It\’s fall season and that means a heck ton of new releases including the debut from Beijing punk blues reaper Guiguisuisui, and downtempo alt rockers outfit Me Too. Plus, a look at the strange and beautiful sophomore release from Chinese Golden Melody Award nominee Li Xiaoluo – one of my personal favorites of the summer. And finally a look at what the folks over at Zoomin\’ Nights have been cooking up. Hint: it’s cassette tapes!
2013 Chinese Golden Melody Award nominee, Li Xiaoluo, a classically trained theater performer, has created a lusciously delirious piece of chamber pop that demands ones attention in The Land of Many Pots. Sprawling and transcendent, the artist’s robust and classically trained vocals, combined with the sparse yet dense arrangements (the production on this beast is top of the line) create once again one of the year’s most pleasant surprises. A intoxicating hot pot of styles converge into some sort of transformative listening experience that, very much like Wu Wei\’s release off of Mammoth Studios, feels theatrically of the moment and utterly one of a kind. A twist on the what exactly qualifies as popular music, it has deep literary roots and has a fresh lyrical directness that’s missing in modern music nowadays. And just when you think you know where it\’s going Li Xiaoluo pulls the rug out from underneath. There\’s strange beauty at play here and I can\’t get enough of it. Dig into Li Xiaoluo\’s near masterpiece on xiami (and email the label for a copy).
Beijing-based (though never quite put) one-man zombified punk blues grave digger Guiguisuisui bleeds his heart out and then some on his worthy debut Write Me A Death Letter, off of Metal Postcard Records. Like a twisted comic villain with a serve case of ADD, the artist utilizes every trick (and featuring guest) up his sleeve – from 8-bit sampling, saxophone meltdowns, electronica segues, pipa meddling, to dueling guitars solos and female-backing vocals, it\’s a populated tour of the eccentric vibrant world that Guiguisuisui inhabits. And while there are moments where the album threatens to collapse upon itself with the amount of cooks in the kitchen, there\’s no denying how infectiously thrilling the free wielding collaborative nature of the album can be. And special note must be made of how jarring and unexpected the tonal change is in \’The Sky Is My Canvas\’ where the artist completely sheds his persona and simply gives us some down and out soulful blues. A reminder of how much of a chameleon Guiguisuisui can be. Entertainment of the highest order. Jump in over at bandcamp and grab a copy this Saturday, September 19th at DDC for the release show.
Beijing via Xinjiang alt rockers Me Too have been lurking under the radar for over six years, somehow always on the fringes of hitting it big. With a sound that\’s at once clumsily derivative and intriguing unique, they\’re a band you root for no many what their shortcomings. And while their latest release, Frankenstein, a 7\’ vinyl release off of none other than Genjing Records, may not get everyone\’s fire going, it showcases a band coming ino their own even more. Two tracks of synth-smeared, retro fitting, future thinking rock and roll, it\’s a fine entryway into the bands steely detached universe that’s densesly layered with glitch soundwaves, power chords, and reverb. Have a listen over at the labels bandcamp and if you dig check out the band come Sunday September 20th when they\’ll officially release their 7\’.
Finally had the pleasure of checking out the new Zoomin’ Night sessions being held in a Sanyuanqiao highway underpass and was quite taken with it. Amazing how much a change of scenery (and lack of an overlord) has created this aura of unpredictable excitement amongst the series\’ regulars. Better yet, they\’ve got tapes! The latest release from Zoomin’ Night’s bandcamp page, Clarinet, is a live recording of one of the underpass events held back in July and of as you can guess, involves a hefty dosing of clarinet. Improvisational and experimental junkies get at it! Digging the format of these releases. Truly of the moment. Get lost of their bandcamp where you can also find Essay, an experimental noise piece from John Wilton, an active member of the Australian improvised music scene.