Birdstriking, D-22, Global Times, Smart Shanghai, Morgan Short, Domus, Matthew Niederhauser, Zhang Shouwang, Mixtape, Time Out, Lanzhou, Low Wormwood, Demerit, Yugong Yishan, X is Y, That’s Mag, City Weekend, Duck Fight Goose, Han Han, Jake Newby, Pairs, Rock In China, Xiao Zhong
Proximity Butterfly – Reprieve – The Auspicious Occurrence of Dr. Chen’s Past Lives – 1st December 2011
Proximity Butterfly melts together with ancient Chinese instruments and cutting edge-rock layered with psychedelia. Established in 2003 by Joshua C. Love (America), Chenduxi (China) and Heather Judson (Canada), Proximity Butterfly landed in China 9 years ago – since then, the tales of performance, power and the world’s unknowns have shaken the space that makes this band so unique and full of genuine expression. The band currently consists of guitarist/vocalist/producer Joshua C. Love, bassist/vocalist Heather Love, guitarist Lenny (Robert Tanner), and drummer Wang Yong.
Their music is mixed with a complex variety of elements, including the retro atmosphere of Led Zeppelin through complex jazz time signatures, Pink Floyd’s psychedelia and strikingly poignant lyrics, an unidentified aspect of aggressive rhythm structures and an ethereal tactfulness only to be compared to the likes of Jane’s Addiction or Sigor Ros. Creating an almost circus-like attraction to what songs they’ll play next, Joshua C. Love describes it as, “looking for the timeless, a series of works that can be heard in a 100 years and people will say, yeah, I know that feeling.”
“The live shows are like a ceremony. Not religious, but so full of passion and attention that the energies tie the room together.”
Dead Ants Rainbow – Selectively Mute – 21st November 2011
Cat #: 086TZM
DEAD ANTS TRIO are an improvised unit of primarily baritone guitar, electric bass, and drums, dedicated to free-form ecstatic improvisation dragged from the place where both noise and trancendence spring. Some describe them as faux-jazz grindcore, others as avant-skronk, others as post-punk expressionism. All these descriptions are inaccurate.
DEAD ANTS RAINBOW. SELECTIVELY MUTE.
Two discs recorded over time and space, revealing the many hues of The Dead Ants Rainbow in rotating three-part colour wheels.
GAUCHOS CON HUEVOS: the original Ants (Lachy Ewbank and Troy JP Naumoff), hermetically transformed into a time-travelling triumvirate through the meddling magickal bass-alchemy of A D Machine several years later. With additional guests, these recordings never really happened.
DATRIO / DAPROCESS: a collection of folded space-rituals featuring the trio of Ewbank, Naumoff and MacHine on rotating instruments (bass / baritone guitar / drums / piano / voice / microtonal reeds) in classic live-to-air improvisations; plus the unexpected trio of Naumoff, MacHine and Sleepy (of Gravel Samwidge fame) in severely overdimensional warp-mode, improvising live through A D MacHine’s personalised real-time processing portal.
Alternative China – 9th November 2011
David O’Dell, Inseparable, Red Rock, Yaogun, Jon Campbell, China Music Radar, Carsick Cars, Hedgehog, Low Wormwood, Beijing Daze, Lanzhou, Re-Tros, Nova Heart, Candy Monster, Layabozi, Boys Climbing Ropes, Little Punk, Morgan Short, P.K.14, Xiaorong Cocktail 78, Duck Fight Goose, Emptying The Haunted Air, Archie Hamilton, Split Works, Androsace, Painbianr, Friend Or For, Deadly Cradle Death, Yantiao, Rabshaka, Han Han, Charles Saliba, Maybe Mars, D-22, China Economic Review
Various Artists – Generation Six – 25th October 2011
Cat #: 075TZM
2008 and 2009 has seen the formation of an impressive group of young bands in Beijing that are different from their predecessors and prove that the now-legendary generation of bands that started in 2004 and 2005 are by no means the final phase of the explosive creativity of Beijing music. Grouping themselves under the name of Generation 6 as a way of asserting their differences, these young bands perform with a level of confidence and sophistication that comes much more naturally to them than to the bands that preceded them.
For much of the decade, pioneering musicians in Beijing had struggled to develop a scene with very little history to guide them. Most of them looked to foreign bands for their models because there was no home-grown talent that could offered them inspiration on how to be a Chinese rock and roll band.
But the Generation 6 bands grew up in a completely different environment. For them China, and especially Beijing, offered one of the most exciting music scenes in the world, with a wide variety of innovative and successful bands and musicians that had received attention not only in China but throughout the world.
There are at least fifteen or twenty very good Beijing bands that consider themselves part of Generation 6. Many of them see their home base as D-22, which has in the past year turned away from the music that made the club famous in 2007 and 2008 to dedicate itself primarily to this new generation of bands. Maybe Mars has selected four of the most representative bands to introduce the Generation 6 bands to a wider audience. This will be great chance to see early on the bands that will dominate interest over the next three to four years.
Four selected bands in album:
In just two years Rustic has become one of the most talked-about bands in Beijing because of their outrageous performances and hard-charging glam rock style. In early 2010 they went to London to represent Asia in the Global Battle of the Bands and unanimously took first place – the first time every judge had agreed on the winner. They consider Joyside to have been their key inspiration although they regularly show up at the gigs of Demerit and all their favourite Beijing punk bands.
When Birdstriking’s drummer, who grew up in Jinzhou, had to choose which university he would attend, there was no doubt in his mind that it had to be in Beijing because he wanted to be able to catch every performance of his favorite band, Carsick Cars. Heavily influenced by their sonic exploration, as well as by the intensity of P.K.14, Birdstriking’s urgent music have made them one of the key bands of the young experimental musicians who congregate around Zhu Wenbo’s Zoomin’Nights.
