Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes – A Million Farewells – 13th November 2015

Cat #: 177TZM

When Xiao Zhong and Sharon Cee-Q found themselves in a room together for the very first time, they agreed on a guiding philosophy: “Let’s not make anything that’s going to last. If we’re together for just two shows, then that’s what it is.” Thus was born Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes. Since then, they’ve most certainly deviated some, but not much, really.

Over the course of a year and a half, the Shanghai-based musos who’d been involved (non collectively) in such lauded mainland acts as Pairs and Hua Jia Hu Wei, released their debut 7” here on Genjing, added journeyman bassist Sam Walsh and drummer Daniel Nagles to their lineup and have proceeded to lay down one of contemporary indie rock’s most exhilarating jam sessions gone right – a concise full-length chock-full of woolly, dreamy, delicate, white-knuckled shoegaze imbued modern hymns.

This autumn marks the official arrival of A Million Farewells, the band’s first long-player for Genjing Records. It is a miraculously dissonant, wonderfully immediate display of Tom & Kate at their mightiest; alive with the same wild chemistry and sense of possibility that made their first recordings so vital. With more time together than they’d ever had before (which wasn’t much), the band had found themselves confronted with ideal, yet quasi-foreign conditions. And they wouldn’t have had it any other way. Two-minute freakouts like “My Life is Over” share airspace with the meditative squall of “Sam’s Knife” and the guitar-born majesty of the title track. One can’t but notice the band’s intentionally one-off brand of being exactly who they are in a pop context; everything presumably captured in (something like) three takes or less in a bleak, quasi-nondescript studio someplace deep within the damp, scabulous scrawl of modern Shanghai.

“It’s a simple thing,” Xiao Zhang says of their approach. “Simple takes the worry out of it. But we’ve grown up and been through some shit in China. To get to this point you have to bust through a few walls. It’s easy to be new, and I think, in the end, this is what it is.”

When you put the aforementioned foursome in a room, it’s Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes.

And A Million Farewells truly is what it is – quite something: a classic quasi-Sinophilic full length if there ever was one. 

Chui Wan – 30th August 2015

Cat #: 176TZM

Three years after releasing their debut album, White Night, Chui Wan brings their sophomore, self-titled album into the world.

Over the last few years, Chui Wan has progressed with a new drummer, Li Zichao, while its core members — bassist Wu Qiong, guitarist Liu Xinyu, and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Yan Yulong — have striven to perfect their musical ideas. On Chui Wan, the focus is less on the unbridled, reverb-drenched inflections of White Night, drawing more from the band’s wide palette of influences, including Sufi music, Southeast Asian folk tunes, and 20th-century avant grade composition. With confident, driving rhythm, they aim to embody a pop-influenced idiom of rock music, creating their own musical language in the process. Beyond the infectious melodic hooks on Chui Wan lies a near-constant fluctuation of beat and tempo, a deliberate maneuver calculated to create a simultaneous sense of fluidity and disjuncture.

Compared with White Night, Chui Wan’s sophomore album is structurally more complicated, yet simpler and more direct in its studio approach. It eschews White Night’s complex, repeated overdubs and adds more intricate lyrical work, which reflects the dynamic of calm and tension that stands out in Chui Wan’s live performances.

Chui Wan’s guest musicians also contribute significantly to the album’s distinct temperament. You can hear the trademark noise guitar wails of psychedelic free improv master Li Jianhong on the album’s closing track, “Beijing Is Sinking”. The album also contains a hidden gift: a remix of the second track, “Estivation”, by Dead J, one of Beijing’s most established and progressive electronic music producers. Dead J’s “Estivation” remix is a minimal, ambient, rhythmically more angular take on the original.

It is also worth mentioning that Chui Wan bassist Wu Qiong lends her vocal abilities to “On the Other Ocean” and “Silence”. Her voice adds rich choral accents to the album, a long-player already brazen in its Baroque sonic ornamentations.

Chui Wan was recorded and produced by Yang Fan. 

All songs written by Chui Wan, recorded in Beijing, in the winter of 2014.

