Chui Wan — Bai Ye (White Night)
(Tenzenmen 128TZM, 2013, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01Seems 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!
Related artist(s): Chui Wan
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
The Fiery Furnaces - Gallowsbird's Bark, Blueberry Boat, Rehearsing My Choir, EP, & Bitter Tea – A circus medley of distinct musical apparitions like a non-nasal Holy Modal Rounders of the twenty-first century with equal parts Jonathan Richman, The Velvet Underground, and Grease! Hey, Rizzo! ... (2007) » Read more