New Music: Swimful, Zaliva-D, Liu Yiwei


Swimful – Folding Knives 

Shanghai-based producer Swimful has done it again on his triumphant Folding Knives, out on SVBKVLT. Drenched in neon-spiked, emotionally-fraught ambience and luscious futuristic melodies that touches on everything from M83-crossed-with-Final Fantasy world-builders to grime music, Swimful has concocted a world that’s intoxicating in its allure and aesthetics. You swim in it’s Technicolor-buoyancy, drown in it’s dense orchestral storytelling as it soundscapes a future you’re already nostalgic about. The seven track release features guest spots from Yayoyanoh & Organ Tapes on lead single “Agony”, as well as producer Chlorine Mist (aka Dylan Reznick of FRIENDZONE) on opener “Plain”. A doozy of an album. 





Liu Yiwei – ERASING 

Looking to capture the lo-fi grain and hum of old cassette tapes, Beijing-based producer and electronic musician (known to most as Far Infinity) presents us with the living, breathing, and fading concept project entitled ERASING, out on Shanghai’s PlayRec Label. A textually rich, intricately layered electro-acoustic offering that utilizes an array of resources – from national FM radio to old classical vinyl records – and a variety of downright surgical methods – from tape stitching to straight up ‘smashing the sounds on the magnetic head at a storm-like speed’ – Yiwei has created a fully realized collage of samples and sounds. Viewed as “a misty poetry from the collective memory of the generation” that “makes a path for exploring the extension of time,” it’s a compelling ode to the sounds that linger in our brain and how we filter and replay them over time.



Zaliva-D – Forsaken

If you haven’t joined the congregation of Zaliva-D, the menacing pitch-black-tinted electronic and visual pairing of Chao and Aisin-Gioro Yuanjin, then their latest Forsaken just might the one to convert you. While full of the Beijing duo’s signature atmospheric and pulse-pounding tribal cues (acquired across China and Southeast Asia) and topped off with their esoteric flourish of the surreal and beautiful, it definitely feels like the duo are ever so slightly dialing back their more jarring industrial club vibes, making it their most accessible album to date. But gentler they are not – battle beats, and haunting vocals twisted into the ether still give flavor to Zaliva-D’s glorious pagan trip into hell, giving listeners their best glimpse into the mouth of madness. Dangerously good. 



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