Re-TROSIn electronic, Indie
Rebuilding The Rights of Statues (Re-TROS) are heavyweights of the Chinese post-punk scene. 8 + 2 + 8 II , premiered on The Quietus, is the first taster from their debut UK album ‘Before The Applause’. Premiered on The Quietus it’s a thrilling opening salvo – thunderous drums and digital conundrums, comprise the blizzard of dots and dashes at the heart of this Steve Reich inspired slice of globalist pop.
Inspired by Clap Music by Steve Reich, for all its mechanised brutality, 8+2+8 is built on the loops of several claps and slaps and human voices. “We wanted to make it in the simplest and most direct way without too many unnatural sounds” explains Hua Dong, “It’s hard to say what this song is about. The lyrics, talk about three scenes- a boy burning videotapes, a pink flag burned in a museum and a wheel burning in a square (sung in German). They are all related to burning.”
Exposed to the arts from an early age, Re-TROS frontman Hua Dong was raised by intellectuals in the city of Nanjing. As a young boy, Dong befriended an American classmate – Kanye West, whose mother taught at the local school alongside his own mother. The two boys often spent time hanging out at Dong’s house, until his friend returned to the U.S.
After graduating Dong began drumming for Chinese punk rockers PK14, where he met bassist and future collaborator Liu Min. Min and Dong soon moved to Beijing and formed Re-TROS, recording their debut EP (including contributions from Brian Eno) for Modern Sky Entertainment, China. Their two album releases in Asia have met with widespread regional success, and the band have toured with Gang of Four, PIL and Ought. Re-TROS credit Bauhaus, Joy Division, Television and Pere Ubu among their greatest influences.
Modern Sky Entertainment is the largest independent record label in China, it runs festivals in 20 Chinese cities, as well as events in New York, Seattle, Helsinki and is an equity partner in Liverpool Sound City. Modern Sky UK the UK division of Modern Sky Entertainment is based in Liverpool.
‘Before the Applause’, was released on Modern Sky UK the UK division of the Chinese label Modern Sky Entertainment last year, and produced by Hector Castillo (David Bowie, Lou Reed, Bjork, Phillip Glass).