hiatus, it was enough to perk my interest in anything the man touches. Flushed with sensual overtones and an airy elegant grace, Nocturnes pairs the artist and producer with vocalist Leslie and the result, A World Full of Adults, is an intoxicating sensual feast for the ears. A sultry boilerpot of emotions backed by some top-notch production values, which evidently were created in the duo’s bedroom, it\’s a wildly impressive debut – bandcamp it up. Catch the duo in the next month debut their set across Beijing, including a show this Thursday, March 31st at Mao Livehouse and April 2nd at Aotu Studio
The one-man sound shifter Dee (Sheng Di), a fixture of the experimental and electronic scene in Beijing, whose unconventional, surrealistic arrangements have made him one true wild card of the scene, has been keeping busy on his virtual SicSounds label, releasing Elecrap, a mixed collection of psychedelic-laced darkwave music, and Dream 2, a more tightly wound experimental collection of sounds and noises which entice, startle, and engage you whether you’re ready or not. As per usual, there’s no safety blanket here so just sit back and enjoy the twelve minute mindfuck. Bandcamp.