New Music on 2SER 15/03/21
Image: Mindy Meng Wang 王萌 and Tim Shiel
Welcome to the new music review where we connect you with some of the best new music spinning on Breakfast, The Daily and Drive programs.
ALBUMS / EP:
Jane Weaver – Flock (FEATURE ALBUM)
Bernice – Eau De Bonjourno
Fruit Bats – The Pet Parade
Joelistics – Joelistics Presents Film School
Mindy Meng Wang 王萌 and Tim Shiel – Nervous Energy — 触即发 (EP)
Painted Shrines – Heaven and Holy
Coda Chroma – If I Imagined
Marina Allen – Oh, Louise
Merpire – Dinosaur
Mndsgn – Hope You’re Doing Better
Private Wives – Annoyed
Skeleten – Walking On Your Name
In an interview with Melbourne’s 3RRR last year, Melbourne guzheng player Mindy Meng Wang said she hoped to break stereotypes about traditional Chinese music through her work. That interview was about her solo EP An Improvisation Through Space and Time, a revelatory yet traditional composition; but now with her latest release Nervous Energy, a collaboration with electronica producer Tim Shiel, she’s really started to break down barriers about what traditional Chinese music can be. Remixing and reworking Wang’s compositions, Shiel places the sound of the guzheng at the centre of trip-hop, garage, and ambient tracks that recall the cross-cultural works of Massive Attack and ’90s Timbaland.
Joel Ma’s latest solo album Joelistics Presents Film School sees the Melbourne MC put down the microphone and take up the MPC for a largely instrumental hip-hop album that’s like little in his career to this point. Slicing and arranging ’70s Cantopop samples with an eclectic arrangement of live performers (including cellist Francesca Mountfort and guzheng player Mindy Meng Wang whose latest EP is also featured this week on 2SER), the album owes as much to ’90s boom bap as it does to psychedelia and orchestral post-rock. Ma himself acts as both producer and conductor on the album, weaving together genres and ideas seamlessly into what may be the best album of his career so far.
On first impression, Toronto group Bernice sound like a deconstructed jazz band: taking all the ingredients (piano, saxophone, drums, bass), and adding a touch of R&B and synth-pop, their latest album Eau de Bonjourno rearranges these elements into something more abstract, impressionist, and even more akin to Anthony Braxton records. But there’s still a strong pop streak that runs through these songs: adding a touch of 2000s R&B and ’80s synth-pop, lead singer Robin Dann has a knack for crafting earworms over this mélange of styles that is utterly fascinating.