Carsick Cars – 3 CD – 19th April 2014

Cat #: 158TZM

NOTE: CD has alternate language versions to the vinyl and different bonus tracks in the download!

After five restless years, Carsick Cars, China’s most influential and dynamic indie-rock band, return with their most mature and exciting release to date.

Available in April 2014, ‘3’ is the aptly titled third album for the Beijing based trio. ‘3’ sees vocalist, guitarist and founding member Zhang Shouwang return with his signature sound, seamlessly combining drone with shimmering pop melodies. The result is assured to please established fans and new listeners alike.

‘3’ began with an auspicious start as preview single ‘She Will Wait’ shot to the top position on China’s leading music sharing website, Douban. For this reason among others, ahead of it’s launch in Australia, ‘3’ is already being hailed as one of the most important Chinese records of the decade. Zining Cui of Creative Asia, China’s premier platform for contemporary arts, stated that “China needs a big enough sound to shout out for attention – and Carsick Cars remind us of such a sound.”

Retaining the lineup of the all too brief 2012 Australian East Coast tour, Shouwang, bassist He Fan and drummer Sun Heting travelled to New York to record ‘3’ with producers Peter Kember (Spacemen 3, Sonic Boom) and Hamish Kilgour (The Clean), leaders in indie/psychedelic rock circles. Australian fans of Sino-American sounds and aesthetics will appreciate the cover art by renowned Beijing/Californian contemporary artist Guo Hongwei.

The record, the first full length to be released by the current members, is a logical progression for long standing fans of Carsick Cars. ‘3’, however, starkly contrasts in maturity and complexity from the band’s straight ahead noise-pop self titled debut in 2005. There are a few tracks reminiscent of well known singles from their prior two albums (most notably ‘Reaching The Light’), but most disparate is how ‘3’ showcases the extraordinary technical skill of Shouwang as a guitarist and the potential born from the unity of these three musicians.

While Carsick Cars wind up their lengthy United States tour with psych-drone five-piece Flavour Crystals, ‘3’ will be released in Australia on CD and LP on April 14th through Australasian DIY music specialist tenzenmen. Each format features variations on recording, bonus tracks and lyrics which promises to satisfy Australian fans until Australian tour dates are confirmed. Pre-orders with immediate downloads are available from today at tenzenmen.com .

Also look out for the Flavour Crystals/Carsick Cars split 7” featuring exclusive track ‘Yoko’ available on tenzenmen this month.

“It is pretty clear that this album, probably the most sophisticated the band has yet put out, will also be the most accessible and loved of their work to date” – Zining Cui – Creative Asia

“[This song] has the ability to become an instant indie rock hit. Play it loud and you’ll be singing along by the time the chorus hits.” – Dan Jarvis – Midwest Action!

“3 was well worth the wait. Singer/Guitarist Zhang Shouwang has managed to retain the same energy the band had in their early days, and with the help of bassist He Fan & drummer Sun Heting, they’ve put that energy into what is easily their best album to date.” – Dan Jarvis – Midwest Action! 

Recorded in New York, March 2013.
Producers: Peter Kember (Sonic Boom) & Hamish Kilgour
Cover art by: Guo Hongwei, cover designed by Zhan Pan

The All Seeing Hand – Mechatronics – 1st October 2013

Cat #: 146TZM

Mechatronics is the second album by The All Seeing Hand. It will be available on vinyl and CD from October 1st through Muzai in New Zealand and Tenzenmen in Australia. While the bands’ first album documented the band’s original incarnation as a turntable and drum duo Mechatronics presents the band in its new, three headed form!

The first album was absolute sonic freedom and although improvisation allowed them to reach aural destinations impossible to reach conventionally it meant that often the turntables and drums existed in totally different universes. Fortuitously, there were parts where the band would fall into perfect synchronization and these moments gave glimpses of a way forward.

On Mechatronics the drums and turntables are in-sync, interlocking, moving, and sounding, like huge cogs in a mechanical production line. Where once any human voice would be scratched samples from ethnic folk records, there is now a real living throat; singing! Rather than just contributing a looped texture the voice now tells an entire story and its rich-tone, gritty screams and percussive yelps drag the drum and turntable rhythm section up to the heavens.

Although all the pieces on Mechatronics stem from this tight palette of overtone singing, turntables and drums the subject matter and images projected into the mind are diverse. From sprawling mechanised assembly lines (Mechatronics), robotic nano-surgery (Surgery) and riot control (Grab & Smash) to shamanistic séances (Cadentia) and hectic theme-music for extraterrestrial road tripping (Maximum Capacity). 

The album was recorded at Scumbag College, a beaten up but much loved DIY studio, lurking under Wellington Airport. The album features contributions from Deane Hunter on guitar and previous live collaborators St Cosmos and Samin Son on vocals.

The album artwork is a fantastically detailed masterpiece from the twisted mind of Wellington prodigy Daily Secretion (a.k.a Hannah Salmon). In perfect visual analogy to the music, it combines the mechanical, the biological and the cosmic into a work of terrifying beauty.

Yes I’m Leaving – Mission Bulb – 22nd May 2013

Cat #: 140TZM

Mission Bulb was recorded live over a period of 6 hours in a rehearsal room at Keynote Studios in Homebush West, a suburb of Sydney. Guitarist/Vocalist Billy Burke manned the 8 track recording machine and acted as engineer, placing microphones where they needed to go, often with unconventional microphone choices to capture the sound.

Many tracks had only been finalised a week or two before recording, and many were done with live vocals, leading to a truly raw and live sound being created. The energy and other various factors on the day of the recording captures a particular time and place that is entirely unique, and would be impossible to recreate exactly again.

The end product is ‘Mission Bulb’, an album that for the first time comes close to re-creating the true sound that is ‘Yes I’m Leaving’.

The Gar – The City of Burning Identities – 18th February 2013

Cat #: 126TZM

Soon after The Gar’s last album release, three years ago, their bass player Wen Jie left the band, which deeply affected the band members’ musical work and life as a whole. This period of time served as an inspiration for The Gar’s most recent work, namely “Love will lost your love”, “Train”, “Time cue” and “Black hole” but it wasn’t until Bo Xuan joined The Gar that the band was truly complete and back on track again. After nearly a year of picking their brains, digesting and starting to make music again, The Gar put together “The City of Burning Identities”, their new EP, for which they invited the drummer of Sober band and famous Chinese producer Guo Yihuan to help out.

X is Y – Never Sever/LP – 18th August 2012

Cat #: 111TZM

In transferring their powerful live act to disc on their latest recordings — “Never Sever” and “LP” — X is Y have taken a self-consciously pious DIY approach, endeavoring to capture and convey the honest minutiae of recorded performance with the intensity of emotional surrender.

The four tracks here are the Never Sever EP. Buy the CD package to also receive the first album on CD.

Never Sever was originally released thru our great pals at miniless – mini019.

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.