New Releases: Seippelabel Vol. 4/5, Zhaoze, Black Kirin, Mei Zhiyong


Electronic music in all its variations, folk metal goes acoustic, metal the material itself gets it harsh due, and one of the country’s most beloved post rock outfit go live. Soft and loud, ambient to downright abrasrive, you’ll find everything in this week’s roundup of new releases featuring Seippelabel, Black Kirin, Mei Zhiyong, and Zhaoze.

Seippelabel, the cross-national Beijing/US based digital label, curated and put together by local musician Brad Seippel (aka thruoutin) continues down the rabbit hole that is electronic music, exploring its many nooks and crannies, with the label’s latest two volumes. Seippelabel Vol. 4 tracks artists based in Beijing and aboard including Lastboss (based in Shenzhen), æϣ (from Scotland), Dazed Marrow (based in Seoul), dMH (Ireland), as well as local Beijing flavoring from Wen Liang and Dee. A fine sampling of ambient and beat-oriented soundscapes that all but defies categorization. Meanwhile, Vol. 5 puts the lens on Beijing and its budding underground electronic scene, particularly those that float in the realm and are on the fringes of the techno scene including Far-Infinity, Punx, Red.pores pomelo, and VU. Loving the variety on display here. Give those ears a workout and find which of these stimulating sounds suit you over on bandcamp.

Folk metal outfit Black Kirin, who hail from Changchun, dial it down on their latest, Xiao Shao, which some might consider a straight up acoustic folk album. Eliminating the band’s staple opera-style death metal, the instrumental album strips away the vocals and heavier aspects of band’s sound which they’ve cultivated since their incarnation in 2013. And nevertheless, the release works splendidly on its own, a meditative, and at times rousing acoustic album while at the same time provides an interesting idea of how the band operates and may transform their folk foundation into something like this. Whoa indeed. Did I mention the album purchase comes with an optional teacup and Yunnan red tea. Bandcamp.

Changchun noise artist, Mei Zhiyong, one of the more active harsh noise artists on the grind, gets down and dirty, as well as intensely loud for his latest foray into harsh noise. China’s Steel is exactly what it intends, over thirty minutes of metal making sweet dirty love to every surface available (mainly more metal) and it’s likely gonna be a winner for folks who grew up in machine and chop shops all their life. Or more likely trigger some serious PTSD. You be the judge and hop into bed with some metal over at bandcamp.

Guangzhou post rock band, Zhaoze, whose intoxicating use of the guqin with post and prog rock elements has won the band accolades from just about everywhere, return with grand ol’ live album, The Relativity Of Space And Time, recorded live from the Xinghai concert hall in their home city in late 2015. Clocking in at over 100 minutes, it’s a mammoth of a release, one that covers everything from their 2007 release Lost Dream, where the band wasn’t even using the guqin yet, to last year’s Yesterday Yes Tonight. A great introduction to one of China’s most successful post rock bands. Bandcamp.

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