Gatitx Discos

Gatitx Discos: “friendship without borders”

Gatitx Discos

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You guys, I’m in love. Gatitx Discos is one of my favorite newer indie labels, based in Lima, Peru and putting out excellent cassettes from bands around Peru, Chile, and Argentina. From fuzzy noisepop to shoegaze to straight up punk and everything in-between, there’s something here for everyone. I encourage a full listen to a few new favorite bands.

From Bandcamp:

“One is the anniversary edition of the label, made in Lima, Peru, in cassette format limited to only 30 copies. Participating Peruvian, Chilean and Argentinean bands, is a kind of homage to friendship without borders.”

Gatitx Discos: Facebook

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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The Daydream Fit

The Daydream Fit: The Dutch outfit stays close to its ’90s emo roots but have expanded its sound

The Daydream Fit

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Is there anything more bittersweet than a band going on hiatus or breaking up after releasing their best work? It isn’t rare, though; at times, the effort of releasing something outstanding is draining, it damages the personal relationships inside a band, or it makes its members realize they don’t have so much time to put on their musical project anymore.

When it comes to The Daydream Fit, a criminally underrated band based between Enschede and Utrecht, in the Netherlands, it’s unsure what the cause of their hiatus was. What we know is that their last self-titled EP is a rare gem in the contemporary emo scene, a mind blowing work that would have deserved a lot more attention.

The Daydream Fit is the second record by the Dutch outfit – the first was a three-songs EP resembling bands such as End Of A Year and characterized by a contagious freshness. Their last work is longer, with six songs graced by a masterful production that brings out the band’s ability to write songs that are seemingly simple but are written with a passionate attention to detail. The record is rich with references to the ’90s. On the second track “Stick To Yr Lies” it’s easy to hear the youthful urgency of Moss Icon, while on “New York City Tonight” there’s even a collaboration with Sonic Youth guitar player Lee Ranaldo.

But most importantly, it feels like it’s the approach of The Daydream Fit that comes from a different era, untouched by the contradictions of today or by the pressures of appearing a certain way. The band focuses on their music in the most genuine way possible: not only they play precisely what they want to play, but they also have the means to do it, and the result is truly poignant and brilliant.

The Daydream Fit: Facebook Twitter

Writer and musician from Milan, Italy. Hardcore punk background, DIY enthusiast, Balkan culture scholar. Check him out on Twitter at @advaence

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Nasty Wizard Recordings

Nasty Wizard Recordings: the diverse sounds of modern pan-Asian shoegaze, all in one compilation

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I think I found a new favorite label – Nasty Wizard Recordings is a Beijing-based label that specializes in a range of noisy and out-there underground music (self-described by the label as “mostly evil music”). Last year they put out a release featuring HN favorites Chinese Football, so you know they’ve got great taste.

The label’s latest release is a collection of songs from some of pan-Asia’s most beloved modern shoegaze bands.

From Bandcamp:

“This May the gnarliest tape label in China, Nasty Wizard Recordings, is back with their first epic release of the year, a pan-Asian compilation of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Japan’s shoegaze scenes. We’re talking ground zero for the blistering, reverb-drenched genre that has taken the continent by storm over the past few years! Featuring tracks from Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Xi’an the Asia Shoegaze Compilation Vol. 1 is a must have for anyone looking to get their head lost in the clouds.

With a love for making destructive noises with their guitars and array of electronic effects, Tokyo’s Oeil has been a constant presence in the Japanese shoegaze scene for over a decade, and while the band has been relatively quiet since their widely popular 2014 EP ‘Myrtle’ we were fortunate enough to have them share two of their latest tracks.

Next up it wouldn’t be a shoegaze comp without a bittersweet farewell. The Pillow Man, a trio out of Hangzhou, otherwise loftily known as ‘Paradise on Earth’ didn’t even make it to two years as a band. However that fleeting, affecting touch is captured brilliantly in the band’s few surviving tunes.

We then head down to the Pearl of the Orient aka. Hong Kong where Sea of Tranquility has been creating dreamy shoegaze pop since 2014. The five-piece, with an abundance of piercing guitar noise and pulsating reverb, continues to convey the starry romance of the genre to ravenous listeners.

Finally, we head to the old Qing Dynasty capital of China where Xi’an’s Endless White resides. The young quartet, fresh off their debut EP, relishes in jangly guitar work, wispy vocals, and sublime walls of sound that engulf the band and enrapture your ears — the perfect closer.