Yan Yulong: vocals / guitar / violin / organ
Liu Xinyu: guitar / percussions
Wu Qiong: vocals / bass
Li Zichao: drums / celesta

Yang Fan / Li Qing: background vocals, “Only”
Li Jianhong: guitar, “Beijing is Sinking ”
Dead J: remix, “Estivation”

Recorded/mixed/produced by Yang Fan at Fan Fu Studios.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios.
Cover art: Lv Junlin
Design: Ruan Qianrui

Chui Wan thanks everyone mentioned above, as well as: Josh Feola, Kai, CC Wang, Deng Chenglong, Liu Lu, Cao Lingfeng, Snapline, Yan Jun, Zhu Wenbo, Zhao Cong, Lu Wei, Li Ping, He Fan and Zhang Mengyao.

Snapline – Paper General – 3rd February 2015

Cat #: 173TZM

Welcome to the future! Snapline dusts off one from the vaults, a new two-song slammer with material from the pre-Phenomena (2012), pre-Future Eyes (2011) times, created in their hearts & minds ca. 1982 for a series of never-aired infomercials canonizing China’s proud martial might and technological prowess.

Yes, though the band’s members had only just been born, they were already on the vanguard. This is the sound of disaffected technical university dropouts graduates with honors. This is what’s been in the water. “Paper General” blasts it off at march speed, written for the happiest army in human history. Tens of thousands of men and women standing, smiling like the technicolor postcard you once saw in a kitsch shop. Operators Li Qing and Li Weisi stack the kosmische filter sweeps and pure analog noise generators with Snapline’s trademark loose cohesion. You can almost hear their fingers at the switches! While the picture adjusts (it never quite does), Chen Xi barks the orders. “Turn your radar ON!” His voice is almost lost in the static. Which is the signal and which is the noise? “It could be thousands of ways / to say a word in different tones.”

Next stop: “Wasteland.” The path forward seems infinite but your trip lasts just over seven minutes. Scientific progress sounds like a rickety synthesizer shuttling too close to the sun. Even the control melts. The rhythm is vaporized. It never mattered. Return to earth and you no longer recognize what you once called home. Spin it, flip it, repeat.

GuiGuiSuiSui – The Court of King Nitro – 8th January 2015

Cat #: 167TZM

Originally from Dartford, England (spiritual home of, ahem, minor blues appropriators such as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards), one man DIY punk/blues/horror artist, GUIGUISUISUI, aka Dann Gaymer, started making dark garage blues on a variety of instruments including a one stringed skateboard guitar (The Diddly Board) in the freezing cold of Changchun, Northeast China in 2012. While working with a variety of side men including beatboxers, various percussionists and drummers, as well as a punk rock rhythm section dubbed The Electric Shadows, GUIGUISUISUI settled on a one man band format after relocating to Beijing in the summer of 2013. That same year, Gaymer headed out on a rather unrepresented, borderline masochistic 40+ date Asian Tour which shocked, confused and at times, downright befuddled punters across the entirety of the Far East.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Gaymer began hastily demoing a brand spanking new batch of evil tinged, garage inflected GUIGUISUISUI material immediately upon returning to his home base deep within the confines of the Red Capital.

Engineered, mixed and co-produced by luminary Beijing producer/sonic journeyman extraordinaire, Yan Haisong (P.K.14, Dear Eloise) at Psychic Kong, The Court of King Necro 7″ finds Gaymer delving into four tracks of lo-fi, psychedelic scuzz rock lined with a healthy dose of Delta Blues. Think spiritual/musical mentors, The Rolling Stones, at their most avant garde, stripped down and devoid of overt glam pretense. Yet, when it comes to art rock, GUIGUISUISUI, has forged his own peculiar brand that exists on the dirtier more wanton side of the experimental blues rock stratosphere.

Strictly limited to a run of 500 copies on high quality, weighted black vinyl, The Court of Necro 7″ features hand silk screened/assembled cover art by infamous British punk rock fixture The Craw. If that’s not enough we’re throwing in a hand made badge and a couple of individually pressed buttons which tie in with GUIGUISUISUI’s overall artistic vision for this one of a kind, highly collectible piece of 33 RPM sonic ephemera. Get ’em while they’re hot folks…hot as the visage of hell which inspired this assemblage of wicked passion! 

