It’s been jam-packed year for releases. And while I tried to get as many new releases love as I could there’s simply was too much. So for the last New Releases column of the year, we’ve decided to set up shop in Beijing and have a look at some of the releases that slipped through the cracks, some that were simply out of my reach, and of course a couple that surfaced just this past month – including fresh earworms from The Harridans, Elenore, VU, and Comp Collider.
Don’t you dare blow The Harridans’ buzz cause they are soaring high on their sprawling epic debut Fuzzing The Muse. The Beijing based outfit headed by the glitzy larger-than-life Dan Taylor (a character out of a time capsule if I ever heard one) are a band infatuated with love it very self. It’s power, it’s pull, it’s dizzying effect – and the band expertly mines that very notion loudly and proudly with a psychedelic funk-driven prog rock sound that invokes everything from King Crimson to Alan Parsons. It’s a fully realized vision and it’s surprising how much the band is able to stuff into each track without getting bogged down. Fabulous stuff, and an album that’s not afraid to wear its heart of its sleeve. 163 Music/Soundcloud
Techno finds an unlikely sponsor in the latest ten day track jam from Beijing based producer VU. The electronic musician and co-founder of the new label Prajnasonic, goes deep on bud, a beat-driven, atmospheric sound garden whose constant motion often hides the fact that the album is also highly textured and ambient-laced. It’s a mood piece – one that’s refined, sophisticated, smooth, and cool as ice. And best yet, it fits in right at home in your living room just as much as on the dancefloor. Bandcamp.
The latest EP from catchy Beijing indie rock trio Elenore comes out swinging. Tight, melodic, and robust – Into The Shadows is britpop done right. While the majority of bands in China that dip their toes into the overplayed UK genre never seem to have the apt attitude or swagger (or build for that matter), often times coming off as a boy band in hiding, Elenore feels rough and tumbled, stripped down and hard hitting all the while retaining that classic guitar pop sound that made those bands of the mid-90s such a hit. Xiami/Douban.
Beijing krautrock duo Comp Collider bring their instrumental talents to their latest release Secondary Drowning. The semi-improvisational twosome of Michael Cupoli (Noise Arcade) and Daniel Lenk (The Death Narcissist) are playing in a much noisier sandbox this go around, one with a bleeding psychedelic bent that rears it beautiful grizzled head just when thinks start to settled in normalcy. All the while thought Comp Collider exude a groove that’s dangerously alluring. Bandcamp