Newest Love: Nova Heart

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“A delightful shock from China ….. a sly variant on Seventies New Wave: a dynamic singer, Helen Feng, who bears a strong vocal resemblance to Blondie’s Debbie Harry, fronting a White Stripes-style rhythm section – male guitarist, wicked female drummer – that threaded loops and programming through heavy blues and dance floor rhythms….. – at once rough and digital… my first best of the fest.”  – ROLLING STONE (David Fricke, Senior Editor)

If the music planet these days is inhabited by candy colored pop munchkins, ruby red dance floors, and twerking teddy bears, here comes the Wicked Witch of the East.  Staunchly opposed to the oh so technicolored predictable dance tracks that have goo’d and gaga’d the world, a band out of China, yes you heard me, China, has produced an electronic EP finally with a nasty, nasty side to drive fear into the all the denizens of OZ.

This is not for the club, but for the lonely, lonely walk home after a night at the club.  It’s music for walking through streets filled with tranny prostitutes (Beautiful Boys) and coming down from lord knows what (My Song 9).  As if emerging from the polluted fog of Beijing, Nova Heart gives you garbled transmissions from an enemy satellite, telling you that for every up there is a down, for every pleasure there is a price.

And this message, like an ominous counterpoint, is filled with sex unfulfilled and builds that lead to a slide into oblivion. Dark analog scenes created by Italian cowboy Rodion are filled to the brim with the siren’s call of lead singer Helen Feng that promises both sex and mortality – all at the same time.  Deceptive pop melodies that lead you down the road as if setting you up for the kill before they diverge and you drop down that endless well.
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Live, Nova Heart is like watching a gathering at a religious service gone dangerously wrong.  The world’s most amazing female drummer, ATOM, the size of a munchkin herself, powers through a show that feels like a voodoo ceremony while Helen holds the pulpit like an evangelical preacher shaking and panting as if she´s feeling some spirit possessing her body and asking for your souls.  The guitarist (LOOP), sends only the dirtiest warbliest Floyd-like hooks out in crashing waves as the bassist plays distorted grooves that seems some strange baby called industrial funk.

And from the music and the sound they tease at past hours on that ruby dance floor, dancing around aged genres but never landing flat footed in anything predictable.  Perhaps only a group coming out of China can dare to make such predictions, the exuberance of the never ending 80’s finally in coda, and all we are left with is an illusion, the afterglow of the ecstasy, and the fear of facing the consequences of our excess.  Perhaps it takes a band that lives in a place where the foibles of a self-obsessed world are exaggerated to 1.6 billion degrees to create the come down album of their generation.  This is not a political statement as it is more of a moment of contemplation on just how it feels when the party is over.  And if you’re lucky, these are the tracks for the after-after party in purgatory.

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