Exposé Online banner

Mao Dou + Lu Chen — A Hippo Wildly Grinds Its Teeth Bankside
(Mule no#, 2007, 2CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2008-10-01

A Hippo Wildly Grinds Its Teeth Bankside Cover artThis elaborate package from the Shanghai underground would be worthy of a stateside release on Beta-lactam Ring. Seems perfect: one-of-a-kind presentation, cryptic artwork, bizarre music (and other sounds), confusing (or non-existent) credits. The CDs come packed in a lovely cloth-bound book that has 60+ card-stock pages covered with strange art (photo collages, scribbles, surreal sketches, and so on) and writing in English and Chinese. The discs are stuck on rubber knobs on the fold-out back cover. The first disc seems to consist of material that Mao and Lu gave to some of their Shanghai avant/improv scene compatriots to do with what they would. The results vary widely, starting out with eight minutes of the Beatles’ “Yesterday” repeated over and over accompanied by a music box. If there are any variations in treatment I can’t make them out. Then there is a very brief song with acoustic guitar and bass. We’re also treated to creepy ambient sound treatments from Sun Mengjin and blasts of static, radio noises and demented screaming, courtesy of the aptly named Torturing Nurse – ten minutes of that is guaranteed to clear your house of unwanted guests, and if it doesn’t, you might want to call the cops on those who remain. Obviously a lot of thought, effort, and (dare I say) love went into this release, though it’s honestly hard to imagine there’s much of an audience for it. Disc 2 contains more than 30 minutes of mostly spoken (occasionally sung) Chinese with treatments, found sounds and backgrounds both subtle and noisy. If you’re seeking out extreme art music from around the world, Mao and Lu are here to represent mainland China.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Lu Chen, Mao Dou

Latest news

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
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

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Alquimia & Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma - Dead Tongues – Alquimia is a vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist who has three previous albums to her credit in the pre-hispanic/new electronic music area, while Fernandez Ledesma is the de-facto leader of...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues