Signal Kitchen Presents:
Xiu Xiu with Re-TROS
Friday, September 22, 2017
18+ $12 ADV // $14 DOS
FORGET was recorded during a period of epic productivity for Xiu Xiu. While writing FORGET, they released the lauded Plays the Music of Twin Peaks, collaborated with Mitski on a song for an upcoming John Cameron Mitchell film, composed music for art installations by Danh Vo, recorded an album with Merzbow and scored an experimental reworking of the Mozart opera, “The Magic Flute.” All of this frantic, external activity lead to a softly damaged dreaminess and broadened intent that has not been heard before in other Xiu Xiu works.
The album was produced by John Congleton (Blondie, Sigur Ros), Greg Saunier of Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu’s own Angela Seo. It features guest appearances by fabled minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine, LA Banjee Ball superstar commentator Enyce Smith, Swans guitar virtuoso Kristof Hahn and legendary drag artist and personal hero of Xiu Xiu, Vaginal Davis.
Standout track, “Wondering” is one of the catchiest boogie pop gems in the Xiu Xiu catalog, but like much of FORGET, it still bears an underlying tension that manifests differently in each piece. From the haunted guitar duet of “Petite,” the hilariously fraught lyrics of “Get Up,” the advanced industrial boxing match of “Jenny GoGo,” or the experimental goth explosion of “Faith, Torn Apart,” all the songs in their own way build to a roiling boil of a fate in vanishing.
The calligraphy on the cover translates literally to “we forget.” It bows to the universality of everything and everyone’s inevitable decline and foggy disappearance. Regarding the album title, Xiu Xiu singer Jamie Stewart said, “To forget uncontrollably embraces the duality of human frailty. It is a rebirth in blanked out renewal but it also drowns and mutilates our attempt to hold on to what is dear.” FORGET is both the palliative fade out of a traumatic past but also the trampling pain of a beautiful one’s decay.
Xiu Xiu is Shayna Dunkelman, Angela Seo and Jamie “Butch Jenny” Stewart.
Today, Re-TROS unveils “At Mosp Here” the second single off their sophomore album ‘Before The Applause,’ set to come out September 22nd via Modern Sky USA. When composing “At Mosp Here,” the band ventured for the first time outside of the post punk/new wave sound they had been honing for 10 years. The song spearheaded the new musical direction on ‘Before The Applause,’ which sees the band explore electronic soundscapes and entrancing loops.
Re-TROS (Rebuilding the Rights of Statues) began in the underground music scene of Nanjing, China in 2004. Lead singer/guitar/keys Hua Dong had just returned from studying abroad in Germany and was drumming for seminal Chinese post-punk band P.K.14 when he formed the band with bassist Liu Min, now his wife. Soon, the couple moved to Beijing, enrolled a local drummer, and began playing out in Beijing clubs.
The band quickly caught the attention of Beijing’s Modern Sky Records and were signed to the label in 2005. Shortly thereafter, they recorded their first EP ‘Cut Off!’ in Modern Sky’s then basement studio, with keyboard contributions by a visiting Brian Eno. The record received critical praise in China, and soon the band was playing sold-out shows to a growing legion of die-hard fans.
The past dozen years since the release of ‘Cut Off!’ (credited by many in the Chinese music scene as one of the more pivotal records to come out of mid-00’s Beijing) have seen the band release their full length LP ‘Watch Out! Climate Has Changed, Fat Mum Rises’ to critical acclaim; tour the world, playing major Chinese and international festivals and supporting bands including Gang Of Four, PiL, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Paul Weller, Cut Copy, and more; and continue to garner accolades from Chinese and foreign press – including The New York Times, NPR, The Fader, ABC News, Vice, The Village Voice, and many more.
Further cementing their position atop the Chinese independent music scene, ‘Before The Applause‘ was recorded and mixed by Hector Castillo (Philipp Glass, David Bowie, Björk) in Beijing and Brooklyn. A limited editon 10’’ is due out in July, full LP available on vinyl September 22nd via Modern Sky USA. ” At Mosp Here” is available for purchase via Bandcamp.