Exposé Online banner

Chui Wan — Bai Ye (White Night)
(Tenzenmen 128TZM, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01

Bai Ye (White Night) Cover artSeems like most of the bands coming out of China these days fall into one of two camps: they're either noisy art-punk or post-rock. There are also straight-edge punk bands, metal bands, and others, but I seem to encounter them less often. Chui Wan is a relatively new entity, formed in 2010, and they fit only very loosely into the post-rock bin. There's a heavy dose of psychedelia in their sound, and lots of influences from around the world, particularly the Middle East (as on this CD's title track). The guitar is sometimes very noisy, with that Sonic Youth inspired wall of sound so many Chinese bands favor, but more often, it is keyboards and electronic sounds that dominate. I haven't heard much from this corner of the globe that could be called space rock, but at times Chui Wan qualifies, with trippy synthesizers echoing off into the ether. I think the vocals are in Chinese and English at various times, though they're so buried in the mix that it's hard to tell — this band is about sounds, and words are of interest only insofar as they are sounds. "Another Kind of Love" is a perfect example, with its sunny psychedelic mood and chiming guitar arpeggios; a catchy melody is sung, but wrapped in so much reverb only an occasional word is discernable. The CD finishes off with "Mingri Weizhi," at over ten minutes by far the longest track. The name could be translated "Tomorrow Never Knows," but it doesn't seem to be related to the Beatles tune (other than having a a droning background and similar tempo). The band has the good sense to break up the track with lulls in the rhythm. With its guitar feedback, echoing keyboard, and chanted vocals, it's a little trip on the road paved by Acid Mothers Temple, though without sounding derivative. My only real complaint is that at a mere 37 minutes, there's just too little of it!

Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Chui Wan

More info
http://tenzenmen.bandcamp.com/album/white-night

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Anekdoten - Vemod – Anekdoten are a new four piece from Sweden. This album was recorded early this year, and from what I've heard, they have been highly revered by, among others, their countrymen Änglagård. What do...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues