Monday 26 March 2012

A Chinese Tenzenmen Triptych

After the amazing news that Auckland noise magnets God Bows To Math are coming to Australia, courtesy of Tenzenmen Records, and seeing that Sonic Masala is putting the last show in Brisbane in April, it's fitting to start bringing into the SM fold some of the great artists that Shaun at Tenzenmen has under his belt. Ill ease you in with three of the best...

It should be stated that Tenzenmen really got started after an initiative with China, which has led to Shaun bringing to light a bunch of Chinese bands that outside that nation we were quite likely never going to hear. The following bands all fall under that umbrella, starting with Dear Eloise. The trio are a lo-fi bedroom dream pop band that delve in shoegaze noise on the side. What blows my mind is that they are exactly that - a bedroom band. They have never played alive performance. In some ways that's a shame, in others - right on. The two tracks below are from their concurrent 7"'s Castle and Song For Her that came out last year. Normally you have to hunt far and wide for this - because of Tenzenmen, I bought Castle last fortnight because it was sitting at one of my favourite local record stores. They also have an album out there that deserves to be hunted down - STAT.

Dear Eloise - Castle
Dear Eloise - Song For Her

A newer Tenzenmen release is this crazy good 7" from Fanzui Xiangfa, a hardcore punk band based in Beijing. The name translates into the more traditional hardcore name of Criminal Minds, hence me not tagging them as such. With three tracks on either side and it all clocking in at just over a sixth of an hour (that's ten minutes for those not mathematically inclined), this record is a hell of a lot of breakneck fun. Have at three of the tracks below - all in a five minute long single track, like a mega mix, yeah!

Fanzui Xiangfa - Garbage/Rip Off/Target Me

Thirdly and nowhere near finally we have Hedgehog a truly kick ass band. A killer guitar pop band with more than enough lashings of pop hooks (listen to 'Elf' and tell me this isn't the Shanghai Ratcat!), Hedgehog are starting to make a name for themselves. Four albums in six years means they certainly don't sit on their hands, and the best part is their consistency. My current fave of the four albums is Noise Hits World, hence the two tracks below, but listen to em all. DO IT! Hedgehog are amazeballs.

Hedgehog - Pumpkin
Hedgehog - Elf

Tenzenmen is an incredible label bringing the unlikeliest of bands to our attention, and he stocks records at at least one record store in your capital city, little Vegemites! Brisbane's port of call is Rockinghorse. There is a lot more to come from these guys...

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