Friday 17 February 2012

DBG #9 Skip Skip Benben | La' Lasta

Totally fresh music and a video made with love straight outta Beijing. Gives me hope. Here's a relevant post from a long distant galaxy far far away.

Skip Skip Benben are a patchwork of different bands and different genres, with Monkey (猴子) on drums, Steven Zhou (周乃仁) from Birdstriking and ½ Heavy Korean on Bass and Benben (斑班 ) from Freckles, Boyz & Girl and Carsick Cars on guitar and vocals. Our meeting with the band was preceded by weeks of anticipation, for a lot of which we didn't even know the name of this brilliant new[ish] Beijing act.

Back on the 18th October 2011, we walked into a surprise show from Beijing indie stalwarts P.K.14, at D-22 in Beijing's university district. Shortly after arriving, our friend Josh of China music and culture blog, pangbianr slid out from behind the bar to say hello. In passing, he mentioned that he knew a Taiwanese folk singer called Benben that he wanted to introduce us to later that evening, "I think she'd be great for your DaBaoGe project," he said.

In the haze of the beer, smoke and distorted guitars, it was another two visits in as many weeks, to the now defunct D-22 venue, before we pieced together the story behind Skip Skip Benben: an appealing blend of alt-folk, psychedelic indie rock and down-tempo, tropicana grooves. Off-stage, Benben is intensely shy and we tried, in vain to convince her to venture outside the crocheted-kitch security of her nostalgically decorated apartment. We could hardly blame her though; it was easily one of the coldest days we'd seen in 2011.

One song. One take. Skip-skip done, done. We reviewed the sound and it was...magical. In fact, we've had the audio take from this recording looping over and over in our music library, listening to it every day since that frigid morning in December. We hope you enjoy it too.

Check out more knick-knacks from the band on their blog.

If you're in Beijing or Shanghai, you can catch them live at one of their upcoming shows:
25th Feb in Beijing with The Pains Of Being Pure Heart @ 愚公移山 (Yu Gong Yi Shan)
8th Mar in Shanghai with Next Year's Love @ 育音堂 (Yuyintang)

Andy & Charles