We’re jumping all over the place musically and geographically for the week’s batch of new releases including some vintage post rock courtesy of Beijing’s The Grinding Ear, glitch indietronica soundscapes from Red Over, a burst of campus rock fun from Shanghai’s Anfang Team, and a array of electronica from the Do Hits! crew. Have at it.
Veteran Beijing post rock outfit The Grinding Ear, whose members hail from different cities and countries, have been taking their time engraving themselves into the scene and now they’ve got the EP to prove that the time was well spent. The Raining Universe while not officially the band’s debut acts as an impressive introduction to the band’s patient, enveloping sound that rings true over the EP’s five tracks. While post rock bands are so commonplace nowadays, it’ll be hard to find many as emotionally charged as The Grinding Ear. From the turbulence crackle of ‘Larus Canus’ to the piano driven melancholy of ‘Rainy Alley’, it’s a perfect recipe for rainy afternoon. Spin it over on douban and xiami and check out the band’s tour dates, with a Beijing show stopper at some time in late September.
Digging the new noise coming out of Hangzhou – we return to the breezy coastal city with trip hop indietronica artist Red Over – the solo project from Ivy, one of the founders of independent label Lost Manual, who support quite a few intriguing artists including Spice and XBH. Her latest Night Soldier goes down the rabbit hole some more – ‘a serious glitch EP’ according to the artist’s xiami page. And strange indeed – definitely something that would fit right in with Beijing’s experimental crew. Field recordings, sound manipulations, and dense yet sparse soundscapes which linger. Give it a spin over at xiami.
Shanghai universities finally cooking up some hot blooded rock and roll in the form of Anfang Team, the latest indie rock rock outfit. Their debut LP Minhang Boy and Girls Anti Cheat Guide is a joyful burst of rock and roll that feels like a younger more pop-oriented version of Top Floor Circus or Namo. Post punk, punk, pop, folk, even country (their words not mine) – its influences are all over the place but that’s beside the point. Simple matter of fact is this is some of the most wildly lyrically rich music to come out of Shanghai in some time. And while it may lack a certain edge, this is still the type of music that could turn a bar full of college students into a giant sing-a-long. Big, brash, nostalgic, and a firm product of China’s rock and roll history, it’ll be interesting to see where these kids head to next. Spin it over at xiami or douban and purchase it through taobao.
The Do Hits! crew returns with their second installment of electronica ‘Made in China’. Initially founded by Sulumi, Howie Lee, Guzz, and Billy Starman four years back, the rag tag team of homebred producers, are celebrating keeping the underground dance scene alive and well with Do Hits Vol. 2, which includes a hefty eleven tracks featuring a slew of artists from Beijing and beyond. Guests include the Macao producer Achun, Shanghai ‘fried rice brother’ Conrank, Moscow producer Chuck Upbeat, Al Kelly out of Kunming and Chengdu as well as Zhi 16, Jason Hou, Dokedo, Harikiri, Bloodz Boi, Mike Gao, Howie Lee, Damacha, Zean, and 网恋C11. Grime, trap, EDM – all the ingredients for a party with plenty of Chinese flavor thrown in for good measure. Lotta sharp talent here. Jack it over at their bandcamp page.
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