Exposé Online banner

Hualun — Asian River
(Modern Sky , 2010, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Asian River Cover art

For their second release, this Wuhan post-rock crew has stepped up a few notches from their debut, Silver Daydream (reviewed in issue 38). They’ve moved to one of China’s most prominent independent labels, improved the packaging from a slim cardboard sleeve to a lovely jewelbox with a cutout wrapper, and ramped up the production values. They’ve still got similarities with the Japanese band Mono, but that could probably be said of half the post-rock bands on the planet. The highlight on many tracks is the interaction between the two guitar parts, and even when one of them can be identified as “rhythm” compared to the other’s “lead,” the rhythmic part is very melodic, with the arpeggiated chords providing what is effectively a countermelody. In typical post-rock fashion, most of the tracks start quietly and build to great crashing climaxes, but they have the good sense to vary the formula; for example, after its big peak, “Maladolecenza” moves smoothly into a different quiet section, which then builds to a second peak with different melodies in the guitars and eventually descends into a wash of howling feedback. “The Songs of Maldoror: Six” further varies the mix, with sedate piano backed by quiet tremolos on guitars. At other times, the bass steps more to the fore to carry the melody. Add that to the way some of the melodies resemble Chinese folk songs, and you have an interesting entry into the genre, worth seeking out.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Hualun

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Soft Machine Legacy - Live Adventures – With the sad passings of Canterbury icons Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper, the reformulated quartet continues to carry on convincingly in the vein of the great icon of British Jazz. Now led by the voices...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues