Ambient bliss out of Dalian, old school rock and roll from Wuhan, and indie shamblings down south in Shenzhen – here’s the latest from Xie Yugang, Aberration, and Butterbeer.
Xie Yugang 谢玉岗 – Echo in Library 回声图书馆
Wang Wen’s Xie Yugang gives a lovely ambient ode to his coastal city Dalian and Echo Library, the bookstore, gallery, and above all, a piece of mind that was a safe haven for artists. Recorded in the winter of 2016, Yugang’s ambient soundscapes are rife with melancholic wonder on Eco in Library, off of Space Circle. A blissed out daydream (or better yet, a lost memory) that sinks in, it finds pleasures in the haze, waves, and lyrical currents of life. And while Echo Library had to shut its doors sadly this past summer, there will always be solace in the ‘desolate landscapes of our minds’ that Xie has conjured up here.
Butterbeer – Obliviate
Shenzhen based Boring Production continue mining the beautiful indie sounds of the 80s with Butterbeer, the dream pop duo formed by Boring Production founder Jovi (of Atta Girl) and Rye (of Chestnut Bakery) and their latest release, Obliviate. Essentially bedroom pop catnip, the album is a lush, unassuming, and transporting mood setter that would fit nicely among the renowned C86 artists known for their ‘indie shambling’. They may not be changing the musical landscape any time soon but there’s a purity to Butterbeer’s sound that’s can’t be faked. It sneaks up on you.
Aberration 越轨 – Rambling Road ‘n’ Cold Heart 逍遥路与冷漠心
Blues rock gets the Wuhan treatment as the veteran rock band from the sprawling city bring their old school touch to the genre. Led by Liang Zhan, formerly of SMZB and Los Crasher, the band has gone through a few incarnations in their time, starting as a Rancid-inspired punk band before settling into the more rich blues rock that invokes more so the bands of the sixties and seventies, where cowbells, mellow wine, and good times were aplenty. Less angry and more soothing, there’s some rough and tumble roots rock and roll to be had for anyone who’s not afraid of a little country blood in their music.