June 11, 2010
Alex Zhang Hungtai is the man behind Dirty Beaches.He lists things like breakfast,Alan Vega,Martin Rev,and Willem Dafoe as his influences.After hearing this a few times,I'd say that they are all pretty obvious indeed.Although I didn't really hear much breakfast or Willem Dafoe off the bat,I did however hear a ton of Rev and Vega nods.He's got that minimal percussive-looping down nicely,along with some dense cavernous guitar-drone that glides along his breathy,hushed vocal style.It is what it is,and this strategy actually works out quite well for Hungtai.But,this is far from just another Suicide knock off.That's just the breakfast.This is the part where the W.Dafoe element comes into play..proving that Dirty Beaches can take on just about any role they are presented with,and do it with finesse and confidence.Their music is all over the map,mysterious and inventive, goes anywhere from minimal cold waver bumps(Night City Theme)to free-folk campfire songs(True Blue) in no time.He covers lots of ground in little time,yet remains cohesive and focused.A charming quality that some other genre benders have a hard time mastering.Much of their charm comes from with the grainy,lo-fi fuzziness of the songs.Nothing is too blown out or incoherent,and somewhere amongst the treble-soaked echoes and washes,there is a fair amount of melodic songwriting to be heard.A nice batch of songs for a cassette release.Killer artwork to boot.Looking forward to the upcoming LP.
Dirty Beaches has a shit-ton of releases coming out in the near future on a handful of labels.Here's just a few of them to watch out for..
*Fake tape series (B-sides) 3" CDR - La Station Radar (France)
*Omon Ra II / Dirty Beaches Split Tape - Campaign for Infinity
*Golden Desert Sun 7" - Italian Beach Babes (UK) (OUT NOW)
*U.S. Girls Split 7" - Sibling Sex