GO BIG SHADOW CITY, the fifth full-length from post-LA guitar ‘n drums ‘n buzz duo Alpine Decline, is an index, a cypher for the Beijing sound. Not “the Beijing sound” of their self-selected hometown contemporaries, whom they’re into but beyond — GBSC is the sound of Beijing itself, as heard from the outside. Cigarette vapors caked onto countless km’s of 2” tape, street-level, ear-burning progress filtered through carcinogenic dust. How to survive the smokestack? ‘Walk With Mask,’ A.D. languorously implores. ‘Don’t Ask Questions.’ Guitar tones glow like neons bubbling through the proud industrial shadow clouds; they layer and loop like the city’s own Möbius boulevard of creative destruction. Drums are smashed out of rhythm with the Beijing clang, following a parallel time of Outer Ring Road modulation.
GO BIG SHADOW CITY was recorded in the underground parking garage studio of Beijing’s resident post-punk demigod, P.K.14’s Yang Haisong. Its textures are likewise subterranean, rhizomatic. Ghost vox (‘Mid-Level Functionary In A Criminal Syndicate’, ‘Hang Around The Creases’) and narcotic melodies (‘Fearless In The Face Of Fate’, ‘Boss’) emerge for seconds at a time before sinking back into the soup. In the end, as always, ‘The Transmission Comes Apart’; loop back to point 0, rebuild from scratch. This time GO BIG.
“Oh, one may, if one wishes, find Insult at ev’ry step, -- from insolten Stares to mortal Assault, an Orgy of Insult uninterrupted, -- yet how does one proceed to call out each offender in turn, or choose among ‘em, and in obedience to what code? So, one soon understands it, as yet another Term in the Contract between the City and oneself, -- a function of simple Density, ensuring that there never be time enough to acknowledge, let alone to resent, such a mad Variety of offer’d Offense.”
“... no matter what may be the note which any creature forms in the song of existence, it is made first for itself, then more and more remotely for all the world and worlds.”
released February 3, 2014
Go Big Shadow City
alpine decline is j.z. / p.z.
produced by yang haisong
recorded at xiaoping beijing & psychic sounds beijing
master by ron mcmaster (capitol records)
bonus engineering by liu yi ke
fortitude: sun xia
visuals by the great nordic swordfights
North American Mountain and Wilderness Society A.S.C.A.P.
all rights reserved