Review of “Gong Xi, We Are Happy” by Patrick A Reed of Depth of Field Magazine
February 3, 2012
Sometimes, there’s a band that seems almost too good to be true. And Dzian! are exactly that, a group making music so thrilling and infectious that I want to play it for everyone I know.
They’re an ensemble that exhume the neglected idioms of 60s Asian pop, add a healthy dose of indigenous folk music, and perform with a sensibility that’s joyous and all-inclusive. Taiwanese garage rock, Thai go-go, Japanese traditional songs recast as driving surf instrumentals… They do it all, blending these myriad cultures into one glorious multicolored stew of sound.
And they’ve just released a new single, a traditional Chinese New Year song entitled Gong Xi, We Are Happy. It’s a fun groove, mid-tempo and danceable, with bi-lingual lyrics and a wild swirl of instrumentation. Violin, electric keyboard, guitar, and bass all take their turn in the spotlight, while the drums set the pace and hold the whole production together.
It’s a really catchy tune, and it’s available for purchase in digital format from the Dzian! Bandcamp site, along with their earlier (and quite essential) EP, Ali Shan A’ Go-Go. I heartily recommend clicking the links above, and buying both… For $5, you can get their entire discography to date, and improve your life with a dose of vintage-styled Asia-pop brilliance.
Dzian’s official website can be found here. Check it out, listen to the music, watch the videos, and see them play live whenever you get a chance.
Tags: Asian pop music, bands from Virginia, Chinese New Year, culture-jamming, Dzian!, inexplicable awesome, multicultural go-go, single reviews, traditional songs in a semi-modern stylee, world music