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.

Carsick Cars/Flavor Crystals – 19th April 2014

Cat #: 150TZM

On the flip side, Minneapolis psych-rock vets, Flavor Crystals, offer up Mirror in My Mind, a drone smeared, carefully considered, morotik ripper that mines the depths of exploratory shoegaze with aplomb, not unlike an auditory visage of one of Frederik van Eeden’s exercises in lucid dreaming. The band’s most recent full length release, a triple LP psych monster, coincidentally titled Three [Mpls. Ltd.], may well be one of the more criminally overlooked wax platters of the past couple years – self-engineered and produced by the band following a lengthy US tour in support of like-minded sonic sojourners, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Three captures Flavor Crystals in a vulnerable, metacognitive state and the results are nothing short of staggering! 

Flavor Crystals are:
Josh Richardson
Nat Stensland
Vince Caro
Jon Menke

Special guests on this recording:
Ricky Maymi: drums, blender guitar
Stephen Lawrie: percussion, oscillations

Produced by Ricky Maymi
Recorded by Nat Stensland
Nov-Dec 2013 in Minneapolis
Mixed with Neil Weir at Old Blackberry Way
Mastered by Bruce Templeton

Copyright 2014 Flavor Crystals
ASCAP/Sterling Songs

Special thanks to Christian Fritz/mpls ltd, Nevin Domer/Genjing, Ricky and Stephen

——————–

Carsick Cars are:
Shouwang Zhang
Fan He
Heting Sun

Produced by Sonic Boom (Pete Kember) & Hamish Kilgour
Recorded by Matt Boynton
April 2013 in Vacation Island Recording Studio, NYC
Mixed by Ping Li at Busy Bee, Beijing
Mastered by Joe LaPorta at Sterling Sound

Special thanks to Nevin Domer and Ricky Maymi