Shoegaze, tribal electronica, street hip hop, and rockabilly – it’s a grab bag of genres and styles in our latest roundup of newest releases which includes fresh cuts from Chengdu based rap trio L1STALLDO, Shenzhen shoegaze outfit Milkmustache, Beijing based producer Jason Hou, as well as Beijing’s premier rockabilly trope Rolling Bowling.
Underground rap collective, L1STALLDO, based out of Chengdu and made up of rappers D.John, Mao, and Killer Wang (who also provides many of the beats) provides their second and quite possibly last full-length album, as the group plans to take time apart. Whatever the case, their latest entitled Cao Gu She Gan, is a gritty piece of hip hop that feels like a classic New York or Minnesota gangster rap album. No glamour, just a hardened outlook on city life that feels raw, genuine, and above all respectful. And while its influences are aplenty, Killerwang incorporates plenty from the crew’s memory bank from Bruce Lee quotes to Chinese soap operas that grounds the stark lyrics. It’s a shame if the trio does decide to break up cause China needs more hip hop groups like this. Bandcamp/xiami.
Shoegaze gets its due in Shenzhen with Milkmustache, the three-piece outfit that brings the jangle and then some of their first EP, Imagine Us Together. Off of the bedroom pop label Boring Productions, also out of Shenzhen, the four track release is a dreamy indie pop success. And while it’s doesn’t exactly add anything new to the genre, it hits so many right notes that will surely have fans of shoegaze and dream pop giddy. Walls of sound, jangly melodies that get you all gooey-eyed, and bittersweet lyrics that come out in almost a whisper – yeah, I’m a sucker for this kind of music. Bandcamp/Douban
Aliens lend a hand to the Giza pyramids in Egypt; extraterrestrials land at Machu Picchu in Peru – if you ever wondered what the soundtrack would be for when these futuristic lifeforms collided with our primitive ancestors then look no further then Beijing based electronic artist Jason Hou’s debut Origin. The latest release from the Do Hits! crew is massively entertaining piece of electronica that blends ‘Sci-Fi resembling sound fragments and Kung-fu movie effects…together with Chinese ethnic minorities folk music samples, led by Chinese, African, Latino groove elements.’ It’s a trip to say the least. Get in on the action over at bandcamp.
It’s been rather quiet as of late for Beijing’s premier rockabilly outfit Rolling Bowling. The band signed to major indie rock label Modernsky a year plus ago, went on a couple Europeans, but besides that, we haven’t heard much from them — until now. The three piece has, for better or worse, grown up on their latest Love, Not Tomorrow, a highly polished piece of rockabilly pop that feels a large progressive step forward for the band. Everything is turned up for maximum effect, including the addition of other elements – from countryside music, female harmonies, and bluegrass violin. And while it lacks the grit of the band’s previous effort Marriage Is Not My Favorite Thing, particularly in lead singer Woody’s voice which has been robbed of its punk appeal, the album is robust with traditional rockabilly anthems that would fit right in the 1950s and will most likely appeal to a larger demographic here in China, particularly one in tune with the rockabilly and swing revival. These boys will be just fine me thinks. Xiami.