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Zhongyu: “Zhongyu” Is Chinese for “Finally” (MoonJune Records)

Jul. 19, 2016
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zhongyu

After more than four decades of covering classic-rock songs, experimenting with electronics and punk, multi-instrumentalist Jon Davis finally found himself a band to call his own. Hence, Zhongyu, which, as the title of this album states, means “finally” in Mandarin Chinese. An inspiring three years in Beijing convinced Davis to write a series of complex instrumentals, recruit members of the Seattle-based art-rock band Moraine and an experienced jazz drummer to learn them, and then record these dozen songs that seamlessly sync Eastern and Western influences. From the flute and electric guitar duality of “Hydraulic Fracas” to the psychedelic flights of “Tunnel at the End of the Light” and the ambient noise of “Half Remembered Drowning Dream,” Zhongyu takes inspiration from Univers Zero, King Crimson and even electric Miles Davis while still sounding wholly original. Plus, with a song titled “Iron Rice Bowl Has Rusted,” how can you not want to play this?

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