GUIGUISUISUI is
Dann Gaymer – vocals, guitar, harmonica and percussion
King Necro – The Diddlly Board

Drums on ‘Eighteen Shakes’ and ‘Lamp Post Blues’ by Michael Cupoli

All songs by GUIGUISUISUI except ‘Preaching Blues’ by Son House and ‘Eighteen Shakes’ by Pairs.

Artwork by The Craw

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Yang Haisong at Psychic Kong, Beijing CHINA.

GR034
genjingrecords.com

After Argument – This Is Not Your Game – 4th January 2015

Cat #: 165TZM

Following in the footsteps of their critically acclaimed 2013 debut LP Furs of Time [Share the Obstacles], After Argument continue further down an even more refined sonic path, combining avant-garde experimentalism and post punk sensibilities that hint at the gut-level thrust, heft and swing of Television as much as the restless, hook laden fury of early Fugazi, Slint and Mexican psych band Los Dug Dug’s. The band, comprised of legendary P.K.14 vocalist/poet Yang Haisong and Beijing musical luminary Zaza [Eyes Behind] have quickly established themselves as one of China’s foremost punk rooted explorers, filling venues of all shapes and sizes throughout the PRC with a sound, arguably unrivaled and most certainly celebrated by their peers behind the Bamboo Curtain and beyond.

This Is Not Your Game, After Argument’s debut full length for Genjing Records, finds the duo capturing the explosive rush and emotional power of their live shows, where they range from mathy arpeggious interludes through headlong, thunderous charges. Recorded and produced by Yang Haisong at Psychic Kong Studios deep in the heart of the Chinese capital, This Is Not Your Game is an immediate, visceral record. On it, After Argument use riff, repetition, incremental layerings of distortion, bursts of noise and sudden changes in pace and volume – all shot through with a strong sense of poetic melody to provide new ways of seeing and feeling guitar-based rock.

But, more importantly than all that, After Argument manage to infuse emotionally complicated music with a sense of fun. What they offer and the source of their appeal is more a full-bore sensory thrill-ride than anything else. After Argument want to take you to faraway places and show you exciting things through musical algorithms both foreign and familiar to the listener. And This Is Not Your Game is just the key you’ll need to get started on that adventure. So, buckle up, strap on some headphones and enjoy the ride – it’s a one of a kind. 

All songs written by After Argument
Recorded at Psychic Kong, Beijing
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studio, Pittsburgh, PA, United States

After Argument are:
Zaza and Yang Haisong

Visit them at www.afterargument.com, and also at storecords.bandcamp.com

Cover photo taken by Tanara Stuermer in Tavares Bastos, Rio, Brazil
www.tanarastuermer.com

Artwork by NOHOHONO

Fanzui Xiangfa – Discography 2006-2014 – 3rd January 2015

Cat #: 164TZM

Coming at ya fast & heavy from Beijing (via Wuhan, Umea, Bonn, wherever else): FANZUI XIANGFA. First of all: you have to respect the grind (literally) of a band whose eight-year discography spins from start to finish in 35 minutes. That’s a lot of months per one-minute track. Recommended for fans of: late ‘80s American hardcore, very fast tempos, RIGHTEOUS FURY. Multinational corporations, racism, nuclear proliferation, the state apparatus, fitting in… these guys hate it all! I’m pretty mellow but these four have a knack for rekindling the angry fires of my youth. I can’t listen to this discography while walking down the street without sorta moshing and non-verbally daring everyone I see to confront me for being me so I can “Use [My] Fists” (gotta keep a lid on it though, ‘cause I’d lose). I swear I’ve listened to “I Am Not Like You!” so many times, my brain has blisters that will never heal. In a country just now getting into the whole mindless consumerism trip (and on a much, much more massive scale than ever before in human history), FZXF has been one of the loudest voices to say, “Fuck You”, “Fuck Your Flag!”, “Kill Your Television” and — here’s the real lesson, kids — “Destroy!”