Flyx is a young punk band who combine a driving energy with an ability to craft beautiful songs, almost pop songs, much like their heroes, punk gods Demerit.
The band Old Fashion’s name is from lines “I am not old fashion” of Audrey Hepburn in George Cukor’s old movie My Fair Lady. They keep “old” traditional rock & roll way, as well as keep “anti-old” musical creative idea. After four years’ growth, Old Fashion has found their way from garage-revival to disco punk and become a popular band among the youth.
Various Artists – Zoomin’ Night Vol 1 – 14th October 2011
Cat #: 073TZM
They love giving impromptu shows on Tuesday nights.
They love playing in unconventional configurations.
They love making sounds out of anything they can carry on to the stage.
They love unpredictable musical performances.
They love making one song constantly became another.
They love the Zoomin’ Night.
Zoomin’ Night – the name of a song by P.K. 14 – is also a series of shows of experimental music / noise rock held every Tuesday at D-22 in Beijing. It was inspired by other experimental music series such as the Waterland Kwanyin, Sugarjar Sunday Listen- ing and Sheng Dong Ji Xi. Reflecting the type of music they create, most of the Zoomin’ Night participants are creative and young musicians. They arrange sounds, start new bands and re- group constantly. They have found a home at D-22 and profess to draw their inspiration from Beijing’s energetic cacophony.
In January 2010, Yang Haisong came to D-22 to record all their live shows that month. Most of the bands recorded were newly formed in 2009. Maybe Mars selected 9 songs from the recordings, putting them into a compilation. Additionally, buyers can download 32 additional tracks with a download-code enclosed in each CD.
On November 19-20, 2010 the premiere of this compilation album was held at D-22. There were 8 groups of performers including: noise rock, psychedelic rock, post-punk, minimalism, improvisation, and synthesizer mu- sic. Most of the performers are included in this album.
The Zoomin’ Night on November 23rd was the official “after party” for the premiere: five young musicians who took part in the album gave a personal solo performance, ranging from classical music to atmospheric experimental, and from minimal electronic music to industrial jazz.
Various Artists – International 4 Way Split – 7th October 2011
Cat #: 060TZM
International co-operative split CD.
Bare Arms (Australia)
Inquiry Last Scenery (Malaysia)
Bullwhip Records (Malaysia)
Quiet.Still.Dead Records (Malaysia)
Cactus Records (Malaysia)
Alternative China – 4th October 2011
X is Y, Rock In China, Li Jianhong, China Free Improvisation, Carsick Cars, P.K.14, Hindustan Times, Variety, Li HongQi, PopMatters, Red Rock, Jonathan Campbell, Syyfal, Rainbow Danger Club, Guai Li, Jon Davis, Rocket To China, Snapline, Hedgehog, The Beijinger, Ricky Sixx, Rustic
Carsick Cars – You Can Listen, You Can Talk – 1st October 2011
Cat #: 030TZM
The second studio album from Carsick Cars is the long-awaited “You Can Listen, You Can Talk” from Carsick Cars,” following by nearly two years the explosive and almost joyful anger of their first CD, “Panda Noise”.
Produced by P.K.14 frontman Yang Haisong, their first CD threw out into the Chinese indie scene some of its most iconic songs, including “Zhongnanhai”, widely seen as the anthem of disenfranchised Chinese youth, and “Rock and Roll Hero”, a standard for younger bands.
Their new record was produced by legendary producer Wharton Tiers after New York composer John Myers caught a Carsick Cars show during his visit to Shanghai and was so struck by the band that he immediately began lobbying for Tiers to produce them. As might be expected, the second CD is much bleaker and more complex than the first, with delicate, shimmering songs side by side with powerful, rage-filled eruptions of noise and chaos.
But for all their differences both CDs are marked by the almost magical song-writing skill of frontman Shouwang, whose facility for combining complex harmonic structures with beautiful melodies and straight ahead guitar riffs make him one of he best songwriters in the world.
Travellers – Traveller – 23rd September 2011
Cat #: 074TZM
Traveller is a world music collective started by Wu Junde in 2008. Their style draws heavily from contemporary folk music from western China. In addition to Wu Junde himself, collaborators and members of Traveler are some of the most prominent artists in the domestic folk scene, including Zhang Zhi, Wen Feng, Chen Zhipeng, Zhu Fangqiong, Wan Xiaoli, Zhou Laoda, Zhou Shengjun, Wu Buli, Hugjiltu, Da Song, Wang Xiao, Xiao Zhou and others.
Their musical backgrounds are ample and quite diverse; lead singer Wu Junde played bass in Tongue, IZ, and Hanggai before founding Traveler; Zhang Zhi is an expert at guitar, dombura, bass and keyboard and plays various other instruments, was the lead singer and bassist for psychedelia band, and once organized 9 Songs Music Festival in Karamay, Xinjiang. In 2010, breakout performer Wen Feng received Los Angeles KAZN FM1300’s Best Drummer Award, and in the same year participated in the American Music Awards’ Ribbon of Hope ceremony. Da Song gave up his work as a fine arts teacher in favor of a nomadic musical lifestyle, allowing him to develop his interest in African drumming and to introduce this form to Lijiang, Yunnan.
Traveller’s sound synthesizes a wide range of genres and influences. With traditional styles as their starting points, they add the timbres of dombura, Mongolian sanxian, Xinjiang hand drum, and other distinctive folk instruments, producing an amalgamation of folk ballads, world music, Kazakhstani music, and Chinese classical music, to name just a few. The group’s releases include a self-titled album, “Traveler,” “Nikele” with Zhang Zhi; “Son of Dark Horse River” , with Wang Xiao; and “Far Away”, with Xiao Zhou.