AV Okubo – Opium/Heroin – 3rd February 2015

Cat #: 174TZM

If you’ve never been to Wuhan, let me tell ya: it’s fucking BLEAK. China’s landlocked industrial boiler room, smelting the future from discarded harsh metal scraps of past failures. The heat’s so hot it’ll melt your will to live. Opiates help. Wuhan’s AV Okubo know this, they even soundtrack this. “Opium” is a re-purposed stereo-heater churned out like some retro-futuristic answer to the prayers you’ll be praying years from now, as the decline continues to decline. The voice of “Opium” is a voice out of time, a bi-gender mensch-machine crammed into a vintage Japanese vocoder, sampled and re-sampled til the original is forgotten in a self-medicated haze (while reclining, eyes open but not seeing, slackjaw dreaming). No clue what it’s saying (something about the Qing Dynasty GDP) — but the bottom line is: we’re all damned if it doesn’t ease the growing pains.

“Heroin,” meanwhile, sounds like the Sex Pistols telling Lou Reed to fuck off. Actually this B-side was originally supposed to be straight up Velvets cover but, as AVO vocalist Lu Di laments right off the bat, “the price is too high and I can’t afford it.” Wuhan bathtub meth it is, then. Again! Maybe E, LSD and some more weed, to chase. OK, good now. Let’s do this. Only bass line that comes to mind is ripped straight from Sid’s dead mitts but it’s a miracle we’re even standing up at this point so… Wuhan’s fucking hot. Need more ice. What’s next? The rest… “and the rest, I don’t wanna know.”
credits

Recorded at Busy Bee Studios in Beijing by Andy Gill and Santi Arribas
Mixed at The Beauchamp Building, London by Andy Gill and Santi Arribas
Mastered at The Mixing Factory in London

GR028
genjingrecords.com

Imported to Australia under license

AV Okubo – The Greed of Man – 1st April 2010

Cat #: 040TZM

Hong Kong experimental cinema, 80’s Kungfu movies, triad gangsters, Chinese and Japanese cartoons and China’s early space program all collide together in AV Okubo’s sound to create a weird kaleidoscope of modern Chinese sensibilities. 

AV Okubo’s combination of retro-amusements combined with deeper social critique, along with their ferocious dance rhythms, has quickly brought this young band to the attention of fellow musicians and audiences across China and got them a coveted invitation, even before the release of their first CD, to Austin’s SouthbySouthwest festival in 2010. 

Formed in 2006 in the dirty industrial megalopolis of Wuhan, AV Okubo has captured the eyes and ears of China with the members themselves living out their music’s conflicts of a changing society. Frontman Lu Yan (vox/keyboard) is an aspiring film director while Tan Chao (guitar) works a day job as a train engineer in a major steel factory. Filling out the band, Zuo Yi (bass) and Hu Juan (percussion) are both active in the local music scene, traditionally the home of China’s hardest and wildest punk scene. 

They have played with, and at times overshadowed, such bands as Orange (Uruguay), The 4 Sivits (Germany), Ratatat (USA), These Are Powers (USA) and Battles (USA).  Several large festival appearances, including 2008’s Modern Sky Festival and 2009’s JUE Festival, have exposed them to larger audience and their infrequent trips to the capital have become occasions for packed and crazy shows at Yugong Yishan and D22 attended by eager fans. In late 2008 the band set up in A-String, Asia’s largest studio, to record their debut album with acclaimed producer Martin Atkins. 

For the band, music is the half-remembered memories of growing up in the social construction project that is China, the places they’ve been to, the people they’ve met and things they’ve experienced along the way. New wave, experimental noise, disco punk, ultimately their sound smashes together everything they have encountered set to a massive beat. AV Okubo has grown up in the entertainment era. Neither punky criticism nor a complete overthrow of modern culture, they slide obliquely through a loophole and force on us their version of change. 

Australia’s world renowned Asia music specialist label tenzenmen brings AV Okubo’s debut release ‘The Greed of Man’ to these shores as the band rip it up in North America as part of the China Invasion west coast tour.