FANZUI XIANGFA: polluting the Red Dream from within since 2006 with an alternative nightmare blacker than the guitarist’s t-shirt collection. Keep raging, boys. The New China and its smiling criminal minds are far too kind.

FANZUI XIANGFA is

狂骂 / Kuang Ma – Drums
逆反 / Ni Fan – Guitar
毛病 / Mao Bing – Bass / Vocals
冲撞 / Chong Zhuang – Guitar
六六 / Liu Liu – Lead Vocals

*活闹 / Huo Nao – Lead Vocals
**傻蛋 / Sha Dan – Lead Vocals

split 7” with Bad Nerve [2014]

Recorded and mixed by Hou Likao at Jishengchong Studio. Vocals recorded by Deng Chenglong and Tan Hang.

Fanzui Xiangfa 7” [2011]

Additional vocals by Robin. Backing vocals by Fanzui Xiangfa & Robin. Recorded and mixed by Huo Likao at Jishengchong Studio. Vocals recorded by Wang Meng.

split 7” with SS20 [2010]

Additional vocals by Fen Lie & Torbjöm. Backing vocals by Fanzui Xiangfa & Torbjöm. Recorded and mixed by Huo Likao in the summer and fall of 2009 at Jishengcheong Studio. Vocals recorded by Wang Meng & Jan Hansson.

split 7” with Daighila [2010]*

Additional guitar and bass by Kuang Ma and Huo Likao. Backing vocals by Jan Hansson, Mark and Fanzui Xiangfa. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Huo Likao at Jishengchong Studio in the summer and fall 2009.

Criminal Minds CD [2006]**

Recorded in Beijing, China. Additional guitar by Kuang Ma. Mixed and mastered by Huo Likao at Jishengchong Studio.

All music and lyrics by Fanzui Xiangfa.
Discography LP mastered by Fredrik Lyxzen.
Artwork by 猴子xvx

Thanks to: Fredrik, Hou Likao, Glenn, Bibi, Rico, SS20, Daighila, Bad Nerve, D-22, Mark, Alice, our friends and families, Genjing Records and all the other labels that have released us, everyone that has helped and supported us along the way and our previous singers Hou Nao and Sha Dan. Tack som fan! 真他妈的谢谢!

GR039
genjingrecords.com

汤姆克鲁斯和凯蒂霍尔姆斯 Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes – 你不爱我 – 7th August 2014

Cat #: 160TZM

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. What happened with those two? Why name your band after them? Are they a totem of the 21st-century relationship? The infuriating alienation and slow-burning pain of failed love? Nah. Maybe. “You Don’t Love Me (你不爱我)” rails against the inevitable for about four minutes before yielding to the feral chaos underlying human nature, love, celebrity, the sounds of the words themselves. After the heart’s fires burn out there’s just swirling ash, granules too small to be individually seen but jagged enough to sting your eyes long after the light and warmth are gone.

The flip side is an extended remix of another Tom & Katie tearjerker,
“After Leaving (离开后),” by Huashun Unit. H.U. is one of many aliases for one-man Shanghai doom drone crusader Nahash, née Laura Ingalls (not his real name), and his partner in crime, Clement Pony. In this studio trip, he basically takes one open guitar chord and a few disembodied vocal fragments from Tom and Kate respectively and transmutes them into a lush gestalt that sounds like it was written and performed by Enya’s evil twin for some kind of nefarious ritual. If you’ve never been to Shanghai, let me tell you: this track sounds exactly like how it feels to walk into a bomb shelter dance club choked with cut-rate cigarette smoke and the stink of unmoored pheromones at 5 in the morning. Love blinds.

Recorded and mixed by The Horses at Studio Poney, Shanghai China.
Mastered by Garrett Haines at Treelady Studios

汤姆克鲁斯和凯蒂霍尔姆斯 are:
Cee Q – vocals, keyboards
小中 – guitar, keyboards
tomlovedkatie@gmail.com
tcakh.bandcamp.com
huashanrecords.bandcamp.com

Licensed from Genjing Records for release in Australia.