Ourself Beside Me – Album – 1st July 2009

Cat #: 020TZM

Ourself Beside Me were first formed in 2003 by former Hang On The Box guitarist Yang Fan. Their line-up changed several times throughout the years until Yang Fan (the main vocalist and guitarist) met the then-still-a-drummer Xie Han through the internet in fall 2005, thanks to a shared interest in the British band, Television Personalities. They bonded immediately and started writing songs together. Xie Han started playing the bass and in 2007, through a mutual friend, EMI (who hails from Japan) was introduced into the group as the drummer. It wasn’t until the second half of 2007 that this trio began performing regularly, first at D-22 and then at other clubs in Beijing. Touted almost from the beginning by D-22 regulars as one of the most exciting and innovative bands to emerge from the Beijing scene, these three hard-charging ladies have swept everything before to become among the most admired and inspiring bands in China. 

It is hard to describe their sound. They claim their inspirations began with the sounds from old 60’s and 70’s bands such as the Velvet Underground, Syd Barrett, Can, Tom Waits, Soft Machine and the Fall. There is no denying these influences but they are also heavily influenced by New York’s East Village bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s but with a very Chinese obliqueness to their harmonies and musical approach and the typical Beijinger’s bluntness. They combine the rhythmic sophistica- tion of bands like ESG and Bush Tetras with the eerie but jangly, sinuous guitar lines of Bush Tetra guitarist Pat Place and the strange harmonics of DNA. Amid their drawn-out sessions you can even sometimes hear the long, druggy patterns of the Doors. This is a band extremely sure of its sound and wholly dismissive of any attempts to mold their image or sound into a more pleasing outline. 

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