Take one week off and now I’m swamped with releases – looks like some peeps have used their ‘free time’ wisely – here’s the latest from KTR cohorts Noise Arcade and Cloud Choir, mad Frenchmen Djang San, dystopian rock duo Alpine Decline, and the latest Peng Tan remix collection, featuring Glow Curve and SquareLoud.
How’s that for an opening – I knew as soon as I heard those pigeon electric foot ring tags (for two years that sound haunted me without me having the slightest idea where it was coming from) that I was going to be in love with this album. Alpine Decline have knocked it out of the park with their latest, Go Big Shadow City, produced with the help of Yang Haisong. It’s a hefty piece of work, one that takes everything that the dystopian rock duo does great – ghostly vocals, hypnotic reverb, and atmospheric ‘end of days’ soundscapes that perfectly captures the rust, otherworldly glow, and grime of Beijing like no one else – and refined it in ways that’s ambitiously entertaining and emotionally satisfying in the most unexpected ways. As the title suggests Alpine Decline have gone big and haven’t missed a beat. Purchase that baby in vinyl or digital form over here and expect a release party sometime in March.
Mad Frenchmen Zhang Sian (Djang San) has been a busy boy– the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist has released a swaggering four albums this past January – a collection of ‘Chinese folk, rock music, French Chanson, electro music, and experimental sounds’. Yeah, dude gets around. So really cool sounds here – Music Dumplings is described as a ‘the background music’ to Djang San’s trips in China, whereas Robot is considered as ‘the music for a science fiction novel’ he’ll never get around to writing. Particularly love G.T.W and Run Lisa, Run. The second batch of albums are the zhongruan centric Zhongruan Vol. 2 which showcases the artist’s chinese instrument skills, and Love is a detention center for lonely people, which is like a Sega-Genesis game soundtrack filtered through Djang San’s kookiest sensibilities. A lot to dig here folks – give them all a twirl (or purchase) over here.
As per usual, the team behind KTR (Kitchen Table Records) have busted out a few more new releases of their ambient drone-centric, analog synthesizing head trips. First up, Noise Arcade has back at the start and delayed onset, the latter of which is a ‘21 minute ambient workout’ recorded in the murky lands of Ireland, where the two have been kicking it back for the holidays. On the Cloud Choir end we have sounds from another place, which was recorded live at The Other Place back in January, which frankly captures their ‘dark side’ a lot more organically – some truly righteous intergalactic stuff going on here. Hope these two just go on making music into their ‘walking sticks’ days pissing off the rest of the attendees in the retirement home they’ll be holed up in.
Last, we have the second volume of pop folk artist Peng Tan’s remix collection, which before invited CNdY and Tian Peng to remix his single ‘墨荭潮’. Peng Tan + Electron Talent Game Project No. 2 hands the remixing torch over to Glow Curve and SquareLoud who lay over their electronic interpretations of Peng Tan’s single ‘Riverside河边’. And the results are pretty dope. Check it out over at xiami. I\’m digging the whole remixing stage that Chinese artists have dug into – truly proves the sheer talent across various genres as well as highlighting the confidence and introverted eye turned back on the music being produced within the country. Keeping it \’in the family\’.