Exposé Online banner

Ni-Hao! — No Respect
(Tenzenmen 182tzm, 2016, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-04-27

No Respect Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Ni-Hao!

Latest news

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Arena - Songs from the Lion's Cage – Mick Pointer, ex-Marillion drummer leading a comeback effort after 12 years away from the music scene? No way. Well, it's true — sort of anyway. After leaving Marillion following Script for...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues