Bombastic hardcore outta Shanghai, ambient drone from the nectar of Shenyang, lo-fi dream pop from Hangzhou, and ‘rhythm n’ drone’ straight out of Beijing – here’s the latest from Spill Your Guts, Pool of Light, YangJi, and Gong Gong Gong.
Yangji养鸡 – The Love of Chickens养鸡的情史
Hangzhou based singer-songwriter YangJi aka Raise Chicken brings dream pop charm and melodic keenness to her solo project. There’s a stream of consciousness fascination to the lyrics as they play out as if being written in a dairy. Little asides, humorous observations, and vulnerability mixed with straight-faced peculiarity – all captured perfectly in the lo-fi (almost at times sounding like a KTV track) production that’s feels dream like, genuine, and delicate. It’s Cantopop made for a modern day audience, Anime pop punk with a heart of gold, and an album you’ll find yourself dipping into again and again.
Spill Your Guts – Hungry Crows
Hardcore and metal collide in the uproarious and furious full-length debut from long-standing hard-hitting Shanghai outfit Spill Your Guts. A lean muscular pummeling of thundering drums, savage screams, and metal worthy guitar riffs, the band throws it all into the abyss, tearing down bigot after bigot, demon after demon, both physical and metaphorical, in a tsunami of aggression and hell bent rage. One giant glorious middle finger to the world, with the guts to back it up.
Gong Gong Gong & Spectator: V | 工工工、李：憬觀 – Rhythm n’ Drone 節奏與嗡鳴
The Beijing based duo Gong Gong Gong, made up of Joshua Frank (of Hot & Cold) and Tom Ng (of Offset:Spectacles) continue exploring what they call the ’phantom rhythm’ on their latest cassette tape release – Rhythm N’ Drone – which adds fellow Offset:Spectacle member Vince Li to the mix on additional guitar, bringing some droney atmosphere to the mix. While the framework of Gong Gong Gong remains – Ng’s percussive guitar and Frank’s melodic, storming bass – the four track release jumps down the rabbit hole even more, transforming into a sprawling psychedelic jam session that feels alive and dirty.
Pool of Light光淵 – Hall of White Shadows白影堂
Some deep dark ambient music emerging from Shenyang in the form of Pool of Light, the drone project from Russian expat Anton Bogdanov. And gotta say — this is drone music done right. Transcendent, and foreboding in the way a giant cathedral would have been to a peasant in the Dark Ages. It captivates and swallows you whole, without ever showing its hand or making you question what you are hearing. There’s a naturalism at play here that would be right at home on a neo Western soundtrack.