Neoaliaz: Electronic, Taipei, Taiwan
Ma-Te Lin: “Complex, profound, yet delicate”
This Ma-Te Lin song is so delicate I’m afraid it’s going to break in my hands. What a gorgeous song. Lead singer Asha whispers in Mandarin and English over a simple composition over someone she wishes to come home. She sounds sad but grateful to know such a person. His or her return would still be bittersweet, but at least a good memory. The group’s last full album came out in 2015, so hopefully “Please Come Home” is a sign towards the next release.
“The artists of electronica music from Taipei known as Ma-Te Lin was formed in 2012.Their sound is soft, yet complex, profound, yet delicate.”
Astro Bunny: Electro-Pop Duo From Taiwan
Cats! Sunsets! The Ocean! Great moody electro-pop! Can’t go wrong with Taiwan duo Astro Bunny. The act is vocalist Lena Cha (formerly Cherry Boom) and producer Nu.
Cha via Taipei Times: “We named the group ‘bunny’ because I love bunnies and I forced him to like them too. I picked the word “astro” because I’m an anime and computer game geek.” Later in the interview, Cha talks about how the music is a juxtaposition of Chinese literary writing and electronic melodies – an interesting combination. “Because of the neutral nature of the synthesizer used to create electronica sounds, this seemingly lifeless music doesn’t feed you with predetermined themes. Rather, it allows you to interpret and imagine meanings according to your mood at the time.”
Check out more via YouTube.
My Skin Against Your Skin: Taiwan Electro-Rock Band With All The Feels
Every time I listen to “生存的城市” (“Life is for Living”), I always expect it to first drone out into some electronic oh you listen to the Drive soundtrack cool mist. Instead, this song by My Skin Against Your Skin unfolds into an effective pop groove that reminds me of Death Cab For Cutie at its most yearning and lovely. Andrea Huang’s voice is especially strong on a deceivingly simple song.
The three-piece, originally just Huang and bassist and synth player Si-Lu Yu and now with drummer Jesse, has been active since 2010 and have a large following around Taiwan – let’s bring them to the states! Learn more about the band via their interview with Hello Asia!
CROCODELIA: psychedelic surf rock from Taiwan
Of course, when you think of fuzzy garage surf-rock, you think of crocodiles. Taiwan’s CROCODELIA, a band formed around 3100 BC, knows this, so they have perfected the art of the freakbeat with this excellent six-track EP. You can pick up Out Of The Swamp via Bandcamp.
YOGOHOWSHIAO: the art of the somber soundtrack
I love the quiet space YOGOHOWSHIAO creates with just a keyboard – like I’m in a Taiwanese sequel to Lost in Translation and I’m looking out at the dark skyline or an endless countryside and thinking of my own reflection that I caught in the elevator mirror. The SoundCloud has more upbeat, frantic electronic music as well, but I’m all here for any music that makes me want to sit still and close my eyes and transport me to some unknown place in my mind.
No Party For Cao Dong: Taiwanese post-rock for fans of The National, Interpol, and other nighttime guitar rock
As we wait hopefully for new music by post-rock greats No Party For Cao Dong, there’s plenty of great tracks to get acquainted with. Also head over to Beehype for a look at the video for “Shanhai” (山海), one of the more creative music videos I’ve seen in a while.
From Bandcamp bio:
“Beats bouncing between Disco and Grunge, [we’re] often recognized as a indie/post-rock band with rough and sharp tone fusing with softness and gentleness.
Whispering in despair and screaming in hopeless is the vocal, leading melodies and rhythms to unexpected arrangements.
Aside from music, their exotic, passive but romantic lyrics engraves emotions deeply into your hearts.”
My favorite thing about Undecimber Fin. is that I don’t know how to classify its sound. “Gravity” starts off as an ambient indie groove with scattered electric beats and a gentle acoustic guitar. But then it sidesteps into a jazz swing with disorganized pianos and blasts of distorted guitars that sound more like tiny noise bombs. The music then takes another left turn with the return of the slow, gentle singing and the acoustic guitar picking that now wouldn’t sound out of place on Radiohead’s In Rainbows. When all the pieces come together, the song is a calm yet distinct mosaic.
Speaking of mosaic, if you take a look at the band’s SoundCloud you’ll see cryptic cartoons as the covers of the few songs the band has uploaded on its profile (I haven’t found any full-length releases yet). These cartoons are like the stills from a strange dream, which isn’t a bad way to describe the band’s atmospheric yet urgent sound. Also, does anyone have an idea what the band name means?
Regardless, as I learn more about Taiwan’s music scene, Undecimber Fin. gives me great hope for what else I may soon discover.