Exposé Online banner

Duck Fight Goose — Flow
(Miniless Recordings MINI018, 2010, CD)

Boojii — Reserved
(Modern Sky M-039, 2009, CD)

Muscle Snog — Mind Shop
(Maybe Mars 17.1, 2009, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Flow Cover artReserved Cover artMind Shop Cover art

These three bands hail from Shanghai, a city known for avant-garde music, and they certainly fit that categorization; they share members, several of whom have also worked in other prominent Shanghai experimental projects such as Island 33 (reviewed in #35), Asthma Writers Union, Hard Queen, and so on (analysis is complicated by their penchant for nicknames). Boojii, known in their native language as Boji Xiaosi (which might be translated "Small Wire Shock Wave," though they claim it really means nothing) has chosen an English name of similar sound but no meaning. Their music sets female vocals, sometimes pure and pleasant, sometimes modified and creepy, against a backing of guitar, keys, bass and drums that veer wildly from punk cabaret to chaotic noise. The music is full of surprises, as when a limping circus beat gives way to screeching wails, then suddenly drops to a serene interlude. They have a fondness for 3/4 time, serving up warped waltzes of catchy melodicism backed by distorted guitar. The lyrics are all in Chinese, but even reading the English titles ("Rabbit Germ," "Meow Sauce," "Man-Eating Duck," "Centipedes Occupy Chernobyl" and so on) you get a feel for the absurdist nature of the words.

Muscle Snog is much less song-oriented, with tracks of improvised noise (not always noisy, if you take my meaning) taking turns with chaotic, dissonant post-punk songs and twisted, trippy lullabys; there's also a truly strange version of "A Day in the Life" with sludgy guitar and interruptions for noise. At times, the recorded parts are chopped up into bits and spewed back in alternate form, though the majority of it could (and has been) presented live. It's a truly adventurous recording, and the most difficult listening of the three.

Duck Fight Goose has been getting rave reviews for their live shows for several years, but their long-anticipated debut CD is only a five-song EP. Well, better five wonderful tracks than nothing, I guess. The DFG configuration of players (all of whom are in at least one of the other bands) finds them in a mathy vein, though not hyper-complex, with repeating patterns on the guitars and minimal vocals. The vocals (male and female) are often shifted up an octave, providing a chipmunk-y sound that contrasts with the distorted guitars, filling a role that might otherwise be handled by keyboards. They deftly balance experimental touches with catchy, off-kilter hooks to produce a winning sound. Muscle Snog has gone inactive, but we can hope the other two acts continue with their unique versions of modern rock.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Duck Fight Goose / YADAE, Boojii, Muscle Snog

More info
http://www.tenzenmen.com

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
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


Previously in Exposé...

Ground Zero - Consume Red – One could say without stretching the truth too far, that Consume Red (part one of the three part Project Consume) is basically an hour of pure thrash / noise experimentation, delivered piping hot by...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues