Chinese 中国的 Shoegaze & Noise Pop, a quick guide. Part 1
China is the most populated country in the world. It has a small Shoegaze scene known to the English speaking world. Is it the tip of the iceberg, a new seed growing or a fringe phenomenon?
A very kind Chinese correspondent told us a few things on Shoegaze in China:
"Nowadays doing original music in China is really difficult, mostly because of the censorship on so many things. It kills many good idea in the crib. The situation are even more difficult to those who do alternative music or independent musicians, Shoegaze being but a small subgroup.
Often you can always finds others music element, like Post-Rock, Folk, or Eletronica, ... , in the music of Chinese bands tagged as "Shoegazer". What I found great, is that, to me, you may be the first auslander who try to write something about this small music genre in China.
In China we got more famous bands, such as the Hedgehog which mentioned in your article. They are the most famous from your list in China, though their music has complicated elements, not just shoegazing, apart maybe for one or two songs. They mostly are defined as an alternative rock band, and their lyrics are beautiful!
About live venues, personally I don’t know much about it, but recently the government shut down many places famous for live music which have a great impact on alternative music. Also many music magazines that have been publishing for some time are being shut down too."
Many thanks to Dexin for his insight on the Chinese Shoegaze scene, and to Matthew, Stefano, Frederick, Petri and Steven from the FB group Shoegaze Japan for their bands recommendations, sound as always.
If you know more bands, please share with us so we can do a volume 2!
The band's online presentation is that they were formed by Britlululu and Slowcore/Dream Pop Singer&Songwriter Ecke in 2011, in Shangai.
Forsaken Autumn describe what they are doing as "Shoegaze, Dreampop, Slowgaze, Alternative or anything else. But the core of their music, under the white noise, is still the alienated, dreamy, gentle, narcissistic, chilly, tepid, escaping and nihilistic state of mind!"
Tomo, of Ether Feels, saw them in concert and was amazed. That's how they first came to our attention and were included on one of our monthly playlist.
Their musical work so far has been:
- Touch, single, December 25, 2016
- Whenere, EP (6 songs), December 21, 2015
City Flanker are a dream pop band from China. We do not have much more information from their social media or others.
A bad translation from their Douban site is that after the first EP, the band changed into an electronic Shoegazing band, driven by some change in the line-up. The second EP "Sound Without Time", fuses synthesizer dance element. Style spans from psychedelic to Chillwave and Dream pop, aiming for a floating noise wall, electrified sound, into which people can fall dreaming awake.
Their musical work to date has been:
- Sound Without Time, EP, February 14, 2017
- Let Me But Listen, EP, August 3, 2015
Identified by the Guardian in its September 2017 article on Asian Shoegaze as one of the foremost genre's band in China,
So far they have released:
- True bypass, Album, October 20, 2016
- Melting slide, single, March 14, 2016
The White Tulips
Their Facebook presentation tells us that The White Tulips "is a Shoegaze /indie-pop band from Xia Men, a coastal city located in the South East of China. The band was formed in the autumn of 2012. It integrated the American 90’s indie music and Shoegaze, which is unique in China, like injecting a fresh blood.
The critics in the music radio of Shanghai commented that it is probably the best Shoegaze band in China. The band has aroused much attention, and it also has numerous adoring fans and a good reputation in China."
Their musical work is as follows:
- 甜美難忘夜, single, December 8, 2017
- Tardy, single, February 16, 2017 (featured below)
- Shonen SPA, EP, June 24, 2016
- Fondle, album, May 3, 2015
- Summertime, EP, March 30, 2015
- Wrapped in the waves, EP, March 26, 2014
Their Facebook presentation tells us that "it's normal if you don't know Beijing alchemists, Dear Eloise. They are a mysterious band seldom known by people, but once you've listened to their songs, they will be branded into your heart.
Since their inception in 2008, they have issued a steady stream of releases from their homestudio that have been well received by fans and critics alike despite shying away from performing live (they do not) and courting the media (they do not do that, either) instead, quietly giving flight to their indelible fuzz-soaked concoctions and letting them speak for themselves.
The band came out around 2007, no definite date. It’s just an extension from a simple idea. Dear Eloise are Yang Haisong (P.K.14’s vocal) and his wife Sun Xia (P.K.14’s former bassist). No more words are needed, you will know how fantastic they are."
- Uncontrollable Ice Age Stories, December 22, 2015
- Farewell To the Summer, October 13, 2014
- Beauty in Strangers, January 5, 2012 Beauty
- The Words That Were Burnt, October 15, 2010
Hedghog is performing a very playful Noise Pop, mixing Western and Eastern influences, lyrics in English and in Chinese.
Their motto is "We will tie each other and grow together , We will make noise and hit the world !".
They have released 9 albums of EP since 2007, including a 2005-2015 B-side&More for their 10 Years Aniversary, from which the selected song is extracted.
Baby Formula released one eponymous Album in 2013, a very nice Dream Pop piece. It has been shared and posted often in the Noise Pop FB groups. We could not find more information on the band unfortunately.