Finding the atmospheric and textual beauty within there confines of math and post-rock, Shanghai Qiutian offers a fresh take of the genres that have flooded the earholes of Chinese audiences for decades. Founded in late 2018 by Eñaut Martí Zinkunegi and Florian Rudin in the first-tier city, the duo work their magic on their exquisite debut New Era, Shared Future, out now on Wild Records. While shades of high-wire emo (that put the label on the map) linger, there’s a low-key seductiveness found in the looping chords and an intricate interplay found throughout the production that underlines the five tracks. The standout two feature exceptional work from singer Sara Zozaya and Chinese Football. A hell of a calling card for the newly formed duo.
Laughing Ears, the electronic project of Shenyang-born Li Jingping, invites listeners on a one-of-a-kind cyberpunk excursion with her intoxicating and tonally luscious debut Tidal Effect, out on Ran Music. Featuring eight tracks smothered in humming low frequencies and drenched in a foreboding atmosphere that would feel right at home in a seedy underbelly of a warped alternative future, far below the smog and high-rises, it’s equally haunting and jaunty. Beneath the roaring baselines and brooding melodies seething in religious imagery, there’s a twisted carnivalesque quality to Laughing Ear’s world that you’ll want to ride out till the end – the last wave of our post-apocalypse world.
Guangzhou urban poets Wu Tiao Ren, continue their seamless blend of magical realism and rugged charm; of rustic rock and roll and ramshackle folk, on their fifth studio release. A semi-conceptual album that pays tribute and takes inspiration from China’s cinematic Golden Age and the aesthetics surrounding it, the band, originally from Haifeng county in Guangdong, finds poetry in the turbulent streets and the lives that inhabit them. Infusing their music with bluegrass playfulness, deadly (and slightly unhinged) sexiness, and a frank sense of humor, there’s really no one out there like these cats. And while the production may fall a bit short, it’s hard not to be won over by the folk-rock staples.