Babel Records: because moody Valentine’s Day songs still sound good in March
Babel Records is a new Beijing label I’ve begun to keep my eye on, and so far I’ve really liked what I’ve heard. The label’s latest release is a four-track Valentine’s Day compilation that still holds up even though it’s March. My personal favorite is opening track “sweet,sweet tone” by sususu;Cattzim.
“Whether you are lonely, missing, unrequited love or despair
It doesn’t matter, because we’re still before midnight
All beautiful things will take place in this quiet night”
The 尺口MP: Qiii Snacks’ latest band makes Lofi city-pop with Fuzhou flavor
Qiii Snacks Records, one of my favorite labels, is putting out new music from Fuzhou, China trio The 尺口MP. Their debut EP comes out this Spring. For now, enjoy this sample of “Lofi city-pop with Fuzhou flavor.”
Pairs was a Shanghai noise-rock duo made up of drummer Xiao Zhong and guitarist F. They broke up two years ago, but, as Unite Asia points out, the duo will re-release its last album, ‘Maleika On Casley,’ on cassette via Indonesia’s Gerpfast Kolektif DIY label August 8th. One of the songs on the album is called “Smashing Pumpkins,” so you know it’s good. I just listened to the album again on Bandcamp and yes, it’s very good.
At first, “Blue Dress” might not seem like much – a muddled guitar attacks two power chords as the drummer pounds away and drowns out the vocals, which are always on the edge of audible. But then the chorus kicks in and it’s wonderful – all of a sudden I feel empowered with a sing-a-long chorus that belongs in a mosh pit. It’s one “whoa-whoa-whoa” away from being a great Japandroids song, and the world needs more songs like that.
Guangzhou’s yourboyfriendsucks! is a necessary reminder that China is full of dynamic indie music. The Southern China group’s latest release, Episode 1 EP (Qiii Snacks Records), gives off strong Sleater-Kinney vibes, from the bittersweet trilingual vocals (Chinese, German, and English) to the spare guitars that are mostly reverb-hazy but also can be urgent and in-your-face when they need to be.
The highlight for me is the spacey cover of The Jesus & Mary Chain’s “Just Like Honey,” which would be a perfect addition to the Lost In Translation soundtrack.
From the group’s Bandcamp bio: “The music they made are some retarded pop songs added too much reverb, along with silly lyrics in Chinese / English / German and don’t-know-what-to-play-here-so-I-played-some guitar noise…Let’s get old, together.”