Monthly Archives: April 2012

Layabozi turns 4!

Not many words to write. Layabozi turns 4! Come! Enjoy! Rock!

We Are Shanghai Vol. 2 – Call For Artists

The WE ARE SHANGHAI compilation is a free online compilation of Chinese artists released to be a snapshot of the scene and to represent Shanghai. Now, the makers of this compilation make their plans true: Vol. 2 is going to be released. Here is their call for Shanghai artists:

Music-Makers of Shanghai,

It’s time to begin working on the next installment of We Are Shanghai!  We’re inviting you to submit a song for Volume 2, to be released later this year.  Volume 1 was well-received, and we’re looking forward to putting together a stellar lineup of bands and artists for the next one.

Here’s the deal: You have until the end of June to submit to us a high-quality .wav file of a song of yours.  We’d prefer it if songs were under 5 minutes in length, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.  Last time, we had more submissions than we could use, and we’re really hoping to get even more this time around.  We’re looking for good songs from a wide spectrum of genres. We want songs and artists that represent what’s happening in Shanghai and who are actively shaping the city’s music scene.

While all tracks are welcome, this compilation is a great opportunity for you to showcase new music.  As such, we hope that you’ll provide us with something that was recorded relatively recently, if not a new song altogether.  If you guys need help, JC and Nichols may be available for mixing and other recording assistance.

Also, if you are a graphic artist and would like to contribute to the cover art, let us know! Please send your submissions and other questions to jc@twinhorizon.com.

Thanks,
Bren, Nichols, Adam, JC and Ivan

上海的音乐人,侬好

差不多是要准备下一张《We Are Shanghai》的时候了!在此我们邀请你们为即将在今年底发布的合集第二弹贡献提交一首歌。第一弹反响特别好,所以我们期待再次集结一批闪亮耀眼的乐队和艺人。

你们所需要做的就是,在六月底前提交给我们一首高质量wav版本的作品。若非必不得已,时长五分钟以内为好。去年,我们所有的提交作品远比我们最终录用的多得多,期待今年能够收到更多优秀作品。我们不限定曲风,欢迎任何歌曲和艺人来展现上海现今活跃的音乐氛围。

我们欢迎任何歌曲,也正因如此,加入这张合集也是为你展示新歌的好机会。所以如果你们没有录制任何新歌,我们希望你能提供给我们一首相对较新的作品。如果你们需要任何帮助,JC和Nichols可以为你们混音或者帮助你们录音。

最后,如果你是个平面艺术家并且乐意贡献给我们一张图片座位封面,请告诉我们!请发你的歌或者任何问题给jc@twinhorizon.com.

谢谢,

Bren,Nichols,Adam,JC和Ivan

CORE IN CHINA | Band & Song List

It has been many weeks since Rock in China announced it’s CORE IN CHINA project for the very first time. We already announced the participation deadline, closed the submissions and reviewed them in our small yet dedicated team. A couple of days ago we sent out the official selection emails and also informed those bands that didn’t make it. There was no case that we had to reject a song due to its bad quality, but with a total number of 20 songs and by far over thirty song submissions, we had to make a choice.

Right now, all songs are being “mastered” in Germany, with it being however less of a real mastering and more of a volume alignment as most bands already had pretty good mastering done before submission. Whilst we wait for the final song versions to be issued to Rock in China and whilst we wait for the designers to prepare our cover, here is the band and song list:

# Band Song Title
1 Why Lazy Dying in the dream
2 NewTank The Dreamer
3 Meat Sucks Buried the Truths
4 Ordnance Ask for a justification
5 Partisan Selfish
6 Monkey King Until you come 2010
7 Multi-Ego End Of Me
8 Mensheng 故謠 Ballad of Fallen
9 Die In Velvet 每天生每天死 (final mix)
10 Ashtemato JOKER同期录音人声完整版
11 Saving Molly To my friend
12 Luktomo We Are Luktomo
13 Beyond Cure Self Destruction
14 DustFall Dawn Late
15 Thyhazard Liar
16 King Ly Chee 在路上 feat. Andrew Neufeld (Comeback Kid)
17 Shut Up! Shut Down! Bros Holds On Firm Bloods
18 Raving Jokes No Vain
19 The Falling Circle II Circle
20 Mary Dolls 2012

We have already interviewed a number of these bands above and you can check out the interviews here:

PS: Photo taken from Multi Ego‘s Douban page.

