Miniless showcase @ Yuyintang
Update: oopps. Loud music and shouting in each other's ears. The band with the Beijing mishaps was in fact 8 Eye Spy not Muscle Snog. Same end result.
So, the Miniless Showcase. Before I get into this lets have the intro and the band. Han Han is an unassuming guy from Hefei City in Anhui province. Without ever having been in touch with a 'developed' music scene or been in live contact with any bands from said scenes, he has single handedly put together a DIY label of amazing experimental bands as well as fronting the flagship act, Lava Ox Sea.
The line up:
And still before we get to the show. Han Han has been excited lately by the release of two CDs which he says are 'high quality' releases. Well, I have both those CDs. One is Fading Horizon and the other is the new one from Lava Ox Sea. And yes, both of them are high quality and fucking amazing listens.
The LOS CD was recorded up in Nanjing and produced by Yang Haisong. It has been skillfully put together and mastered with the highest quality. I just can't stop listening to Vertigo right now. I'm listening to it as I write this, in fact.
So, the show was ... why? ... an STD co-production. I expected it to be bursting but it wasn't. It was still a full YYT, just not sardined like the recent run of shows. I arrived in time to catch Boojii's set, which was short and tempered by some sound hitches at the start. I can't wait to get my hands on their new CD, but tonight wasn't a Boojii night. Not their fault, average sound in general let the night down a bit. Also, I missed the opening set by Duck Fight Goose, a kind of Miniless super-group. You'll have to check out Jake Newby for that, he tells me they were excellent.
The first full set I got to see was from Fading Horizon. They took a couple of songs to get going but things took off from Twice. FH are quite conventional for a China experimental act and at times the pumping bass and mid-range clanging guitars remind me of eighties indie bands. They must be aware of this though, and they decided to finish the set with a massive long repetitive instrumental complete with drum sticks bashing guitars and their female back up singer screaming away.
Lava Ox Sea came on last. Han Han emerged with a paper bag over his head and his glasses on the outside. He led into the set with a gradually building echo drenched riff and I thought this as really going to kick off. Alas, the sound was just too muddy. The vocals were barely audible at times and the instruments had no separation too. Usually I don't mind or even notice but after you hear how unbelievable the CD is and the sheer quality of the tracks and sounds, anything less is a bit dissapointing. LOS have set high standards for themselves now.
On a final note, the Muscle Snog CD is not out yet and has suffered a further delay. Not going to tell the full story, sorry, but their Beijing adventure has come to a sour and abrupt end. Look for that to be salvaged on Miniless. Then by that time you'll have FH, LOS Boojii and Muscle Snog CDs on your shelf and Han Han will have brought indisputable ruling quality to the Shanghai scene.
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