Ni-Hao! — No Respect
(Tenzenmen 182tzm, 2016, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-04-27
I often find recordings of the “lo-fi” esthetic very frustrating. Bad quality sound in a live situation is something that often can’t be avoided, and is mitigated by the positives of having the performers right there making the music. But when you take the time to record for later listening, distortion and poor equalization can be very tiring and distract from the content and quality of the music. In the case of vintage live recordings, I’m willing to make some allowances if the performance is of historical significance. This recording by the now-international group Ni-Hao! is quite a mixed bag in a lot of ways, not least the fidelity of the recording. Some tracks have an overdriven distortion that could have been recorded on a smartphone in a dive bar, and one track is explicitly called out as a live recording. Others have cleaner sound, akin to good quality modern demos. But the band’s style, which they call “cheer punk,” might be described in outside-world terms as “art-punk,” and lends itself to quick-and-dirty recording. They’re all about spontaneous fun, and precision playing is not at all required. That being said, there are some very inventive sounds on No Respect, with thrashing guitars and shouted vocals one moment and rinky-dink drum machine with piano bass the next. Or wildly oscillating synthesizer, or chopped up sampled spoken words. The inconsistency becomes the theme, and the album becomes a sonic collage, a cut-and-paste vision of the weird musical world these women inhabit.
Related artist(s): Ni-Hao!
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more