Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pairs - Pairs [2010]

“Pairs is/are some bitches and dickheads from Shanghai.
They have taken their broadway smash music to various death traps, both North and South and survived to tell the tale to deaf ears.
Pairs make music and don’t make it particularly well, almost like people who have lost their talent.
Their name is often misspelled as Paris, and Pairs understand that this is an easy mistake to make.”


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

X is Y - Self-Titled (Shanghai, 2010)

X is Y is an upcoming math rock band based in Shanghai with hints of post-rock and early 90s post-hardcore.

Read this to know more about the band and the people involved.

Download the LP for free here (approved by the band).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hualun (花伦) - Asian River [2010]

Wuhan, China is an industrial wasteland; crowded, dusty and forebodingly urban. Driving through the city, it is hard to miss the scenic views of cordoned off construction sites with their massive cranes and bulldozers, either erecting new high rise skyscrapers or destroying old buildings for the sake of better urban planning. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and also the hometown of Hualun, one of the few post-rock bands in China. Two years after their debut, Silver Daydream, they release their sophomore album Asian River, a more cohesive and polished effort.

Post-rock has always been interested in exploring the dichotomy between quiet build ups and controlled noisy chaos. Asian River explores this traditional concept with great care, featuring the classic post-rock template of clean and reverbed guitar melodies which coalesce into crescendos of distortion and delay, supported by clear cut drumming and solid bass lines. During the relatively silent sections, there is minimal interplay between the guitars, allowing for more appreciation of the individual trickling string melody.

The first half of the album evokes shades of Mono, with long and intricate passages (all songs are over six minutes long) and strikingly epic climaxes. Songs like ‘Echo’ and ‘The Pilot’ showcase disciplined driving bass lines around which the guitars faithfully build their melodies. The album ender, ‘Shanghai Tourists,’ takes a familiar Chinese string tune and reworks it into a beautiful modern day interpretation with a gentle duel between the rhythm and lead guitar. The band is careful in reeling in their indulgences; the songs never overstay their welcome.

The album is relatively short for a post-rock album, with seven songs barely crossing over the forty seven minute mark. The production is refreshingly traditional, in that there are no drum machines, synthesizers or any overt digital manipulation, allowing the instruments to shine in their rightful manner. Hualun doesn’t test the boundaries of the genre, but, it does an excellent job of working within its confines. The songs are forceful in evoking feelings of melancholy and nostalgia; perhaps longing for a simpler time in industrial Wuhan.

-Ashish Lohani


Edit: I have been told that the 3rd song wasnt listed in the zip file I posted. My apologies. Here is the link for Track 3 (Songs of Maldoror: Six) which is probably the best track on the album.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Jams

Here's a playlist of what I'm listening to pass these sweltering summer days. Share yours too. Enjoy.

1. Burn Bridges - Dom
2. Monsoon- Delorean
3. Summertime Clothes- Animal Collective
4. Selfish Boy- Caribou
5. Collector- Here We Go Magic
6. Away FRM U- Oberhofer
7. Gemini- Wild Nothing
8. Daydream- Beach Fossils
9. Talamak- Toro Y Moi
10. You Hid- Toro Y Moi
11. New Science- Guther


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Maze (迷宫) - Akstrize (2009)

My their Myspace:
As taken from their Myspace:

Maze: Stream of Consciousness rock band. Was born in nothingness, follow the consciousness of the slurry into the illusion of hidden whirlpool. Low vision, sound from a nuclear explosion like jumping into instant turmoil, all the dim sound of bursting after the burst of agitation in the given rise to redness of the skin, or in the icy silence of the steel strings, echo in the mountains between all the poetic depths of the sea to kill the moment.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Wang-Wen - L & R [2010]

Album mixed by Efrim Menuck (Godspeed You! Black Emperor)

L & R

Other albums by Wang Wen

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hualun - Silver Daydream [2008]

This upcoming and a crowd a favourite band in Wuhan started out as a Britpop influenced band in 2004 and has undergone several changes. The band’s interest slowly changed to the howling wall of Post-Rock noise and melody and thus settled on this very sound in late 2006. Since, then they have extensively toured the east coast and have received widespread attention and public recognition. They finally released their highly-anticipated album in early 2008 and have been regarded as the pioneers of the new wave of Post-Rock bands in China.

Beach Fossils - Beach Fossils [2010]

The jangly, self recorded ramblings of Brooklyn’s Dustin Payseur, Beach Fossils offers hauntingly catchy tunes that blend the energy of an impulsive road trip with the melodious wandering of a lucid dream. Sun drenched riffs, kaleidoscopic rhythms and hazy lyrics saturate Beach Fossils’ first release, the album’s carefree vibe perfectly summed up through song titles such as “Daydream,” “Vacation,” and “Lazy Day.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Big Star - #1 Record/Radio City

RIP Alex Chilton.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

8 Eye Spy - How Damn Far to Yingma Lane? [2009, Maybe Mars]

A Nanjing based noise rock band.



Booji - Reserved [2009, Modern Sky]

Booji (波激小丝) is based in Shanghai and currently includes 33 (Vocals and Keyboards) Sun Ye (Guitar), Jiang Zhen Dong (Bass) and Da Men (Drums). Booji’s members use music elements from indie rock and rock and roll from the 90s onward to create their own music world, and therefore it is very difficult to define their song style. But the one thing that keeps a consistency in their songs is the emotional framework created by using distortion and a fairytale-like ambience. Their music is weird, blurry, and experimental with a flavor of rock. In 2009 Booji signed with Modern Sky Records, and released their debut “Reserved”.


Boys Climbing Ropes - Except For The Darkness [2010]

Born three years ago from a medley of rum and cigarette induced visions in one of the last remaining authentic taverns in Ottawa, Canada. Boys Climbing Ropes is a testament to the delight and folly of international displacement. The conjuring of a wily vigour that understands no ends, stumbling along a thin line separating magic from down-right drunkenness. Their psych-folk punk infusion sounds like a distorted depressed escapee flying along a highway at dusk in a big rusted white pickup truck with a flat rear tire. After sweating through their first half year as a band in China, Boys Climbing Ropes had a run in with the enigmatic Xiao Punk. A vagabond and self-published poet from Jianxi province, Xiao Punk joined the cavalcade on vocals, thus adding herself into the mix with the three Canadian foreign nationals: Devin Gallery (drums), Morgan Short (bass/keyboards) and Jordan Small (guitar/vocals). All four musicians have been involved in various other musical projects, from high school orchestral units to full-scale shit-rock bands in big Asian cities. Notable influences include Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Neil Young with Crazy Horse, Leonard Cohen and of course Bruce Springsteen. Entering their second year in the Shanghai music scene, Boys Climbing Ropes still entertains premonitions of becoming an unfastened release of music. One that continues week after week filled with the fervour of an early-communistic work ethic. In an attempt to promote the medium of local underground music and subterranean affairs Boys Climbing Ropes tirelessly entertains hopes of a future for Shanghai rock, built upon every irreplaceable live show. Because this year is all about moving units.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

AV Okubo - Greed of Man (大时代) (2010, Maybe Mars)

Hailing from industrial Wuhan, AV Okubo AV 大久保 draws on the sweltering summer nights and the grinding factory noise of their home city to put on one of the best live shows in China. Their performances are electrifying and burst with a sophisticated take on the throwaway culture underlying the best pulp fiction and B-movies of the 1940s and 1950s. Playing with kitschy re-minders of China in the 1980s, just as the country was reawakening from the nightmare of the Cultural Revolution and beginning to embrace Hong Kong crime movies, sexy cigarette advertisements, and the fading remnants of Socialist singalongs, they focus on the cultural detritus of their childhoods through a cynical but remarkably joyful lens, and both celebrate and condemn the experiences of growing up in newly industrializing China.

All of the band members in AVO were born in the 1980s to factory workers, and three of them work in local factories, and this clearly comes through in their music – they’ve reinterpreted their memories of pop songs and old Hong Kong movies into a beat-driven rock and roll that roll insatiable forward on cheap gas and kerosene like a rusty machine. Your brain keeps dancing for hours even after the music stops. The challenge of capturing their live energy on a CD is one that has kept Maybe Mars awake for many nights. We’re confident, however, that the solution lies in the hands of Martin Atkins, the (highly acclaimed) drummer of PiL and Ministry, and producer of NIN and Pigface. To be released in November, this is one of the most eagerly awaited releases in China’s underground scene.

These guys are so badass that they don't even have a myspace.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sugar - Copper Blue [1992]

Sugar was formed by Bob Mould after the breakup of Hüsker Dü, and conceived as having a similar sound, though with Mould as the sole leader. As such, the band was a trio with Mould on guitar and voice, David Barbe (formerly of Mercyland) on bass, and Malcolm Travis (formerly with zulus and Human Sexual Response) on drums. The band released three studio albums and a collection of live tracks and B-sides before breaking up in 1995.


Download(Link Updated)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Several Girls Galore- Fumble For Your Hands EP

"I recorded this EP from December '09 to January '10 at home. All these songs were written recently, within the past five months or so, and a couple of them were still works in progress (as in: had no lyrics or vocal melody ideas) when I began recording them. It all came together quickly, though, and here we are.

Once again, you can download this album for free or you can choose your price. Either method is much appreciated.