June 9, 2011

Dzian! | Ali Shan A' Go Go

ARTIST:  Dzian!
TITLE:  Ali Shan A’ Go Go
LABEL:  self-released 
REVIEW:  Here’s a fun project from an unlikely source -- University of Virginia’s graduate school of music.  Dzian! describe themselves as a “post-fieldwork, post-academic project of public scholarship” and as “functional music.”  But don’t be put off by the jargon of academe -- it doesn’t interfere with the downright joyousness of the music here.  They’re working with vintage Asian pop source material here -- tracks 2 and 4 are Taiwanese, track 1 is Japanese (3 is an original), and they also incorporate pop music of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia in their live sets.  The guitars are kind of surfy, and violinist Rachel Thompson adds a Balkan/bellydance flavor to the sound, pushing Dzian! into the entirely unclassifiable category.  Sounds like several members of the band are moving to California soon -- that will be Virginia’s loss but the concept will probably get a lot more traction there than here, so hopefully there’s more Dzian! to look forward to in the future.  In the meantime, if you’re at all interested in Asian pop or the garage-psych era this is well worth your attention.
TOP TRACKS:    2    3    4 

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