Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Look Directly Into The Sun: China Pop 2007" compilation CD

Compiled by Martin Atkins during his extended stay in China, this 18-song set samples the revolutionary indie rock scene there as Atkins saw it. Starting with the raw post-punk sounds of Snapline's 'Close Your Cold Eyes', 'Look Directly...' includes other standouts from Caffe-In ('Mario And Peaches' is a fun pop-punk number), the moody and dynamic 'What More' from Subs, the early PIL-flavored 'Hang On The Box' by Shanghai, Voodoo Kungfu's wild and heavy 'Chian', which could almost be Seattle's old Blackouts if they met up with the Melvins - praise indeed! Rococo closes with their sparkly surf-pop of 'We Just Free'.
The vibe here is of early, pre-commercialized indie rock. There are plenty of flavors here, from straight-ahead rock to punk to electronic to rap, and it shows there's a burgeoning music scene in China that may go unnoticed in the West if not for recordings like this one. Kudos to Atkins for getting these folks some much-needed PR and attention outside of their own 'scene'. (Invisible China/Bloodshot Records)

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