A collaboration made in heaven between post rock and post punk godfathers, electro disco to dance the night away to, soulful bubbly hip hop that grooves, and electronica’s take on the death metal genre. It’s a diverse lineup as we take a look at the latest releases including new cuts from Xie Yugang and Yang Hisaong, The Machinery of Other Skeletons, The Hotline, and j-fever and Soulspeak.
Two of indie rock’s most notable figures, Xie Yugang of Dalian post rock mammoths Wang Wen fame, and Yang Hiasong, of Beijing post rock veterans P.K.14 team up on this monster of an album, White Shirt, ten tracks of ambient landscapes laced with noise Hiasong’s signature poetic prose. Described as ‘music for night dancing’ and inspired by Ariel, the collection of poems by Sylvia Plath, the collaboration is a perfect pairing of two minds with a very distinct voice in the music scene. And the two work off each other wonderfully, turning these droned over meditative jams unto themselves and infusing them with a sense of malevolence or in some chances (‘Remember Us’) tearing them apart from the inside. It’s heady stuff that works on multiple levels and while it never quite reaches the heights of each member’s main projects, it’s nevertheless a rewarding listen. Spin it and purchase it over at Haisong’s label, Share the Obstacles’ bandcamp.
J-fever always has stuck out from the rest for the way he invigorates the genre with a slightly off-kilter, eager to please, off the cuff jazz-riffing manages to pay respect to the form and attitude of hip hop without succumbing to it entirely. And possibly one of the few times I can proudly consider a rapper in Beijing to have ‘flow’. Well, looks like the scene’s favorite new wordsmith is looking to win over more fans with his latest, Color Blind, a collaboration with LA-based producer Soulspeak, whose retro, slick, and bubbly beats make for a highly fluid and soulful backdrop for the rapper’s brand of hip hop. Spirits are high and it’s hard not to get pulled into the infectious groove of the two’s party (highlight is definitely ‘Ostrich Ass’). Like a nice refreshing can of soda pop. Spin it over on xiami and douban and spotify and grab it in CD and vinyl form from D Force Records (who have a killer track record this year) this Friday, September 25th at Yugong Yishan where the duo promises a to transform the joint into a ‘experimental theater’ with the help of stage director Chu Zhixiong.
Shanghai metal act The Machinery of Other Skeletons once again give the keys to their latest EP, Static Fades, to a slew of electronic minded individuals, in Beijing, Shanghai, and beyond for their second remix album entitled 57471C F4D3Z. The result: some very interesting, clever, and dare I say, club-ready interpretations of the bands’ previously volatile brand of death metal. Guest artists include thruoutin, Nahash, DJ Guigz, Serbey Gubka, Hanzzzie, Noise Arcade, Sammy G, and MIIIA. How a metal band ever bumped so many shoulders with this many electronic artists is beyond me, but I love the communal display of love and gung ho spirit at taking these monster tracks on. Keep em coming. Rip into it over at their bandcamp.
A little something for you dance hounds out there – Beijing- based electronic new wave outfit The Hotline, regulars of the scene since 2004, have finally gotten around to releasing their debut EP, For Dancing, For Imagining…, and it’s not too shabby. Sugarcoated derivative new wave pop that keeps things light and bouncy. The type of music ten years back that would fit right in with your daily radio programming. Not a dig. It’s ingrained in the band’s aesthetic and to be honest I’m surprised how much it works. They lay the disco beats on thick and heavy and go straight for the melody. Music to turn your brain off to. Spin the EP over on xiami and douban and be sure to catch the band at some point in the near future.