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!
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
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
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, 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