Lonely China Day — This Easily Assimilative People
((Not on label) 2010, 2010, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01I wrote about this Chinese band’s previous CD back in #36. On this latest effort, they continue their path moving away from sounds typical of rock bands and further into the esoteric realms of electronic processing and abstract constructions of sound. Leader Deng Pei handles guitars and vocals as well as production and writing, and second guitarist Wang Dongtao also takes the bass parts; the new drummer Han Rubing's work is heavily looped and processed, rarely sounding like live drums. The opening track sets the mood and introduces one of their prime stylistic elements: simple, pensive guitar chords backed by little electronic glitches. At other times the energy level bumps up a notch or two, and crunchily distorted drums sometimes provide a bit of propulsion. At times the use of echoes on guitar, percussion, and so on provide a completely non-reggae take on the techniques of dub. The prevalence of vocal numbers has further decreased, and we don't hear any singing until halfway through the set. Deng's singing is plaintive and pleasant, having a lost-in-the-fog quality similar to Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Everything is so heavily processed that it's hard to imagine a live performance, but I distinctly remember them doing some of this material when I saw them in 2008. The resulting music is fascinating both compositionally and sonically — it's amazing such distorted sounds can be so beautiful.
Related artist(s): Lonely China Day
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more