Links below to Hangzhou’s The Pillow Man, Tokyo’s Oeil, Hong Kong’s The Sea of Tranquility, and Xi’an’s Endless White”

Nasty Wizard Recordings: Facebook SoundCloud

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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Low Dream

Low Dream: Brazilian shoegaze greats finally comes to streaming

low dream

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Low Dream, one of the best Brazilian shoegaze bands you’ve probably never heard of, is finally on streaming services. My personal favorite is their second record, ‘Reaching for Balloons,’ which best captures the band’s love of Jaguar guitars, lust, and the Velvet Underground.

From Midsummer Madness:

“The two albums, the first demo and a compilation of extras [are] re-released for streaming platforms. Available in digital format here in mmrecords since 2001, ‘Dreamland’ (the demo), ‘Between My Dreams & the Real Things’ (1st album), ‘Reaching for Balloons’ (2nd album) and the compilation ‘Soundscapes'”

Low Dream / Midsummer Madness: Website Facebook Twitter

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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The White Tulips

The White Tulips: Chinese noise-pop band’s self-released debut gets a reissue via Qiii Snacks

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Qiii Snacks, one of my favorite labels, is reissuing the White Tulips’ 2015 self-released debut ‘Fondle’, which you can now stream. The White Tulips are from Amoy (also known as Xiamen) and sound like your favorite indie noise-pop band.

The White Tulips/Qiii Snacks: Website Facebook Twitter

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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Moe Meguro

Moe Meguro: “Crosby, Stills & Nash meets Cap’n Jazz”

moe meguro

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I appreciate any Bandcamp bio that simply states “Crosby, Stills & Nash meets Cap’n Jazz,” yet Moe Meguro go the extra mile and actually pull off the description. The three band members are based around the world and each musician brings part of their home to the blend. My guess: Joseph “Jojo” Brandel, from Yokohama, Japan, brings the math-rock emo riffs; Bernie Gelman, from Austin, TX, brings the hazy drive; and Logan Bean, from California, brings the sunny pop harmonies. Extra points to the band for covering ‘Walls And Bridges’-era John Lennon with “#9 Dream.”

From the band:

“With band members scattered over six thousand miles apart across two continents and a name borrowed from the Japanese Olympic curling champion, Moe Meguro is a melting pot of disparate styles. The 3-piece band consisting of Joseph Brandel and Bernie Gelman on guitars and Logan Bean on drums (with all three members covering vocal duty) convenes once or twice a year to write, rehearse, and record music back on their home turf in the Bay Area, California. Over that short span of time, the band collaborates on crafting intricate, sonically lush music drawing from Beatles-tinged power pop laced with harmonies to hazy shoegaze and a bit of math rock.”

Moe Meguro: Bandcamp Facebook Twitter

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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On His Solo Debut, Gerard Way Trades In My Chemical Romance For Britpop and Shoegaze

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When My Chemical Romance broke up last year, it was the end of an era for the once beloved and always ambitious New Jersey band, whose 2004’s Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge became one of the most popular albums of the MTV2/emo era and 2006’s The Black Parade being one of the best (and only) epic mainstream rock albums of the last decade.

But now, after a year of silence, former MCR frontman Gerard Way has traded in the black eyeliner and emo Sgt. Pepper’s outfit for some red hair and a new mission – to make the Britpop/Shoegazing album he’s always wanted to make.

“I have all these amazing Britpop records, and I have shoegaze records, but I don’t have anything on the radio anymore. So the main objective was to change the landscape of music a bit. To kind of re-boot Britpop in America.” he tells Rolling Stone about his solo debut, Hesitant Alien, which is due September 30th.

The album’s first single “No Shows” is a dramatic shift from the darkness of MCR to a more colorful direction that name-checks Blur and My Bloody Valentine as inspiration. Yet Hesitant Alien is not a tribute album to Britpop. It is an exciting album full of visual and sonic exploration from one of modern rock’s most enduring frontmen who sounds like he has rediscovered his love of Pulp’s Different Class. From listening to “No Shows” you can still hear Way’s trademark voice and his uncanny ability to write melodies that will remind fans that there is indeed life after the black parade.

Check out the music video for “No Shows” below and click here to read the Rolling Stone interview in which Way talks about the end of MCR, his love for the movie Trainspotting, and the new recording process he used for Hesitant Alien.

Brady is the founder of Headphone Nation. He’s responsible for all this mess. Sorry about that. He’s also on Twitter @BradyWGerber

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