Whether it be folk, bluegrass, Guangdong folk, emo or drone-based black metal the releases just keep flowing in. So take a side, join the light side or the dark side and check out the latest from Wu Tiao Ren, Nahash, The Hutong Yellow Weasels, and The ProzaX.
The Guangzhou-based folk outfit Wu Tiao Ren, who hail from Haifeng, Guangdong, have been playing their folky guitar and accordion tunes, often in their native Haifeng dialect (the least spoken language among the three major dialects in Guangdong province), since 2003. In the past decade the band has won countless accolades for their dusty poetic rural perspective, which eventually landed the now trio a Modern Sky deal. Their latest, Canton Girl, is the result of that union, and while the album features a lot more Mandarin than their previous endeavors, there’s no denying the charm and rustic appeal of the band and their music. Each song is still rife with personality, lush melodies, and a sense of playfulness that’s often missing from most contemporary folk music. It’s brimming with life, sounding as though you’ve stumbled upon a private party hosted in the band’s hometown. Give it a spin over here (or cough steal it cough).
Looking to wallow in the abyss, bask in the darkest corners of your mind, and veg out to some of the harshest metal out there. Nahash\’s got you covered. The Shanghai drone-based freak show led by producer Raphael Valensi, continues meddling in the dark arts with his latest Old Religion/New Skin off of Huashan Records. With a helping hand from drummer Ivan Belcic and Ryan Baird, there\’s a lot more bombast on the first half, making the end of the world sound like the party to be at. Meanwhile, the second half is more drone and guitar centric, giving way to some very cathartic moments that are frightening, raw, and utterly hypnotic in the atmosphere it creates. Rip into it over here, and it typical apocalyptic fashion you can grab it on cassette as well.
It\’s shocking how well the bluegrass genre translates to the musical landscape here in Beijing. While there’s the physical environment in which it’s based in, one that refuses to ‘get with the times’, there’s also the nostalgic and in the end melancholic feeling that hangs over the music, as it strives to infuse its audience in a simpler time. On The Hutong Yellow Weasels second album, NIHOWDY! , the string band looks to put a snake in listeners’ boots and get them moving. And must say, the album does a pretty good job of translating the band’s live energy. Nine tracks of knee slapping, fiddle and mandolin infused Appalachian folk without an ounce of fat. Bask in that old time feeling over here.
Throw on that sideway cap, toss on some eye liner, and let it all out cause The ProzaX have your back. The emo rock and roll outfit, who have been creeping around the Gulou venues over the past year, have put together their first self-titled EP. As the band states, in today’s environment where everything is at the tip of your fingers instantly, we find ourselves more impetuous and lonely, falling into a inevitable rise and fall of emotions. And yup, you guessed it, The ProzaX are here to help you with their hopeful lyrics and hold steady drum and guitars. Slick production, and a fine collection of tunes, but in all honesty, this was never my cup of tea. For you emo kids out there, this might just be it for you. Give it a listen here and purchase it over here.