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Yin: First Taste of New “Sinographic Technorock” Album by Chengdu’s Stolen

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Yin (音, “music”) is a weekly RADII feature 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.

We’re longtime fans and followers of Chengdu’s Stolen here at RADII. Over the last year we’ve watched them (from our phone screens) as they performed atop a 3,500-meter mountain and geared up for the release of their hotly anticipated second album, Fragment, which is due out next month. Now, we’re ready to share the first taste of that record:

As we’ve previously written, Stolen’s time in the studio of late has been spent alongside legendary producer Mark Reeder (pictured in the single art above), who met them while performing at a festival in Chengdu last Spring. Reeder — a Manchester native whose legendary path through the crusted nooks and crooks of Berlin’s underground cultural scene dates back to well before the Wall came down — saw Stolen play at the same festival and caught the bug, as they say. From the Soundcloud description for this teaser:

After witnessing their performance, Reeder ecstatically confessed he hadn’t been that excited since the dawn of New Order.* Stolen are a creative young band from Chengdu, the flourishing epicentre of China’s new music scene. Their style is best described as Sinomatic – a thrilling mixture of techno and rock, held together by a sci-fi soundtrack. Stolen are spearheading the sound of young China.

(*Note: Reeder was actually there for the dawn of New Order: he booked Joy Division’s one and only Berlin show in January 1980, toward the end of the band’s run, and later introduced the equally noteworthy post-Joy Division group to German audiences not long after they formed.)

We’re going to talk to Stolen at this weekend’s Concrete & Grass festival in Shanghai, and swap some stories with Reeder as well, who seems energized to explore new terrain in a career that has already connected the dots between post-punk and techno (Reeder is credited with discovering celebrated techno DJ and producer Paul van Dyk via his MFS label, which has been dormant for a decade, but will roar back to life with Stolen’s Fragment).

In the meantime, enjoy Reeder’s “Downtown In Chinatown Remix Edit” of album single “Chaos” to get a first whiff.

Cover image: Stolen Instagram

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