It’s time to sit back, relax, and rest very nervously, depending on your taste, as we present some of the latest releases to hit the Big Red, including the triumphant sophomore release from the mysterious pitch black depressive metal outfit Ghost Bath, the indie folk stylings of Shanghai singer Chen Li, as well as the industrial dark techno from Beijing’s own Zalvia-D, and finally the meditative piano compositions from kubotao. (Edit: so Ghost Bath was a good ol\’ hoax and these dudes are from North Dakota…bogus)
After stumbling upon the Chonqing depressive black metal outfit Ghost Bath early last year, I knew I had found something special. And judging by the onslaught of media coverage aboard the band has been generating since then (just look at the list of rave reviews on their bandcamp page), I think it’s fair to say this band is going to make a big splash this year. And in their sophomore release, entitled Moonlover, lays the proof. It’s a juggernaut of an album, otherworldly in its staggering command, depravity, audacity, and above all, beauty. One that finds new light in the genre as it engulfs you, tears your heart out, and leaves you gasping for air. This is misery and pain turned outward on oneself and into something sanctified. Ghost Bath are operating on another plane of existence at this point (the mystery around who in the heck they are only adds to the mystique) and it’s time we all start taking notice. Bask in the glorious here. (Edit: so this was too good to be true – the band is actually from the US and roped all us bloggers willingly to believe they were from China…which is sorta lame and sorta awesome at the same time….kudos to the music though)
One of the biggest surprises of last year, was Shanghai indie pop band Daydreamer and their EP, whose singer Chen Li, more than impressed, showing a complete command of her voice. The singer’s debut solo outing, entitled 如也, came out last month, and it showcases the singers’ prowess even further, as she keeps to her native language. A more modern take on the folk genre, Chen Li invigorates her tracks with lyrics with flair and bite, as well as a production value that walks the thin line between mainstream and indie. It’s a bloated album that throws a bit of everything at the wall, yet for the most part works, again, due to her voice which goes places you don’t expect. It’s clear she’s trying to bridge her way into the mainstream, and if her fanbase is any indication, she just might be on the right track. Give it a spin here and here and purchase it over here.
Clubs where made for the dark gothic techno music that local Beijing producer Zaliva-D realm resides. It’s kinky, trance-happy, and straight up malicious. Remember that black liquid from the X-Files – once it’s gets hold of you, there’s no going back. E.V.I.L, the latest release from the electronic artist is just that – it starts off pretty unremarkable – industrial techno with a bit of teeth. But then comes in that pulse, combined with an Eastern ambiance and soon enough, you’re in skintight leather, gazing devilishly down the next dark alleyway, ready to stumble into some dimly lite freak show of club goers. And you can’t for the life of you get escape that grind. And by golly, you don’t want to. So yeah, pretty evil stuff. Rip into it here.
It’s not often I dip my feet into classical music, so when I checked out Beijing producer kubotao’s latest, Nine Droplets, I had no idea what to expect. A concept album of sorts, focusing on memories of being stuck under the rain, kubotao, a producer and composer whose been at the forefront of what he terms as ‘oriental new age’ music, dials it back for his latest, mixing minimalist electronica and piano, to paint us a simple yet pleasant picture. It’s not going to break the bank, but in terms of easy listening you can’t do much better. It’s bare bones approach is actually what I find most appealing, something I’m imagining will cater to folks sick to death of the noise and chaos in your daily life. Give it a listen over here.