Archive for August, 2007

Hertz – Dead Man Walking

Friday, August 31st, 2007

  chinese indie music, rock, underground, ?????????????????, hertz, hz, dead man walking, mr. stiff

Artist: Hz
Song: Dead Man Walking
From album: Mr. Stiff
[Buy CD][Website]

Hz, or Hu Zhi which stands for tiger in Chinese, is an electronic musician signed to China’s BadHead Records. – A subsidiary to underground powerhouse label Modern Sky.

His debut album Mr. Stiff (2002) is a fascinating mixture of minimal techno beats, noise, industrial samples and hypnotic guitar riffs. Some of his tracks carry an aesthetic highly reminiscent of Byetone’s fuzzy noise sound. The track I chose to showcase is not one of them, but it’s a great track nonetheless.

Dead Man Walking is a more varied display of Hz’s talents. The song starts off with some eerie sounding arpeggio chords played over a restrained techno beat (oxymoron?) and then develops, rather suddenly, into a trance rhythm. The hypnotic baseline then carries the song through some odd, but very cool sounding, warped vocal samples before it reaches its abrupt end. I love the off-kilter blues solo that finishes the song; it fits in perfectly with the track’s overall quirkiness.

Hz’s music is terribly difficult to find stateside, but fortunately for us, the Modern Sky website will take international orders through mail order. It’s easy and very cheap (CDs cost six dollars)! Follow this link for instructions on how to order.

Skazka Skazok

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Tale of Tales (1978) is a special film. Among its many strengths, I’m particularly amazed by its unique visual style. It is quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Yuri Norstein animated the film by shooting images placed on glass planes stacked on top of each other. By doing so, he achieves the effect of giving 2 dimensional images a layered 3 dimensional depth. The clip provided above is one of my favorite moments in the film. In this scene, a petit and mysterious wolf explores the lawn of an abandoned home. You can clearly see the multiple layers of bushes, mist and falling leaves working together to create this stunning scene.

The story is quite ambiguous, images are laced with nuances of meaning, but nothing is ever explicitly clear. You are left with scattered meanings which can only be put together as you discover the film’s themes. Personally, I find that the film’s ambiguity is what makes Tale of Tales so engaging. It is the lack of explicit meaning that draws the viewer’s imagination. The more you think about the film, the more the film is able to affect you. While the beauty of the images mesmerizes you, the vagueness of the film will captivate your mind.

If you must, the film is available on a certain Youtube. But I highly recommend purchasing Yuri Norstein’s complete works dvd if you want to experience the true beauty of this film.

New news

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

  red ruin, news, ian sit, new writer, lounge fight

Been gone for a while but now we’re back with a vengeance and a new writer, Ian Sit. He is coming on board to help raise our posting frequency as we experiment with a new multi-writer format.

Together we hope to climb to at least one post per week now!

Check out his recent compilation, “Lounge Fight” which should give you a basic idea of his musical tastes.

The tracklist is:(

    1) Lobotomy by Ogre You Asshole from Demo
    2) Utatane No Hibi (L’ecume des jours) by Luminous Orange from Drop You Vivid Colours
    3) Black Joe by Nirgilis from Vuna
    4) Antenna by Supercar from Last Scene
    5) Irie by Spangle Call Lili Line from Spangle Call Lili Line
    6) Num-Ami-Dabutz by Number Girl from Num-heavymetallic
    7) Lucky by Bugy Craxone from Sorry, I Will Scream Here
    8) Hush and Vane by Condor44 from 00203
    9) Ao to Akano sekijou by Niumun from The Beginning Of Everthing
    10) Nantonaku by Sleepy.ab from Fantasia
    11) Highway – Alternative – by Quruli from Jyoze to tora to sakana tachi
    12) Shigatsu Ni Furu Yuki by Sloth Love Chunks from Shikakui Vision
    13) Atmosphere by 9mm Parabellum Bullet from Gjallarhorn
    14) Light Chair by Shugo Tokumaru from Night Piece
    15) Drown by Farida’s Café from Gold
    16) Ghost Song by Apogee from Fantastic
    17) Waratte Sayonara by Fujifabric from A La Mode

So, without further ado, let’s welcome Ian!