Hot & Cold
Hot & Cold, the brainchild of Joshua and Simon Frank, began in 2005 in New Delhi, India. Sparsely pairing lo-fi bass and megaphone vocals, the Frank brothers’ single Delhi performance incorporated a bedraggled Yamaha keyboard, and involved throwing candy at small children from above.
In 2006, Joshua (then 20) and Simon (18) relocated to China’s chaotic, industrial capital — a city far better suited to their dirty robotic clangor. At the encouragement of internationally-acclaimed composer Zhang Shouwang (Carsick Cars, White), they began to accumulate an arsenal of effects pedals, quite literally launching themselves at Beijing audiences in frenzied 20-minute sets. Even in Beijing – one of the most exciting cities for new music today – Hot & Cold have proudly stuck out. Rather than gradually descending into chaos, their notoriously frenetic performances explode from the get-go.
Their debut, ‘Any Monkey is Dangerous’ captures the band’s shambolic grooves with all the vitality of their live performances. Hot & Cold channel their penchant for obliterating noise through a deep love for the fuzzy anthems of Pavement and Pixies. Their angular riffs and keyboard jabs have drawn comparison to New York no wave and Cabaret Voltaire, while their lo-fi drums loops, rollicking basslines, and irreverent vocals evoke the Fall in both sound and attitude. Crystalline melodies emerge from their pulsing sonic chaos, and touches of yesteryear Bollywood hits pierce through the melee.
The band is the only non-Chinese group on Maybe Mars and they have a dedicated audience, composed predominantly of the Chinese musicians making waves at home and abroad. Hot & Cold have established themselves as an integral part of Beijing’s scene. Simon founded organ-driven noise rock trio Speak Chinese or Die with Shouwang. Both Frank brothers are also frequent collaborators with White, the Beijing duo whose Maybe Noise debut was produced by Einsturzende Neubauten’s Blixa Bargeld.
They been covered by China’s most reputed music and culture magazines, been played on BBC radio, and are also the stars of an upcoming documentary by ethnographic filmmaker Bruno Moynie.