It’s 2015 and we’re still mining through releases of 2014. Well, not entirely, but still, there’s no reason to leave these gems behind including a new 7’’ from Xi’an noise rock outfit Colorful Z–bra, the sophomore release from Beijing rap collective itsogoo, a new single from black metal group Deep Mountains, and our first release of the new year, the newest experimental album from Liang Yiyuan.
One band that I’m looking forward to seeing progress is Xi’an noise rock outfit Colorful Z-bra. Youthful rallying calls and distorted jams – the band managed to snag two slots in my top songs of the year. The band just released a 7’’ entitled C.R.H./This Is Sparta! under Yang Haisong’s Share The Obstacles label and it finds the band continuing their quest for conquest of the indie rock world. While the latter track does feel a tad bit much like a Carsick Cars b-side, there’s a scruffiness and looseness to their music that works to its favor. Again, look out for these cats come 2015. Purchase the 7’’ over at Indie Music and give it a listen on their douban page.
Rap collective itsogoo’s sophomore release is one of those rare rap albums that molds together so well that it makes me wonder if next year we’ll see hip hop in China get its due finally (though I feel like I said the same thing last year). Their latest It’s No Good is sixteen tracks of fresh cuts with some truly stellar production. The three members, Alienkey, Jiaming, Snarelop invigorate their universe with such swagger and sway, and dare I say, flow that it’s hard not to get sucked up in the jazzy fun. Listen to snippets over on their douban page and purchase it here. Oh, and yes, that cover art is definitely a nod to the Hong Kong protests last year.
The amount of metal labels in China is insane – just bonkers. Those metal kids sure know how to network. Pest Productions out of Nanchang is the latest I’ve stumbled upon. Their motto: ‘The Ballade of Sadness, The Despair of Hatred’. Now that I can get behind. One of their latest Chinese exports is the Taian atmospheric black metal outfit Deep Mountains. As well as releasing a full length album Lake of Solace last year, they released Changtu Island – beautifully epic single a couple months back. And it’s all kinds of badass. Definitely curious to hear more from these soul suckers, and luckily enough they will be performing this Friday at Mao Livehouse with a slew of others black metal bands (though probably no where near as good). Purchase and listen to it over here.
One of my favorite (surprisingly) records of last year was Wuhan-based experimental artist Liang Yiyuan’s. Well, looks like he’s back for more already. 噪白微澜草 continues the artist’s minimalistic approach in creating intoxicatingly bare soundscapes that puts one at ease. Again, it’s meditation music for anyone who’s constantly being bombarded by noises in their daily lives. And while it’s not as sonically diverse as Liang Yiyuan’s last album, overall I’m digging what the Wuhan artist is creating down yonder. Give it a listen here.