AVAVA EP (CDGE)
From Music-China Wiki
- Closed in G minor
- sYnTH Game
- Peace GamE
- (Several Hidden Tracks)
- (c) The Beijinger, Simon Frank, October 2008 issue
Though the Shanghai electronic duo CDGE -- who have a penchant for wearing gas masks during live performances -- may be unknown to most Beijingers, their sound is not entirely unlike local electro wunderkinds Sulumi and Dead J. Weaving synthesizers, programmed rhythms, and multiple samples into a dense web of sound; CDGE offers a less schizophrenic and more mature take on Sulumi's 8-bit videogame workouts (though a whimsical sense of humor remains, as the band proudly states to have sampled audio from Spongebob Squarepants).
Despite the short length of this EP, AVAVA (an acronym for "A Virtual Analog Various Artists") covers a lot of ground, splitting its time between keyboard-driven new wave and more experimental, ambient pieces. The literally-titled "synthE game" and "Play Dead" provide percolating riffs and bouncing rhythms, while more eccentric tracks like "1112-3" and "PPG Dead Star Jam" transform twinkling textures into slowly emerging patterns. An unexpected classical influence arises in the form of intricate piano on a handful of tracks, while other songs like "SH Night" contain simple, understated pop.
Uniting the album is a sense of life and spontaneity. CDGE may make their music on computers, but quick changes and fluid structures give an impression that melodies are played or triggered live, instead of being extensively-programmed grids on their screens. CDGE's main weakness is that their music is often too calm for the dance floor, yet too obtuse for relaxation. Nonetheless, human hearts behind the machines keep the music engrossing, and in an information-heavy and kaleidoscopic style, they are able to reflect the constantly on-the-move nature of their hometown.