Intricate melodies of from both post rock delights and speed metal renegades, a orientalized hip hop mixtape, and an attempt to capture a ‘sound poem without words’ – that’s the pitch for this week’s latest releases, a lovely batch of new music from Dalian, Jinzhou, Beijing, and Sichuan including fresh LPs from DOC, Punisher, Kichy Tlic, and Baishui.
Sichuan musician Baishui, whose extensive work in composing and improvisation, and numerous talents in various instruments, has made him a jack of all trades – a film composer, a neo folk hero, an avant grade renegade, and one of China’s most unique artists. On his latest, Sound in Motion: Puzzle Suite, Baishui attempts to write a ‘sound poem without words’ using simple improvisation instrumental recordings, vocal samples, and field recordings. The second full-length in his ‘Sound of Motion’ series, whose goal is examine the ‘relationship between sound and movement’, features some ace contributors including sound artists Yao Chunyang, Yuan Tian, and Anna. It’s a beautifully realized project, where one sound, one voice or one instrument is explored to its deepest lengths. It’s sparse, minimal in its approach yet rich in details and emotion. A must have for anyone interested in the unexpected. Bandcamp.
In just four years, indie rock groovers Doc Talk Shock, hailing from the coastal city of Dalian, have redefined their sound so much the band was in need of a new name – DOC (short for Dalian Obscure Club). The five piece post rock trope is playing on a much larger canvas this time around on Northern Electric Shadow, stripping away at the noise and chaos that their previous incarnation may have exhibited and instead opting for something closer to a symphony albeit one layered in complexity and intrigue. While there is mystery and danger lurking amidst the compositions here, it’s the warmth of the album that draws you in. The lush coordination of ideas and melodies – synthesizers looping around and building over time; guitars sparring in the mellowest of terms; an undercurrent of progressive affirmative energy. And just perhaps one of the best albums of the year. Bandcamp.
Beijing based hip-hop producer Kichy Tlic draws from the ‘oriental spirit’ with his debut release, 8 Beats Tape, off of Mintone Records. The young producer, whose work with such rappers such as Lu1, itsogoo, P.O.E, and Jazzilipper has earned him a solid reputation of creating jazz-infused hip hop gems, that pay tribute both the traditional Chinese music and modern day hip hop – something that could easily be heard on a Wu Tang Clan slow jam. Evidently inspired by the a Chinese martial art called Ba Ji Quan (known in some circles as ‘bodyguard style kungfu’) it’s a slow burn, a meditative hip hop class of the highest order. Dope stuff indeed. Bandcamp.
Trash metal finds it’s latest torchbearer in the form of Punisher. The five piece technical thrash / speed metal outfit, who hail from Jinzhou (close to Dalian), bring class to the genre that’s oversaturated to say the least. With an emphasis on intricate guitar rhythms and good old fashioned 80s era shrills straight from the mouth of Satan, their debut LP, Battle of Grace, produced by Kurong Records, is a old school metal head’s wet dream of an album. Commanding, concise, and loaded with sharp guitar solos that will heads bopping and fists upright, the band ain’t lying when they say ‘every time you play one of our songs, a dictator gets cancer.’ Bandcamp.