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

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 Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bob Drake - The Skull Mailbox – Bob Drake may be a genius, but it is fair to say that, as far as the results of his craft go, he is more than a bit scatterbrained. The Skull Mailbox is chock full of ideas, often more than one for...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues