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Soviet Pop, Hot & Cold, and the Offset: Spectacles’ cassettes are currently sold out! Very few Dirty Beaches tapes remain.
Though the first cassette were produced by hand in a very limited run of 15 tapes, another round of 15 will be available soon. Get a hold of these releases!
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for orders and other questions.
Soviet Pop is the oscillator project of Li Qing and Li Weisi. A drum machine chirps out at a steady pace while the two Lis unleash torrents of pure electricity out of their synthesizers. In an age where electronic sound is ubiquitous in popular music, it is necessary to make clear what differentiates Soviet Pop. Not only are no computers used in their music, but the wild, tumbling, shards of sound that they draw upon have scarcely been heard since the work of early electroacoustic composers, Sun Ra, and the Normal, if at all. Meanwhile, Li Wei Si intones stories of absurdity and loneliness, stories that could only come from Beijing.
As for the name, the contrasting bleakness and mystery just fit perfectly with the music.
RMA003 Dialogue C-30
In the back room of a decrepit Hong Kong mahjongg parlour, low-fidelity assault trio the Offset: Spectacles is rehearsing. From posters on the walls stare down the gaunt visages of Les Rallizes Denudes, Silver Apples, Guy DeBord, and, in a specially allocated shrine, Django Reinhardt. Their instruments are ancient Teisco, Kent, and Silvertone guitars, an Acetone organ, and a viola, sourced from the musical misadventures of wayward uncles. Straining to be heard above the click-click of tiles and the band’s tremelo-slicked garage drone, a blackout-shades festooned elderly patron in the main room shouts for the band to quiet down, in a Cantonese echo of Lou Reed’s performance in the Velvet Underground’s Sister Ray.
To restate, the Offset: Spectacles play in the tradition of high volume urban folk music from some of the most inhospitable cities on the planet.
RMA-001 Self-titled C-30
Hot & Cold are Josh Frank and Simon Frank. Onstage, they yell, gyrate, mumble, and hold onto their keyboards for ten minutes at a time to produce sustained synth noise; sometimes they would even jump into the audience whilst banging on a busted cymbal.
True dat. Hot & Cold also like to collect lo-tech instruments, even toys, if you may. And sometimes they would bring these things onto the stage.
Hot & Cold’s cassette EP was recorded in Beijing in late 2009. Everything was recorded live without any overdubbing. A total live experience.
From the first time they performed in 2006 until now, Hot & Cold has always been evolving. The one thing that remains the same is their energy, and this has nothing to do with skill.
Their performance would always leave people with a sense of hope. Many of those who had seen them live have eventually picked up an instrument.
RMA002 Sacred Vacation C-30
Dirty Beaches is the sound of waves against a picturesque and putrid shore, the silent rumble of a Chevy as it speeds by in slow motion. Sparse but condensed, relentlessly edging forward: this is music for locomotive travel, for racing your weary motorcycle through neon archways and into dusky tunnels.
The man behind Dirty Beaches is Alex Zhang Hungtai; solo performer, sound-smith, and trans-Pacific nomad. Born in Taiwan, Hungtai has made Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver his homes.
Like Bo Didley or minimalist synth provocateurs Suicide, Dirty Beaches’ compositions are not so much stripped down as refined to their essence. Drum loops entrance, Hungtai’s croon enchants, and the yearning melodies draped overtop belie as much a sense of haunting mystery as they do romanticism and wry humour.
RMA004 Solid State Gold C-30