Shenzhen, China-based indie label Boring Productions just put out a trio of physical releases, including a vinyl version of the stellar debut full-length, Phantasms, from Manila dreamy indie pop outfit The Strange Creatures. The record was three years in the making, during which the band welcomed in vocalist Megumi Acorda (whose brilliant solo work you can find here) and ran into some other obstacles. But the album is finished and it’s here to be heard in all its jangly dream pop glory.
The other releases include a pair of 7″ versions of previously released material out of Indonesia. The first is three tracks of hazy synth-laden dream pop from Depok-based duo The Sweetest Touch titled Too Many Dust, Too Many Haze. The Sweetest Touch keeps it short and super sweet on the EP, crafting simple but catchy reverb-soaked electronic pop tunes.
Odd Gesture‘s debut EP Odd Fucking Gesture EP, which was originally released this past February, got a much welcome physical release as well. The twee-punk effort is a harsh-but-catchy throwback to early MBV, tonally abrasive and well textured. There’s even a playful diss track directed at Indonesian indie pop mainstay Sharesprings.
It’s worth taking a dive into the rest of the Boring Productions catalog, which is loaded with tons of shoegaze and bedroom pop gems from all over the place.
So I’ve already professed my love for the intimacy of demo tracks despite the general lack of overall sound quality. In particularly I was a big fan of the “Send Me” demo released earlier this year by Taiwan’s TuT (pronounced “tee-you-tee”). This summer the band released a bunch of other demos that they’d recorded live at the studio over the last year, and needless to say I was in the sort of odd heaven that muddy guitars, too much hi-hat, and vocals that sound like they were recorded from the other side of the room can create. I love it.
That being said, I was stoked to see that TuT stealth got the copies of their debut album You Got Me When I Stare At You earlier this week from the pressing factory. While demo tracks offer the sort of nostalgia that takes me back to the vast library of shoddy recordings I’ve made myself, it doesn’t compare to the excitement of being able to hear the instruments at proper levels and get a better feel of what the band is made of (because it’s actually audible). Fortunate to get a copy, I popped on my headphones and got lost in a gorgeous shoegaze record on my train ride home.
The album’s title track, which will premiere on this week’s episode of Muso Asia, is absolutely beautiful. Wrapping textures around a simple guitar melody while showcasing the band’s double barreled male/female vocal harmonies, TuT makes you wait to hear how the improved recording environment would show off Fifi’s sweet, breathy vocals – but only for one track.
There is a lot more balance between the two vocalists on the album, but neither disappoints and the harmonies are stunning, particularly on “Little Child”. From start to finish, You Got Me When I Stare At You, features the loud, grimy guitars that seem so much an integral part of the Taiwanese shoegaze scene when compared to bands from the continent. It would seem to be an obvious quality of shoegaze music, but the balance between volume and subtlety, grit and elegance that TuT maintains gets the whole “beautiful noise” thing right.
TuT’s demos were great, but their move to a proper studio has yielded some spectacular results.
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