I can’t really sort out the release date of this album. The bios mention that Blixa Bargeld of EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN helped them record their first s/t album in 2008 but the release date here says 2012. It’s possible that WHITE+ ran afoul of cultural censors in Beijing and got held up. It’s not really an important detail, the release date that is, but the fact that the release could be delayed four years because of government intervention (any government) certainly is. China, and Beijing in particular, is said to have an incredible underground music scene… punk, post-punk, experimental etc. Art is tenacious for sure and the persecution of artists in any medium in any country… well, let’s just say it says something for the nature of art itself. Art isn’t a hobby. There may be people who noodle on guitar or doodle or do art therapy, but artists are a different breed altogether. It reads back as really hokey but you really have to take a look at what people go through… suffer through…. for art.
All that said, this is a banger no matter where it’s from. Neo-industrial or whatnot, it is simply brilliant.
There are a couple short live performances available on YouTube also, and that is always impressive to me. You listen to a lot of experimental music recorded in studios and often wonder if it can be replicated in a live setting. The answer in this case is yes.
A good start for what’s most likely going to be a rough day. I don’t want to jinx myself by deciding in advance that it will be difficult, but getting up after a night of very little sleep doesn’t bode well for mental health. There is the insanity (literal insanity) of people around me. Then the DOT decided to start a project tearing up 100 yards of pavement on Ocean Parkway right in front of my building last night at 10pm. This happens a couple times a year on the on/off ramps where the Prospect Expressway joins Ocean Parkway. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it sounded and felt like a war zone last night. It’s their worst offense ever and after decades in New York City I called in my first noise complaint.
Why am I writing about this? I think I have shellshock or PTSD… or something.
In any event, I might beat about the Beijing music scene for a bit. It covers a broad spectrum of genres and styles and yes, it’s probably somewhat racist to be surprised to hear some of it. I mean, why not punk rock from Beijing? What do I really know about China? There’s over a billion people and it’s not like they’re all stuck in a bubble there with no contact with the rest of the world. Still… what do I know about China? It’s a pleasant surprise and opens up a lot of music I’ve never heard. That’s what this is all about. Armchair exploration…