Nerd Noise, a compilation album comprised of rising independent bands around China, has made waves and received lots of attention since its inception in 2016.
The product of Beijing based record label, Cao Tai, Nerd Noise has now seen two iterations, the first of which focused primarily on Independent Shoegaze acts like The White Tulips, Sound & Fury and City Flanker.
For the second instalment of the series, Cao Tai turned their focus to Math Rock with bands like She Never Sings Our Songs, Nein Or Gas Mus, Eat.Sleep.Recycle and Moonband all appearing.
In the forthcoming series, which will not come out until the end of 2018, Cao Tai are deciding whether to collaborate with Electronic or World Fusion acts.
Since Nein Or Gas Mus, Eat.Sleep.Recycle and Moonband are all Southern bands residing in or around the Guangdong area, Cao Tai have wanted to leave their roost in Beijing and bring all three of these exciting acts together for a showcase in SD Livehouse this weekend.
We have recently viewed the success of the White Light, White Tower series, put on by Taihe Music which has acted as an incubator of sorts for regionally famous indie bands from areas quite far away from the Northern capital – like Kunming and Guangzhou – while also paying dues to the burgeoning Electronic scene in China.
These sorts of showcases are becoming more prevalent, as it becomes more difficult to chart the ever evolving landscape of Chinese Indie Music.
In the month of March and April, Cao Tai themselves put on a host of shows in Beijing, each of which focused on a different aspect of contemporary Chinese music.
Just this week, Chengdu rockers ST.OL.EN (秘密行动乐队) and Kunming Reggae band KAWA appeared in Yue Space, while label signees like Another Van appeared for an electronic evening at DDC on the 14th of this month.
Beijing, as the capital of Chinese music, has the luxury of their fair share of these kinds of showcases, but these things don’t tend to be done too often in Guangzhou. Certainly every concert with a support act ascribes to a particular style of music, but generally it is the same band or bands playing over and over again.
So in that sense, it is nice for an outsider to come in and widen the circle a little bit, bringing together a group of three who might not have played on the same bill otherwise.
Hong Kong band Eat.Sleep.Recycle are the biggest surprise on Nerd Noise 2. Demi, the project manager for the second edition of the compilation told me “Eat sleep recycle was recommended by a friend. I was trying to find TFVSJS, Then the friend recommended E.S.R to me, and I listened to their work, which was excellent, so I recorded it directly. After the release of the album, all the bands involved loved Eat Sleep Recycle.”
Demi actually attended university in Zhuhai, Guangdong, which may explain some of why she has a predilection for local bands.
“I went to college in Guangdong, Nein Or Gas Mus. I’ve been listening to the band for years, so I went out and found them.”
Moonband were the last of the Southern acts recorded for the album. Demi came across their conceptual EP Convenience Store Girl on Netease Music and reached out to the band to see if they were willing to partake in Cao Tai’s project.
They were more than pleased to join in, and lucky us as Nerd Noise 2 helped bring a glut of attention to the band’s excellent EP, Convenience Store Girl. Ahead of their gig in SD Livehouse this weekend, I caught up with Chun Fung from Moonband to talk about their recent music releases, life in Guangdong and getting attention from nationally famous record labels.
At the time of talking, their vocalist was in Shunde, Foshan visiting the in Moonband. Each of the members are located in different cities around Guangdong, which makes it slightly difficult to meet up to write, record and perform. The vocalist is in Shunde, the guitarist is in Zhuhai, the drummer and the bassist are in Zhaoqing.
When and how did you guys originally form the band?
We started in 2012. Other than the vocalist, all four of us were classmates in primary school. In 2012 we were in grade 3, in Junior High School. Sometimes we played guitar together, and we had a thought: How about we play as a band? At the beginning four of us were guitarists. The original vocalist left in about 2014, and then we met JiuRi.
Do you agree say that your music is Math Rock?
We don’t fully agree. We’d like to add more different things in our music. We have different tastes in music. We like Toe , Tokyo accident, CHON, John mayer, Wang Wen, tookoo, Taimokwong, Rancid – very different styles. We love to listen to as many kinds of music – it can inspire us.
For your EP, why did you call it Convenience Store Girl? Is there a story there?
Yes, it’s a story about two strangers who meet in a store. A boy and a girl. We describe them from the two sides. Sometimes we meet strangers late at night, streets are empty, really quiet night. some of us would think,why is he/she sitting in a store alone. So we about two lonely guys who meet, and we describe their feelings through the songs.
Had you ever made or tried to make a release like that before?
No, this is the first time we made a concept EP.
Did you like that style of writing? Would you do it again?
It depends, all things come naturally. It depends if we have an idea. Different phase we have different ideas.
You guys had a song on Nerd Noise, right? How did that happen?
CaoTai in Beijing found us on 网易云音乐 and things happened.
Can you tell me about your plans for 2018?
2018, we will hopefully make our 3rd EP or album.
Add Cao Tai’s Wechat Official Account: 草台回声