China New Music

8 Smoking-Hot Music Releases to Soundtrack Your August

Scorching temperatures seem to be blanketing much of the globe — including China. And what better way to beat the heat than a round-up of some hot new music?

3 0
2:40 PM HKT, Mon August 1, 2022 2 mins read

New Music, formerly Yin (音, ‘music’), is a monthly RADII column that looks at fresh Chinese music spanning hip hop to folk to modern experimental, and everything in between. This month, we introduce you to new music from Second Hand Rose, Bohan Phoenix, and more!

It’s been a sweltering summer in Shanghai. Too hot, you could say. As we welcome the arrival of August, the city continues opening up after another Covid-19 scare and the weather, hopefully, continues to cool.

What is the perfect remedy to hot weather? Hot music. And we have some excellent choices for you to soundtrack your August picnics.

Shanghai songstress Voision Xi returns with a new release, local label SVBKVLT celebrates a milestone release, and Bohan Phoenix drops his first-ever full-length album.

1. Voision Xi — 5 Loops in Her Way

Shanghai singer-songwriter Voision Xi returns with the latest in her loops series, which kicked off in early 2021 with her release 4 Loops in Her Way. Here she goes one better while also giving an abstract interpretation of what she means by the word ‘loop’: “be inspired, circulate and build, [these] are the perceptions of music space.”

The tracks are warm, blending Voision’s experimentations with synthesizers and her gorgeous vocals. The opening track, ‘too late to complain,’ is a prime example of the warmth at play, as the ambient nature of her vocals blends excellently with minimalist keys.

2. Abadir — Mutate

Shanghai label SVBKVLT has been dropping excellent music from China and abroad for years. Egyptian producer ABADIR’s new release, Mutate, is the label’s 50th drop.

ABADIR developed the idea for these tracks by experimenting with an Egyptian folk music tradition called Maqsuom, before collecting various Arabic rhythms and blending them with contemporary club genres like jungle, footwork, and more.

3. Rubur — Meanwhile…

Shanghai shoegaze group Rubur return with their first new release in almost two years, a two-track drop called Meanwhile… on Beijing music label Ruby Eyes Records.

The wall of sound that Rubur creates on ‘Deprived of Grief’ is something to behold, as guitars and drums completely drown out the melancholic vocals.

4. Bohan Phoenix — Cities Are For Fools

Having teased this for months, Bohan Phoenix finally dropped his first full-length album, Cities Are For Fools. The LP comes after the release of singles New York Made Me,’ ‘Take Off, Touch Down,’ and ‘Possible,’ each of which has its own distinct style.

The rest of the album picks up where these singles left off, showing off Bohan’s versatility, such as on the muted ‘Move to LA,’ or the wonderfully produced ‘Luxury.’

5. Pu Poo Platter — Pu Poo Platter

Here we have a debut EP from Space Fruity Records’ Pu Poo Platter, a band that presumably takes its name from the pu pu platter of American Chinese food. The group was seemingly formed in Brooklyn, and a quick Google search shows a few previous gigs the band has played around the New York area.

Opener ‘pp’ is a short, laidback mixture of keyboard organ and drumbeats, while the second track on the band’s self-titled EP, ‘ppbb,’ uses more guitar, with the group creating a type of ambient psychedelic sound that feels good for the soul.

6. The fin. — ‘Outer Ego’ (Sunset Rollercoaster remix)

Beloved Japanese indie duo The fin. get the remix treatment here from one of the Sinophone world’s best indie rock bands, Taiwan’s Sunset Rollercoaster.

Sunset Rollercoaster add an ethereal quality to ‘Outer Ego,’ with their syncopated version cutting into the smoothness typical of The fin. and adding something more rhythmic to the track.

7. Second Hand Rose — Canghai Yisheng Xiao

Second Hand Rose, one of China’s biggest rock bands, has been kicking around for over 20 years. Known for their use of traditional Chinese folk music elements, the band this month released their own interpretation of a well-known track from Sam Hui called ‘Canghai Yisheng Xiao,’ which roughly translates to ‘The Sea Laughs.’

The track has not yet been released on Western music platforms, but you can catch it here on Netease Music.

8. 9m88 — ‘Whatchu Gonna…?’ (prod. By Rainbow Chan)

Taiwan meets Hong Kong on this track, as Taiwan musician 9m88 teams up with Hong Konger Rainbow Chan for ‘Whatchu Gonna…?’

As she prepares to drop her second album, 9m88 appears in a reflective mood, at peace with herself and her musical sensibilities as she speaks about tidying up a relationship in ‘Whatchu Gonna…?’

Cover image designed by Haedi Yue

Join the Conversation
Write comment

Use this time to reassess your life choices