13 May, 2013

AV Okubo, 8 Eye Spy, Ourself Beside Me

Hailing from industrial Wuhan, AV Okubo draws on the sweltering summer nights and the grinding factory noise of their home city to put on one of the best live shows in China. Their performances are electrifying and burst with a sophisticated take on the throwaway culture underlying the best pulp fiction and B-movies of the 1940s and 1950s. Playing with kitschy re-minders of China in the 1980s, just as the country was reawakening from the nightmare of the Cultural Revolution and beginning to embrace Hong Kong crime movies, sexy cigarette advertisements, and the fading remnants of Socialist singalongs, they focus on the cultural detritus of their childhoods through a cynical but remarkably joyful lens, and both celebrate and condemn the experiences of growing up in newly industrializing China. All of the band members in AVO were born in the 1980s to factory workers, and three of them work in local factories, and this clearly comes through in their music – they’ve reinterpreted their memories of pop songs and old Hong Kong movies into a beat-driven rock and roll that rolls insatiably forward on cheap gas and kerosene like a rusty machine. Your brain keeps dancing for hours even after the music stops.

"Opium" b/w "Heroin" 7"
Genjing 2014

Idle Beats Poster

Dynasty CD
Maybe Mars 2014

The Greed Of Man CD
Maybe Mars 2010

AV Okubo on Facebook

8 eye spy

8 eye spy's original members knew each other from the internet, of course there are some stories… anyway, in between August and September 2007, they four started to practice together and play gigs. In their own words, means they are hidden in the daily life and ready to show those people who they are dealing with.
Their inspiration is from everywhere, a sentence, a rhythm, a clip from a movie, a melody, or any random sound that you heard on the street, etc. Everything will influence them and be stored by their bodies. When the time comes, those will become so called inspiration.
"How Damn Far To YinMa Lane?" is their debut after the band started for 2 years. It is produced by the famous band P.K.14’s vocalist Yang Haisong and published by Maybe Noise of Maybe Mars. They think it’s a concept album, it tells a story about a person’s life from birth to death. Of course, the band hopes everyone can have different understandings about this album. Not the same as the other Chinese rock records, they didn’t talk about youth in their album, they started from the end of the youth.

Maybe Mars/Maybe Noise/Miniless Recordings 2009

Ourself Beside Me were first formed in 2003 by former Hang On The Box guitarist Yang Fan. Their line-up changed several times throughout the years until Yang Fan (the main vocalist and guitarist) met the then-still-a-drummer Xie Han through the internet in fall 2005, thanks to a shared interest in the British band, Television Personalities. They bonded immediately and started writing songs together. Xie Han started playing the bass until her departure in 2009, and in 2007, through a mutual friend, EMI (who hails from Japan) was introduced into the group as the drummer. It wasn’t until the second half of 2007 that this trio began performing regularly, first at D22 and then at other clubs in Beijing. Touted almost from the beginning by D22 regulars as one of the most exciting and innovative bands to emerge from the Beijing scene, these three hard-charging ladies have swept everything before to become among the most admired and inspiring bands in China.

It is hard to describe their sound. They claim their inspirations began with the sounds from old 60’s and 70’s bands such as the Velvet Underground, Syd Barrett, Can, Tom Waits, Soft Machine and The Fall. There is no denying these influences but they are also heavily influenced by New York’s East Village bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s but with a very Chinese obliqueness to their harmonies and musical approach and the typical Beijinger’s bluntness. They combine the rhythmic sophistication of bands like ESG and Bush Tetras with the eerie but jangly, sinuous guitar lines of Bush Tetras guitarist Pat Place and the strange harmonics of DNA. Amid their drawn-out sessions you can even sometimes hear the long, druggy patterns of The Doors. This is a band extremely sure of its sound and wholly dismissive of any attempts to mold their image or sound into a more pleasing outline.

After several heavily acclaimed concerts in Beijing’s major clubs, P.K.14 frontman Yang Haisong took them to the studio to record and produce their first album. Almost as soon as Maybe Mars was formed, in August 2007, the band was approached by the label to join the roster.

Maybe Mars/Tenzenmen 2009


vinyl LP 
Genjing Records 2015