New Music: Alpine Decline, Scarlet’s Other Parts, Mei Zhiyong

Alpine Decline – Return to Desolation Lake重返荒湖

Two years after breaking free of the shackles of China, Alpine Decline, led by the husband and wife duo of Jonathan and Pauline, return with their most tender, melodically in-tuned release yet. The indie euphoric indie rock outfit seems to have traded out the dystopian fuzz and grit of Beijing for the sun-soaked psychedelic vibes of California, and while it may be a bit jarring for diehard fans of the band, this is still very much the Alpine Decline we’ve all have come to love – chock full of sprawling elegiac lyrics and a tender yet still tortured heart that if anything is even more front and center on the ten track LP. Invoking everything from Elliot Smith to Simon & Garfunkel whilst still imploring masterfully synth-hymns and unsettling, almost gothic undertones, it’s yet again another release from the band that is equally haunting and delightful.



Scarlet’s Other Parts – EP

Boring Productions, the Shenzhen DIY label with an affinity for c86 pop sounds unearths the latest project from the incredibly prolific Airmum, whose previous projects including islet, Kakikuke, and Daytrip Dormancy were favorites in inner indie circles. Scarlet’s Other Parts is a slow burning, tender, janglesome collection of lyrically unassuming yet potent songs which the artist describes as ‘wordy prolix pop’. While there’s an undercurrent of angst and guitar-led turmoil in the EP, Airmum keeps the mood starry-eyed and gentle, like a lounge room singer at his most loose and sincere, crafting some subtly moving tunes. Another win for Boring Productions.



Mei Zhiyong 梅志勇 + Ryosuke Kiyasu – Kōenji 高円寺

Two of the noise scene’s most prominent figures in China and Japan join forces for a wild good time on the latest release from French based WV Sorcerer Productions and China based FuzzTape. Recorded during an improv session in Tokyo between Mei Zhiyong (Mafeisan/Nojiji/Fuzztape) & Ryosuke Kiyasu (Sete Star Sept/Kiyasu Orchestra/Fushitsusha), the sprawling, dense, and freewheeling release makes ample use of Kiyasu’s bonafide free jazz drumming skills and Zhiyong’s hands-on hardware noise disarray – finding a perfect match in the two as they feed and play off one another in captivating ways. A must for noise junkies. 


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