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.
Jonathan – Vocals / Guitar
Pauline – Drums / Synth