Shoegaze bliss to warm up your winter, future grime electronica to lose your mind to, 70s era blues rock to lay back to, and a collection of the underground electronic scene from New Delhi to Beijing to expose yourself to. It’s the new releases to take up residency in your membrane including the latest from Forsaken Autumn, Swimful, The Power Powder and SIMA. Dig in.
Tap into some blitzed out blissful shoegaze on Whenere, the debut album from Shanghai dream pop outfit Forsaken Autumn. The band, which formed in 2011, and has steadily been building a fanbase since then, leave it all on the floor on their six track LP. While their main influences seem to be Kevin Shields and Slowdive – vocals that drift into a wall of sound, guitars whose fuzz leaves you lost, alienated, and in a daze that’s slowly turns into a blanket – lead singer and songwriter Ecke makes it her own with some truly gorgeous gossamer vocals. It’s a mood that Forsaken Autumn is aiming for and they’ve nailed it. Enter the void over at their bandcamp.
The past year has seen the electronic scene in China make leaps and bounds, where crews of artists and producers have creatively pushed themselves (and each other) to new heights. One of the producers riding that wave of eschewing traditional Chinese sounds and samples and reshaping them into something unique, invigorating, and engaging is Swimful, the Shanghai-based producer. His third solo-release, PM 2.5, off of Shanghai label SVBKVLT, is wildly inventive, buoyant piece of electronica that’s zips through hip-hop, grime, bass, and yes, RPGs. Yeah, I was pretty much on board when the LP kicks off with a cover of a track from Final Fantasy VIII (underrated). What follows is an extremely addictive, hyperactive, and sometimes surprisingly affecting piece of Technicolor electronica. Bandcamp, soundcloud it up or pick up your digital copy Friday, January 29th at Dada for the release show (along with a custom made face mask).
Roots rock trio The Power Powder invokes the classic rock days of the 70s with their debut Another Self, a pleasant, easy-going, though ultimately unfulfilling slice of Americana filtered through China. The Beijing-based band has plenty going for it – a lead women with plenty of Patti Smith swagger; tight musicianship especially in the guitar department; a emphasis on lyrics; and a hefty batch of songs that go down smooth and offer a nice alternative to the what is commonly found in the underground scene. Thus, while The Power Powder may not be breaking down any barriers, they have a keen, even sharp, sense of the sandbox they’re playing in. And sometimes that’s all you need. Spin it over on xiami and douban.
Beijing-based electronic label Sinotronics returns with its second release by the Sino-Indian Music Alliance (SIMA), a coalition of artists, labels, and promoters united in the goal of building new cultural bridges between China and India. MODULE 2: Emerge collects some of best electronica within the Chinese and Indian underground scene, highlighting places such as Kolkata (Hybrid Protokol, 5volts), New Delhi (Hashback Hashish, Jamblu), Bangalore (_RHL), Beijing (Nara, FAR/∞, Menghan), and Changchun (JFI) and the artists who reside there. An impressive, eclectic set of varying wavelengths and beats sure to get your ears wiggling in delight. And an important one at that – giving Asia’s two most rapidly developing cities the spotlight it ever so deserves and is long overdue for. Get your copy over at Sinotronics’ bandcamp.