A singer from Hangzhou to be reckon with, one the shoegaze scene’s finest examples out of Chengdu, a Beijing experimental artist makes ‘some dirty’ to J.S. Bach, and a collection of house tunes to kick start your weekend – it’s the freshest releases to ram shack your membrane including the latest from Qi Zitan, Sound and Fury, Liu Xinyu, and Run Music.
Offbeat folk singer-songwriter Qi Zitan, from Hangzhou, has been making quite the name for herself since university; from starting the indie rock band Stolen Joy, to appearing on ‘The Song of China’. And with her recent debut EP, Margaret Street Tour, there’s no denying what she brings to the table as an artist. A staggering piece of work, that seduces, haunts, and bewilders with its graceful and exquisiteness that’s almost otherworldly. From the way the singer uses her voice as an instrument on the opening track, ‘Self-Portrait’ to the raw simplicity of ‘Sober Record’, Qi Zitan proves herself again and again a force to be reckon with among female singers in China. We can only hope she doesn’t get snatched up too quickly by the mainstream. Dig in over on xiami and douban.
Chengdu shoegaze torch holders Sound and Fury present their ample collections of demos on their first bandcamp release, aptly named ‘Some Of The Songs’. A modest representation perhaps, but it fits nicely with the sincerity that the band, fronted by the dreamy tenor serenading of singer Kuang Ying, injects into their music. Catchy, fuzz-drenched, synth-friendly dream pop that isn’t afraid to hold your hand and keep you from losing your head in the clouds. These kids may not be breaking the bank yet, but they’ve got a bright future ahead of them and I’m mighty curious to hear what they conjure up next. Bandcamp it.
Red-hot Beijing label Ran Music continues strutting it’s sexy ass on their latest – a collection of house tunes tailor made for the dance floor – Ran Groove Vol. 1. The first in what they’re intending to be a monthly compilation (ambitious indeed), the aim is quite simple – ‘smart grooves and beautiful melodies’. And for the most part, I think the six-track release featuring tunes from a slew of respected artists from across China including Knopha, Animal Pop, Hielektromen, J.R.G, Diva Li, and L+R, hits its mark. And smooth it goes down. You may not find me on the dancefloor grooving out to these gems but bust me out some heavy-duty headphones and I’ll be working my way to nirvana. Bandcamp it.
One of the safe havens for experimental music in Beijing, platform and label Zoomin’ Night presents it’s latest bit of inspired interpretation on sound, space, and movement with Music For Daniel. Inspired and based on the work of Daniel Aschwanden, who in turn was inspired by Steve Paxton’s Goldberg365 project, focused on the ‘ongoing improvisation in public space on a daily basis, dancing and performing, using the frame of the so called Goldberg-variations by baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach, regular Beijing improvisational musician Liu Xinyu makes ‘some dirty’ to J.S Bach with a mixer feedback signal. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds, though not without it mischievous surprises. Bandcamp it up.