Smilin’ Ambassador Presents:
Raised by intellectuals in the Chinese city of Nanjing, Re-TROS (Rebuilding the Rights of Statues) frontman Hua Dong was exposed to rock music from an early age and began writing songs in his teens. In Nanjing Hua Dong and Kanye West were classmates and shared similar tastes as friends. After a few years studying in Germany, he returned to Nanjing where he began drumming for seminal Chinese punk rockers PK14 and met bassist Liu Min. Min and Dong soon moved to Beijing and formed Re-TROS, recording their debut EP (which includes keyboard contributions from Brian Eno on several tracks – the two shared a studio in Beijing) for Modern Sky Records in 2005. The band has since toured the world playing festivals in Europe and the U.S., supporting bands including Gang of Four and PiL. Dong credits Bauhaus, Joy Division, Television, and Pere Ubu among his greatest influences.
Crown Larks (Chicago)
“… the adventurous, free spirited noisemakers in Crown Larks form a psychedelic rainbow colored by soaring alto sax and flute-driving pirouettes, tribal-centric polyrhythmic action and organ-drenched post-jazz freak-outs on a Kraut-rock bender and topped by the cathartic wails of vocalists Jack Bouboushian and Lorraine Bailey" (Observer). On new LP Population, this «a coed unit of electro-jazz shapeshifters” (The Village Voice) takes a hard turn into jagged, polyrhythmic post punk, machine-tooled no wave, and eccentric, noisy art rock – with a little of their earlier free jazz-inflected krautrock thrown in for good measure.