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Yin: Chengdu Band Hiperson Show New Depths on Recent EP “Four Seasons”

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Yin (音, “music”) is a weekly RADII column that looks at Chinese songs spanning hip hop to folk to modern experimental, and everything in between. Drop us a line if you have a suggestion.

As we wait for 2020 to populate with more new releases, let’s take the time to revisit some solid cuts from last year that deserve retroactive attention. One that I came to a bit late is Four Seasons, a short, sweet EP by Chengdu five-piece Hiperson that was released in November by East London outfit Damnably.

On it, Hiperson’s erstwhile trademark of elegaic, art-school lyricism and staccato bass+drum lockstep is expanded with songs in four distinctive styles, appropriate given the album title. Here’s the standout single, “Strawberries,” which adds an uncharacteristically upbeat dance groove on top of the band’s typically austere presentation:

 

Formed in 2012, Hiperson has become an international standard bearer (along with the comparatively more maximal, electronic Stolen) of the small but strong Chengdu rock scene. They’ve toured widely in China and Europe, and may be gearing up for their US debut soon: it was recently announced that Hiperson would be appearing on a Damnably showcase at South by Southwest 2020 in March, alongside other label acts like Grrrl Gang from Indonesia, Otoboke Beaver from Japan and Drinking Boys and Girls Choir from Korea.

According to a bio on the SXSW site, Hiperson is also preparing to unveil their third full-length in 2020, to be co-released by Damnably and Beijing label Maybe Mars, which released the band’s first two (excellent 2015 debut No Need For Another History, and rougher-at-the-edges but no less worthwhile 2018 followup She Came Back From the Square).

Stay tuned for more on that (and a more comprehensive roundup of which Chinese acts to catch at SXSW 2020) a bit later in the year.

In the mean time, get your Hiperson fix via the above full-set video from a concert the band gave in Chengdu last August, uploaded with English subs at the tail-end of 2019, and this music video released yesterday to accompany the below collab, which sees Hiperson vocalist Chen Sijiang swap intimate relationship tales with Liu Peng of Xi’an post-punk unit FAZI on a duet recorded while the two bands crossed paths in Switzerland last summer:

 

More great music from Chengdu:

Chengdu’s Stolen Refresh the Post-Punk-to-Techno Vector with New Album, “Fragment”

City Mix: Heady Brew from Chengdu

Yin: Chengdu Rap Duo Treasure Hill’s Moms Approve of New Track “Special Boy”

Josh Feola
Josh Feola is a Shanghai-based writer and musician, and RADII's Culture Editor. His coverage of Chinese music and art has appeared in The Wire, Dazed, Artsy, LEAP, Tiny Mix Tapes, and more. He's been active in China's underground music scene since 2010 via his booking platform pangbianr.com, and is a former member of Beijing bands Chui Wan, SUBS, and Vagus Nerve.