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Yin: Taiwan Math Rock Trio Elephant Gym Glitch through Kaohsiung on “Half”

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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.

After stopping down in Hong Kong to check in on David Boring in last week’s column, we’ll stay off the mainland for the moment and share a track from another artist currently in Austin for SXSW: Elephant Gym from Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The (mostly) instrumental trio formed in 2012, with siblings Chang Kai-hsiung on guitar and Chang Kai-ting on bass, and high school friend Tu Chia-Chin on drums. Last November they released their second album, Underwater, on which each member’s instrument slots tightly together with piano, digital effects, and occasional vocals (as on mid-album standout “Bad Dream”). Very intricate, sharp arrangements that play out like the inside of a fine Swiss watch. Here’s my favorite track from Underwater, for which the band has just released an appropriately frenetic and fast-moving MV:

Great stuff. Buy/stream the rest of Underwater here, and if you’re Stateside, catch Elephant Gym on 3/18 at Empty Bottle in Chicago, 3/20 at Soda Bar in San Diego, 3/21 at El Cid in LA, or 3/22 at Slim’s in San Francisco.

Cover photo: Elephant Gym (Bandcamp)

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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.