Interview with Road End of 1724 Records | Post Rock Label from Beijing

The Beijing Post-Rock compilation released by 1724 Records caught our eye a couple of weeks ago. And as I started to dig deeper into the post rock scene of China, I noticed that 1724 Records is quite active on Last.fm and the owner Road End is a user there. For the record, 1724 has reached over 2500 listeners with 24 thousand scrobbels. Put that in comparison with Maybe Mars Last.fm power of 8000 listeners and 100 thousand scrobbels and you will realize that 1724 has an enormous reach in the overseas market.

As such, I contacted Road End, whose real name is Niu Lei and interviewed him with our basic questionaire to bring light into the dark. Niu Lei had responded in Chinese and a dear friend of his helped with the translation. In between the answers you will find music sniplets of 1724 Records and the corresponding record cover.

Azchael: Can you please introduce yourself and 1724 Records?
Niu Lei: My name is Niu Lei, 34 years old, male,divorced. I am living in Beijing and was born in Hebei province. Had no higher education. Formerly worked as worker,courier,editor(newspaper),and my last job is a project manager of a NGO. I did liberal professions about 3 years. When I was 19 (in 1997), first time i listened to The Beatles and rock n roll became my favorite music.After that,as a fan,I bought lot’s of rock cds,read different kinds of Chinese rock magazines. Also chat with others who like me and share our feelings about music on the internet. In 2004,with one of my net friends,we started a music bbs,try to gather people who has the same music taste together,that bbs is “indiechina.com”. In that time,there weren’t any similar websites in China. I knew some musicians,they didn’t know how to promote their music,or how to held a concert though i think their music is excellent,such as the band “48V”,the first artist of 1724 Records. They found me by one of my friends, and hoped that I can help them to release a first full-length,and make an inner-land tour for them. So,I started to try to these things for 48V,with 5 friends of mine.That is the beginning of 1724 Records. As a fan, I tried to be professional and I chose to use the internet. That was on Children’s Day of 2006.

48V and their record South II

Azchael: 1724 has recently released the compilation Beijing Post-Rock. How did this record come into existence?
Niu Lei: Beijing Post-Rock is a promotional CD. Beijing Post-Rock is made for the same title concert,I just want more people to know this gig,and these new sounds are created by persons who are living around them in this city.And before this concert,2 of the performing bands have joined in 1724 Records.Besides all,when I was young,I found some sounds from various compilations,and finally these sounds become to my favourite.Now,most of people who listen to the music,will choose the digital not physical,so this limited compilation is a salute to my experience,or a generations experience.

Azchael: How did you contact the bands?
Niu Lei: Half of this compilation’s bands are signed with 1724 Records.Except them, one (Hualun) is managed by myself now,and the other 2 bands are my friends.In fact,the relationship between me and bands is the same inclination of music,we both like instrumental rock.So,the contact between the artists and me also very simple.

Summer Fades Away and their record Time Flies and Memory’s Cruel

Azchael: 1724 Records has chosen to put the compilation for free on bandcamp. Why?
Niu Lei: For promotion.I want to spread it as big as I could. Not only on bandcamp,we also put the compilation on lastfm and indievox (a Taiwan based digital music website), additionally,also on our official website and in our official newsletter. BTW,the limited physical editions in China are free too.

Azchael: As you are selling your CDs online not only for China but also internationally, how many from overseas buy Chinese records?
Niu Lei: Not too many, first of all,about 4 months ago we just started to sell albums to overseas, it’s not a long time. Second,our promotional work is not well enough. And the major reason I think is that foreigners are not interested in Chinese modern music,because that what we “created” more like “another copy version” to the foreigners.But,we still have something really special and creationary.I believe in this for sure,and that’s why I’m working on this.

Azchael: How do you usually promote your music?
Niu Lei: Almost completely by internet.such as this time we are noticed by Rock in China.
And,we also promote our music by holding concerts and tours.
By internet,more people will just heard what we did,but at the concert,maybe people will love what we did.
Besides all,I’m trying to make musicians to be convinced of this:to spread your sounds,is the begining of independent.

Pentatonic and their record If you don’t’understand then I can’t explain to you

Azchael: How many records have you released already?
Niu Lei: Now,1724’s catalog is 027,but in fact,we have released 20 productions.We will release more in this year.

Azchael: What are your plans for 2012?
Niu Lei: In the beginning of 2012, 4 new bands have joined in 1724.They’ll release their new albums,and take inner-land tours.
Some of our earlier artists will also do same thing in 2012.
Now,my major work is to build our bands’ official websites,for promotion & sale.
By what I already did,I just hope that:take my bands to some local music festivals;got more cooperations with other organizations,or foreign labels.’cause I am not a super man.I can’t do all things only by myself.

