The esteemed post-punk godfathers of China, P.K.14, are back with their seventh full-length LP – their boldest and arguably most accessible album yet and one that feels larger than life – both an accumulation of the band’s output over the years as well as a challenge to bands across China. While their influence has long lingered in the underground scene for better or worse, the band has once again raised the bar, creating an album that feels urgent, thrilling, and musically lush with detail and poetic prose. Besides upping the production on this baby up to eleven, the band also brought in members of Berlin avant-garde ensemble Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra – turning Haisong’s musings into manifesto. A masterpiece of lyricism and atmosphere that echoes across the new world order and resonates deep in your consciousness. Good to have you back P.K.14.
Little Wizard – the hard-hitting Shaoxing instrumental rockers return with a gut punch of an EP – an exhilarating roller coaster ride of rock and roll that leaves nothing on the floor. While there are still plenty of traces of the band’s math rock acrobats, the band is operating on another level here, charging full steam ahead with two tracks (after an improvised warm-up) that ignite as soon as they hit the floor, oozing with magnetism and dynamo craftsmanship. Simply put, Little Wizard has cut off all the fat and delivered a crowd-pleasing, stadium-ready jam. More, please.
There’s something quite compatible about the ocean and shoegaze – how waves of sound and the endless reverb so easily replicate the seemingly endless horizon on the sea and the constantly shifting tides. And while Guangzhou isn’t exactly a beach town, Pocari Sweet, the new three-piece group from there, plays off the attributes of the sea with great success on their debut EP. Pulsating with woozy ethereal walls of sound and voices that seem to float in and out of the air, Pocari Sweet are a great addition to the shoegaze scene, capturing both the rumbling distortions and surrounding chaos as well as the sweeter slower daydream waltzes the genre resides in.