Post punk stalwarts step up their game on their most ambitious release yet, psychedelic groovers get introspective on their latest, and a buoyant electronic compilation worthy of a dip in the pool, here’s the latest from Re-TROS, Chui Wan, and Babel Records.
Re-TROS重塑雕像的权利 – Before The Applause
After years of waiting, Re-TROS return with their most ambitious release yet, After The Applause, a sprawling genre-expanding album that takes everything from krautrock, post punk, to blistering techno and ambient pop, and not so much tosses it in the blender but molds it in their ever eccentric and unique vision. From the Steve Rich inspired double serving of ‘8+2+8’ to the (still) thrilling pull of ‘Red Rum Aviv’ (holy shit do those drums kick) to the final lucid dream pop of ‘Sounds of Celebration’ (Liu Min has never sounded better), the band has sharpened their influences and have fashioned something special here. And while one could argue their lengthy IDM takes don’t quite have the punch they should (‘At Mosp Here’ simply doesn’t do it for me) there’s no denying what a triumphant return and a welcoming surprise this is for the band that had almost run their gas tank empty a few years prior. Expectations mounted and surpassed.
Chui Wan – The Landscape the Tropics Never Had热带从未有过的风景
Chui Wan, Beijing’s true blue psychedelic soundsmiths, continue exploring the nooks and crannies of each and every groove on their third full-length album The Landscape the Tropics Never Had. That probing impulse is evident not only in the songs’ lengthy takes but also in the lyrical content linking ideas of time, language, and perception. A little more mature, a little more assured the band isn’t so much trying to shake you loose as ask for you to tag along, meandering through each riff and progression, as each song grows denser and denser, taking on new forms, and unraveling in often striking ways (‘Sheep’s Shadow’ is hands down one of my best tracks I’ve heard this year). Chui Wan are very much comfortable where they are at and if listeners are willing to jump on their wavelength, well, they’re in for a treat.
Various Artists – Swimming Pool
Babel Records continue mining sonically supple singles with their latest compilation, Swimming Pool, co-released with StreetVoice, and featuring tracks from electronic producers Truetrue, 56Loopy, Heeze, Radiax, and Laytonwoohbill. Love the buoyancy of the production here, which combines everything from soul to R&B – perfect for both a pre game weekend rally or for a glazed over afternoon. They’re crowd pleasers yet each equipped with its own offbeat flavors that make you want to jump straight into the deep end of the pool. So yeah – keep them coming Babel Records.