Azchael: What is underground for you? Are you an underground label?
Niu Lei: Underground to me is like something Anti-Goverment or Anti-Humanity.
In fact,I think most of underground are poor or nervouness.
I dislike nervouness anymore,and 1724 don’t wanna be poor(yes,we are still in proceeding).
I think 1724 is not an underground label.

Azchael: What do you think of Rock in China?
Niu Lei: Rock in China is a really cool website.I knew it long time ago.
You should make rock in china really be cool.

Azchael: Thanks for the interview!
Niu Lei: Thanks a lot!

Amber and their song Drunk Star

In It | Yunnan Post Rock

After that fantastic free compilation of Beijing post rock bands, here is a one-man project from Kunming that made his music available online: In It.

Like “In It” on Facebook! And when you are at it, check also his Douban page with further songs that he wrote over the years.

Thanks to The Evil Skull and the Last.fm Chinese Post Rock group for bringing this guy to my attention.

Interview with Meat Sucks | Post-Hardcore from Wuhan

Post-Hardcore band Meat Sucks answered our call for CORE IN CHINA and also responded for all our interview questions:

Azchael: Can you briefly introduce yourself and Meat Sucks?
Meat Sucks: We are Meat Sucks from Wuhan and funded in 2010. A girl vocal and four boys Musicians composed this band. Respectively is the following, vocal Sami, guitarists Mike and talon, bassist Zuo, drummer Gong Xiao. Technically, we are a very young band, but it has never been the problem for us to be the most professional and passionate band compare to other bands. Initial, because we all love Emo Rock then decided to create this band. Though all the discussion, our direction is post-hardcore, and make our own Rock music. Finally, we’ve got a lot of chances to perform, meanwhile, rehearsing and recording are very good ways to improve our skills. Rock music is the best channel to help us access our deep thoughts and express our potential capabilities.

Azchael: Which instruments are you using and which brand?
Meat Sucks: Our band’s configuration is the simplest of the three: bass, drum, and guitar. But we can not rule out the possibility of adding electronic equipments like keyboard. The main use of the brand of guitar is PRS, Schecter, or ESP. bass is Sadowsky,and drum is Tama.

Azchael: Why have you chosen to use post hardcore as your style of music?
Meat Sucks: We have chosen post-hardcore as our style of music because the five of us like it. It can show our most inside voices.

Azchael: How is the core scene in Wuhan? How many people come to your gigs?
Meat Sucks: Compared to other cities, Wuhan is more conservative. However, in recent year, more bands would like to try post-hardcore and more audience accepted it. We are glad to see in our performance there are almost 200 people come every time.

Azchael: From your douban I can see that your songs get a lot of listening, especially compared to other more mainstream bands. Where do you have most fans?
Meat Sucks: I can only answer this question by speculation, because I cannot represent our audiences. In the group of rock, most rockers are male. However, Meat Sucks consists of a female vocal and four young boys. Perhaps it is the reason why we can express more delicate and soft feelings. I think it is the unique point to attract our audiences.

Azchael: Do you think you represent the new sound of Wuhan?
Meat Sucks: Wuhan never lacks of excellent musicians and bands. We are just an epitome of the new wave bands in Wuhan.

Azchael: Have you toured in China or plan to do so?
Meat Sucks: Yes. In addition to Wuhan, we also visited Changsha, Beijing to perform. Our plan in 2012 is to launch our debut album, then try to tour in China.

Azchael: What is underground for you? Are you underground?
Meat Sucks: I think we are the underground band, from music writing and recording, we make it independently. Performances and records propaganda are done by ourselves.

Azchael: Where do you see the future of post hardcore, especially as the wave of post hardcore in the west seems to be already coming down?
Meat Sucks: The style of the band is not so important for us. We do not rigidly adhere to a certain style. We like post hardcore, so we are pleased to do this kind of music, and don’t care whether it is already coming down or what few people like it.

Azchael: How do you promote your music? Do you promote internationally?
Meat Sucks: Like many other bands, we promote our music via the internet. I think the best way is to promote is to write more good songs, let our audiences willing to recommend us over and over again, willing to listen to our songs and find their own resonance.

Azchael: What do you think of RockinChina.com?
Meat Sucks: We have known your website, what the most intuitive feeling is, it is very professional, very thorough, and your questions made me feel that you are very fond of rock music. I hope more people like you can always willing to get an in-depth understanding of rock, report rock, stand on solid ground for Chinese rock music. We really like your site.

Azchael: Thanks for the interview!
Meat Sucks: We are very pleased to accept your interview!