New Releases: Round Eye, Do Hits!, Nakoma, Feng Bo Long


Trap, free jazz, prog rock, grime, experimental, doo-wop, math rock, punk – today’s new release jump all over the map musically and god damn has it ever sounded so good. Let’s get into it with the latest from Round Eye, Nakoma, the Do Hits! crew and Feng Bo Long, the first release from Zoomnin Nights’ latest online label.

While Shanghai party rock outfit Round Eye have always remained out of the most visceral bands out in China, a hot mess of unhinged disorderly punk mayhem, a absolute must see for thrill seeker in the Big Red, it in no way could prepare me for the wide-eyed bewilderment I underwent while listening to their self-titled debut release. The anarchistic streak which runs through Round Eye’s veins is split open and wide, spilling in every facet of the album’s production and overall atmosphere. Less a traditional rock album and more a free-wheeling funhouse of free-jazz, doo-wop, and punk, the seventeen-track venture into rock’s most freakish corners must be heard to be fully comprehended. It’s all over the place, abrasive, straight up mental at times, a hot mess, and plays out like the best and worst drug trips of my time. And might just be one of the best albums of the year. Grab it here and in wax-from this Saturday, June 20th at School as Round Eye joins The Stooges’ Steve Mackay, Xian punk Sucker and Bedstars for a riotous evening.

Instrumental hard rock outfit Nakoma, a band that’s been hard on the circuit the past year, have finally got around to releasing their self-titled debut and it’s an assured piece of prog rock, one that feels so effortlessly put together you might miss out on the highly intricate arrangements on display here. Post-metal, math rock, whatever you want to call it, what remains is how much robust the whole thing feels. Sown together by three highly proficient musicians, each track packs a punch, even if it doesn’t give way to the more dynamic tendencies found in heavy metal. It’s a strangely bewitching album, one that subtly rackets up the tension before pulling the rug out from beneath you. Soundtrack music to tear into. Grab it over here and check out the band on Friday, June 19th at DDC and on June 21st at Temple.

Do Hits! is the collaborative electronic team of local musicians with an emphasis on ‘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. 1, five orginal tracks of bonafide electronica. The tracks are from a hybrid of musicians including Howie Lee, Guzz, Zaliva-D, SIG, and Jason Hou. Grime, trap, EDM – all the ingredients for a party are here but what I found again and again most intriguing about this particular bunch of producers is their ability to incorporate oriental vibes and cultural byproducts into their grooves without at once coming off as gimmicky. Proof again that electronica is finding surer and surer footing in China. Jack it over here and help the team celebrate Saturday, June 20th at Dada.

For all you experimental junkies out there looking for a bit of the ol’ freak improv then I’d recommend checking out Feng Bo Long, the first official release from Zoomin Night, the de facto label, promoter, and Tuesday night shindig of all things musically off the beaten path. Yup, the D-22 and XP weekly series is taking their shenanigans online. Their first release features Zoomin Night regulars Deng Chenglong on electric guitar, percussion, and objects, Gao Jiafeng on tenor saxophone, vocals, percussion, and objects, and Zhu Wenbo on recorder, percussion, harmonica, and toys. Of course, toys. Take it or leave it folks, but with only two for weeks of Zoomin Nights (due to XP’s impending closure) this cassette is gonna be an artifact in the far future. Trust. Revel in the chaos here.

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