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Bringing Soul to Experimental Rock

With their new album "Sports," Shanghai's Duck Fight Goose move from quirky experimentalism to a fuller, more grownup sound

04·09·2012

Bringing Soul to Experimental Rock

With their new album "Sports," Shanghai's Duck Fight Goose move from quirky experimentalism to a fuller, more grownup sound

04·09·2012

Beijing may be the experimental capital of China, but Shanghai’s got a secret weapon: Duck Fight Goose. The quartet, which is made up of veterans from such underground giants as Boojii and LAVA / OX / SEA, grabbed critics’ attention in 2009 with their ground-shaking EP, “Flow.” Mixing math rock with warm melodies and fuzz-distorted guitars, “Flow” was a revelation: compelling and cerebral, frenetic and quirky, it was, one music critic wrote, “an aural testament to local creativity and originality.”

With their recently released full-length, “Sports” (pictured right), however, Duck Fight Goose (鸭打鹅) shifts from angular experimentalism to a more conventional—if still complex—sound. In the 11-track full-length, released on Beijing indie label Maybe Mars, the band layers swirling instrumentation with catchy beats and textured electronics to offer a rich, at times psychedelic, array of post-punk dirges. While fans of their spare math-rock sound may be disappointed by the shift to an ostensibly more conventional sound, the album is a bold, mature effort that marks the band as leaders of the experimental scene.

Duck Fight Goose recently made their American debut at SXSW, and last month released their first vinyl seven-inch on Genjing Records.

You can check out their music on their Douban, or take a look at the video below – an Adidas ad that features two of the members from the group.

Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser. Check out his photo blog for more pictures and a video of their album release show for “Sports.”