JaJaTao 假假條 (Modernsky Lab 2021.04.04)
JaJaTao, the genre-bending art-rock troupe JaJaTao have come a long way since I first caught them in late 2014 in Beijing. That was when they were still jumping on grunge bills (more frequent than you’d imagine in the capital). One of the things that immediately that stood out about them – besides the theatrical, snarling mix of grunge and Chinese funeral music – was their attention to detail and how fully formed they sounded at the time. Professionalism up the wazoo. Since then, the brainchild of Liu Yucao, has been steadily tightening the screws on his grunge revisionist outfit, whose mix of traditional Chinese instruments and folklore with volatile scream-filled acerbic alternative rock circa the early 90s is otherworldly in its vigour. And why the looks of the packed out Modern Sky Lab, the cult is strong in JaJaTao – whose fans seem to have a spiritual connection with the band – donning Yucao’s signature smeared lipstick make-up as well as his trusty cardigan sweater which has never left his side.
The band were in the midst of their nationwide tour in support of their wildly ambitious sophomore release, voted the No. 1 Chinese Album of the Year by the Xiami (RIP). Coated in layers of sludge metal, noise and psychedelic free jazz and filtered through traditional Taoist music and Chinese folk funeral music, it takes the bands sound and stretches it out even further, creating an almost unrecognizable world that toes the blurry line between mediation and anguish. Shanghai continues to be the year I get to see bands of my Beijing past and witness how far they’ve come! Props to JaJaTao and getting their dangerously seductive sound to the masses.