On The Scene: Uptown Records 20-04-2013


Day Two of Live Shanghai Music. The body was saying no, the weather was saying no. But I really wanted a T-shirt. Especially one that would shrink to the size of a preschooler after going through the wash once. For sure. But no, I headed to Uptown Records, the super cool labyrinth of a record store this afternoon, to see some of Shanghai’s more offbeat artists, including Himdong, Pairs, and Gooooose (side project of Han Han from Duck Fight Goose) and to catch for the first time a band out of Beijing who just released their first 7’’ with Genjing Records, The Dyne. Wanna hear what dirty motel sex sounds like?

Glorious. I haven’t been bitch slapped with a band’s sound like this in quite some time. And heck, from my hood. The fact that all the bands were confined to cubicle made it all the better. Check below to see what the rest of the late afternoon held for me.


Up first was Himdong (also known as S.V.R.O) who got things moving at brisk speed with a collection of vigorous guitar riff driven tunes with the help of Pairs’ frontman Xiao Zhong on drums.

Other than the vocals being turned down a tad too much – it is a friggin 12 foot by 12 foot deathtrap these two were playing in – they were the perfect kickstart –  dose of energetic psychedelic post rock that’s restrained yet compelling enough to keep your head bopping.


Next was Pairs, who came out sans the drums, instead, opting for the double guitar threat. This route paved the way for an even barer and less formal Pairs’ set, if that was ever possible.

But damn, haven’t been hit by a closing line like this in sometime (“I’ll be the best body rotting in the ground. And I’ll feed all the worms in the neighboring towns. And you’ll be up above me, just walking around, but no matter how loud it is, I won’t hear a sound). It helps that Xiao Z beats the line into the ground till there’s nothing else, but the way in which he toys with the line – flipping the switch from melancholy, to anger, to acceptance, to contempt, and back again, well it’s mesmerizing. Those Aussies man.


Goooooooose – lots of fun to say that name. Just try it, you’ll see. Anywho, Gooooose is the electro side project of Han Han of Duck Fight Goose. Certainly not the easiest pill to swallow, and with only two songs to his set, not the easiest to define, but I appreciated more so than I enjoyed Han Han’s approach to the medium.

Definitely more of an experimental and ‘anything goes’ edge to his sound. In fact, I can’t say I’ve heard anything quite like it. And in electronic music, that’s a huge plus. 


However, the highlight of the day was catching Beijing’s The Dyne for the first time. Gritty surf rock that comes at you like a time bomb – you can literally hear me shitting my bands while I record.

Let’s get the elephant out of the way first – their bass player is an old school first generation iPod? Not sure how I feel about that – I’m sure there are plenty of capable bassists up here in smog capital. But whatever, it doesn’t matter – maybe they couldn’t find another pair of tight jeans.

Fact remains, this is a shot of whiskey to the eyeball. The mini drum set could barely stay upright during their set (no seriously, the cymbals fell off the stage just about every song). I’ll be keeping a very close eye on these two – first true find of the year for me.


Now if only someone would buy make a record player for my awesome 7’’ The Dyne record.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.