Whether you like your music coming at ya like a freight train, a mid summer breeze, or an alluring scent, it’s there for you. Awaiting your embrace. So quit trolling about the internet wondering whether or not Batman could really take on Superman (he can’t) and let these new releases from Damacha, Wang Shengnan, Chaos Kills The Pain, and Suffocated occupy your time.
Though not as prolific as some of the metal scene’s other heavy hitters, death metal outfit Suffocated, a band, which formed in 1997, has remained one of the strongest forces in Chinese metal. Since the release of their first album, Dead Wing Rising, in 2006, the band has been performing to ecstatic crowds across China and Europe for almost over a decade. Not afraid to take their time in the studio, the band finally released their third full-length album, entitled Perilous Journey and it’s a neck breaker. Full of intense, ‘barrowing down the hill’ numbers which apply the band’s trash metal guitars to maximum effect, it’s an album that will have metal fans foaming at the mouth; a sledge hammer to the horde of posers and wannabes that wallow around Gulou. Hail the true kings of metal and dip into the beautifully orchestrated madness of Suffocated here. Spin it here.
American born, Shanghai-based producer Damacha has been on a tear as of late, turning the dial back in time on hip hop. The sample based instrumental hip hop beatmaker has just released his latest EP entitled Perfume, six tracks based on name brand perfumes that entice one’s senses and transport one back to a time where hotel lounges where omnipresent and were all the rage. It’s an intoxicating mix of jazz, video game textures, and drug-filled haze that’s soothing, bubbly, sensual, and shimmering with life. The perfect springtime companion. So sit back, relax, and bask in the essence of this glorious EP and watch out for Damacha cause he’s got the touch.
Indie pop songstresses are a dime a dozen in Beijing and beyond – it’s the most easily accessible and creatable brand of music. Thus, just like the rows of ‘live houses’ alongside Hou Hai lake where singers with their guitars bleed into one another, the genre doesn’t lead to much originality. However, every so often there’s an artist who stands out above the rest. Granted it doesn’t take much – but there’s a sense of progression with these diamonds in the rough that’s enticing. That’s where Wang Shengnan,the Beijing-raised singer-songwriter comes. After receiving praise for her role in a musical directed by New Pants’ lead guitarist Peng Lei, the singer been chipping away more and more at the scene with a solid catalogue of indie pop tunes. Her latest EP, Crazy World, continues the artist’s progression into a fully fleshed artist who’s not afraid to mix it up – disco flourishes aplenty and an ear for melodies which utilizes the singer’s robust and assured voice to maximum effect, the EP’s highlight is ‘Dianlihuoche’, a flickering reverb-filled tune that sounds like an early Postal Service cut and has been on constant replay over here. Give the entire EP a listen here and here.
Hardcore. Testosterone pumped directly in your eardrums. It’s a genre that you have to give in to and too often comes off as too clumsy, undernourished, and not sure-footed enough. Chaos Kills the Pain, the latest hardcore outfit to grace the scene here in Beijing may just have what it takes. The band, who seemingly dropped out of nowhere, just released their debut Raise Your Glass When Times Are Tough, and it’s a fine introduction to a band with heaps of potential. It’s scrawny yet ‘in your face’. It’s earns it’s high notes of cathartic release without reverting to emo tendencies. And above all, it rocks pretty damn hard all the while remaining optimistic and wearing its heart on its sleeve – a staple of the hardcore scene and one that’s often forgotten. Hardcore ain’t everyone’s cup of tea but when it hits, it hits hard and Chaos Kills the Pain might just be the hit the scene needs. Spin it here and here.