[Music Monday]: Echo Chamber
Australian post-punk, New Zealand lo-fi dance, UK future-dub, and one act coming all the way from Hades to be with us in Beijing this week...
Music Monday is a weekly SmartBeijing column, serving up fresh audio/video streams from bands living and making music in China (or coming to China, or thinking about coming to China, or whatever).
Continues to be boom times for live music, a perfect complement to these erratic Autumn nights. This week we are privileged to receive some overflow from the Echo Park festival that Split Works is putting on in Shanghai over the weekend. (Pretty damn good festival that is, too. Click here to preview some of its more interesting acts and here if you might wanna jump down from Beijing to scope it out.)
If you're going to be posted up in Beijing through the week/end, scroll down to enjoy Australian post-punk, New Zealand lo-fi dance, UK future-dub, and even one act coming all the way from Hades to be with us this week...
The first wave hits School Bar on Wednesday, when Brisbane's Nite Fields stop by on their way down to Shanghai. The heavily saturated post-punk quartet has been looking for a road through China for a quite a while, finally finding a foothold via the Echo Park invitation. Critical praise for their latest, Depersonalisation, compares it to "early Cure and New Order... 4AD’s proto-shoegaze (Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil), the delicate guitar picking of Felt and Vini Reilly, melodic gifts of The Monochrome Set and psych pop drones of Spacemen 3." Solid list of referents, right there! Likely to resonate with a Beijing audience, for sure.
Nite Fields has taken a roundabout approach, touring Europe and catching the proverbial ear of Los Angeles label Felte — home to fellow bleak-minded motorik post-punk revivalists PVT and Soviet Soviet — before emerging fully formed to drop Depersonalisation on their home turf. Now they're plying their trade around China on a tour supported by Mentha Project, a European agency with its targets set on the Mainland.
On Wednesday, Nite Fields is joined by Beijing's own pre-eminent psych-shoegaze trio, Gate to Otherside. 80rmb at the door, 9pm start. More
Nick Harte / Shocking Pinks
Another biggie playing the en-route-to-Echo Park circuit is New Zealand fractured-indie princeling Nick Harte, better known as Shocking Pinks. Harte hit the ground running with his first long-player, Dance the Dance Electric, which garnered him quick critical cred and a fanbase among the world's far-flung lo-fi dance punk romantics. On the momentum of that buzz, Harte quickly signed with seminal NZ label Flying Nun (home of The Clean) to release Mathematical Warfare and Infinity Land and 2005, then jumped pond over to New York City, releasing Shocking Pinks on DFA Records in 2007.
Harte went on hiatus after that, but is back now for a world tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of Dance the Dance Electric and the release of his latest, Nostalgia:
Nostalgia is out from legendary NZ label + event promoter + festival + publishing house A Low Hum, whose founder Ian Jorgensen will also be along for the ride. Catch some deep cuts from the Kiwi electronic underground, alongside random slices of No Wave, disco, footwork, soul, and funk variously influencing the Shocking Pinks canon on Thursday, September 17 at Dada, when Harte and Jorgensen drop in for an impromptu DJ set alongside New South Wales emotional dance compact-disc-jockey duo School Girl Report. That's the latest iteration of Gulou Double Decker, which means that Live Beijing Music will have a parallel showcase of up-and-coming Beijing rockers upstairs at Temple, to boot.
Then catch Shocking Pinks live on Friday, September 18 at School, where they'll share the stage with local luminaries SUBS and Lonely Leary.
For more of a bone-rattling bass vibe: on Friday, The Antidote hosts UK dub provocateurs Vibronics before they bring all their subs down south to toast the Echo Parkers. Vibronics — composed of a revolving set of producers and MC Madu Messenger — have been shaking down walls with dubby vibes since 1995, over the last twenty years clocking more than 40 releases with such labels as Universal Egg, Jarring Effects, Dubhead, Jah Tubbys, and their own SCOOPS imprint.
This past June they released CV refresher The Return of Vibronics, and are ready to unleash that on Dada's recently upgraded low-end speakers. Will sound something like this (turn the bass to 11):
Cover still TBD; 10pm start. More
Last but not least, on the home front and completely unrelated to Echo Park: Guiguisuisui's releasing a new album on Saturday at DDC. The Necro King has been on the road in Europe for the last few months, consorting with the ghost of Chet Baker in Amsterdam and learning all kinds of nefarious new arts on the dark side of the Alps. And look at that — he's gone and gotten himself a girlfriend! Ms. Necro met the Guigs after a long dead-letter penpal courtship, which subsequently inspired the new GGSS long-player Write Me a Death Letter, out now on Hong Kong's Metal Postcard Records:
"Zombie 8-bit, train wreck blues at its finest," indeed. Support on the night from Beijing punks Gum Bleed, stoner sludge supergroup Death Narcissist, and grunge revivalists Ba Xian Fan Dian (formerly Sleep Paralysis).
8pm start, 50rmb at the door.
Nite Fields = WED Sept 16 @ School
Shocking Pinks = THU Sept 17 @ Dada + FRI Sept 18 @ School
Vibronics & Madu Messenger = FRI Sept 18 @ Dada
Guiguisuisui Album Release = SAT Sept 19 @ DDC