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Indie / Rock
Two experimental strands from China's Modern Sky label, publishing left field local music and folk gems.
"Mamer met the legendary Japanese drummer Tatsuya Yoshida in 2014 at the 1st Tomorrow’s Festival, where the two first shared stage.Wild West Adventure consists of two discs titled “See the Mountain” and “See the River”, the album documents another fearless improvisation session of the duo recorded in October 2016 in Ürümqi. The album showcases both musicians’ remarkable ability as free improvisers and masters of their own instruments, and it takes its listeners to an epic adventure filled with explosive and enchanting dynamics of rock-oriented avant-garde music."
Tatsuya Yoshida / drums, vocals
Mamer / bass, vocals
Tatsuya Yoshida & Mamer – Wild West Adventure
"Immaydey is the long-awaited debut album of Bande (meaning “bandit”, formed in 2012), one of the countless band projects of Mamer (IZ, Mekrop, Tat, 51 Rayon, Kunakar) but the only one among them that still performs with traditional Kazakh instruments. Bande is a three-piece band that builds up epic avant-rock soundscapes by distorting the sounds of traditional Kazakh instruments - dombra, kobyz and Sámi drum - with dazzling effects pedals. On stage, the members often turn up with masks and black robes as though performing a mystical ritual. Immaydey, the Umay Goddess, is the goddess of fertility and virginity in Turkic mythology, regarded as the eternal Earth Mother with mystic, almighty power. An ecstatic ritual, an epic riddle, and a psychedelic labyrinth, the album is a true milestone of Mamer’s decade-long battle with his own music traditions."
Zhang Dong / sámi drum, bells
Mamer / all music, lyrics, vocal, dombra, kobyz
Modern Sky World Music (MW-011) October 2019
Bande – Immaydey
"Going After Clouds and Dreams is Lao Dan's first flute solo album. It is recorded in April 2017 in his hometown Dandong, a border city across the Yalu River from North Korea. Most compositions were written between late 2016 and early 2017, “Tune on the Fourth Day of Chinese Sexagenary Cycle” and “Tune on the Seventh Day of Chinese Sexagenary Cycle” were Improvisations. In this album, Lao Dan parted with the bright and sweet sound texture of traditional Chinese flute by removing its membrane. The result was a dusky and more meditational atmosphere which relied solely on the resonance of the bamboo itself. The album was recorded in a bomb shelter built in the time of Korean War, which provided a unique soundscape with natural reverberation and a steady stream of illusions."
Lao Dan / chinese bamboo flute (dizi)
Modern Sky World Music (MW-008) May 2018
Lao Dan – Going After Clouds and Dreams
"Hailing from China, field recording/noise artist/poet Yan Jun, folk artist Xiao He, Guqin master Wu Na, multi-instrumentalist Li Daiguo and tea master Xijian are The Tea Rockers. The group was formed in October 2010 and released their debut album,Ceremony, in 2012 on the Israeli label EnT-T. Their second album 'Fictions' was an improvised performance recorded in Chongqing, June 2015. It was mixed and mastered by Lasse Marhaug, “the most serious tea drinkers in the entire European Noise scene”, and features calligraphy by Chinese artist Che Qianzi."
"The music veers from austere to downright pretty… a case of Chinese musicians confronting their own traditions head-on." (The Wire)
Li Daiguo / pipa, cello, vocals
Wu Na / guqin
Xiao He / ruan, vocal, pedals and laptop
Xijian / tea
Yan Ju / electronics
Modern Sky World Music (MW-007) May 2018
Tea Rockers – Fictions
6501 is the second band project of Ph (formerly known as Feruh), who founded the legendry Xinjiang rock band Puppet in 1991. The band was formed in 2015 in Ürümqi and is named after the first four digits of identity card numbers of Xinjiang Province. In 2018, 6501 released their debut 'End' on BADHEAD.
Nothing but Eye Travelis 6501’s second album. Compared with the music of Puppet, the songs of 6501 are evidently more compressed, confrontational, and explosive, which as believed stick closer to the authentic sound of rock. The lyrics are succinct, often sarcastic, and sung in almost a robotic manner.
Ph / guitar, bass, vocal
Zhai Xiaoming / guitar, bass, vocal
Faruk / drums
BADHEAD (B-062). December 2019. All Music & lyrics: Ph
6501 – Nothing But Eye Travel
Red Scarf has been described as “a trio of madmen” who deconstruct, reassemble, and then decimate genre after genre, are clearly having a blast with their take on rock, free jazz, and noise. Consisting of guitarist Li Xing, drummer Deng Boyu, and saxophonist/flutist Lao Dan and formed in 2014, the band released their self-titled debut in 2016 on BADHEAD. In 2018, Red Scarf released their sophomore They Know We Know They’re Lying. Later in that year they supported krautrock legend Damo Suzuki on his Chinese tour.
Unlike their improvisation-based debut, They Know We Know They’re Lying showcases the bands ability to deliver tightly structured and carefully balanced prog-rock compositions characterized by harsh textures, rich dynamics, and wicked black humour. As reviewed by Live Beijing Music:
“Take the soundtrack to Tom and Jerry, douse it in bath salts and you only have the slightest sense of the glorious mayhem found within Red Scarf’s frantic and beautifully assembled 2018 releaseThey Know We Know They’re Lying. A deep dive into the mouth of madness that pits renegade sax, high-pitched souna against a fierce battle between guitar and drums, eventually transforming into a symphony of metal-tinged breakdowns and free jazz roar before it once again jack knifes elsewhere…”
Li Xing / guitar, synthesizer
Lao Dan / saxophone, bamboo flute, suona
Deng Boyu / drums
BADHEAD (B-052). May 2018. All Music: Red Scarf
Red Scarf – They Know We Know They're Lying