Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Martin Atkins China Dub Soundsystem - "Made In China" CD

Drummer extraordinaire (and Invisible Records/Pigface founder) Atkins documented his 2007 trip to Beijing not only in photo/video form, but by recording this album (as well as compiling the 'Look Directly At The Sun' comp). For 'Made In China', he assembled a troupe of China's finest indie musicians and managed to record alongside them and produce/mix these 11 tracks - essentially a Chinese Pigface album. It's an entertaining inter-cultural mix, with traditional Chinese instruments and melodies accompanying Atkins' drumming and scratch-n-dub production. There's funky hip-hop ('China MC Brothers vs. Martin Atkins', 'Re:Load'), electronica ('Mostly Hulusi', featuring Shao Feng on the bagpipe-like hulusi instrument), traditional Tibetan-meets-industrial rock ('Tibetans vs. Dirty Girl'), cynical indie rock ('Yellow Cab', with Chen Xi of Snapline sounding not unlike Mark E. Smith of The Fall), and other odd creatures that co-exist peacefully. The wonderful 'Beijing Taxi' is my favorite, with super-huge drums, dub effects, Dave Wright of Not Breathing's electronics, and traditional Chinese female vocals. A great cultural melding and a fun listen. (Invisible China/Bloodshot Records)

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