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Formed in 2003 by singer/guitarist Dong Hua, singer/bassist Min Liu and drummer Hui Ma, Re-TROS soon became a sizzling band in Beijing, China. Re-TROS, see themselves as a return to a lost authenticity, want to embrace the basic values from the bygone post-punk era. Once you take the first sip of Re-TROS music, you will find it easily they are inspired by the 70s post-punk ancestors like Bauhaus, Joy Division and Gang of Four. Their music is a renewal of post-punk which incorporated with synthesizers and evocative melodies. Their debut EP Cut Off! was released in November 2005 and was surprisingly propped up by Brian Eno. Brian Eno took part in three songs synthesizing during his visit to Beijing. Want to see the chemical reaction between Re-TROS and Brian Eno? Try the single A Death-Bed Song in the EP Cut Off!
Playing frequently throughout the country, Re-TROS gained a high appreciation from audience. Having supported the tour of their Beijing buddy Ourself Beside Me as well as The International Noise Conspiracy from Sweden in 2004, they had their first tour at 11 cities throughout the country last November. They will carry on with their post-punk movement! Watch out for that!
Raised in a family of Nanjing intellectuals, charismatic, sinister Rebuilding frontman Hua Dong was immediately attracted to music in a way that was both unfocused and insistent. He spent a few inconclusive years writing songs, studying in Germany and drumming for seminal Chinese rockers PK14. After meeting bassist Liu Min, who had been playing in bands in the Nanjing punk underground, the pair drifted to Beijing where they were introduced to drummer Ma Hui.
What had been unfocused came suddenly into sharp detail and Rebuilding was formed in March of 2003. The trio began electrifying audiences in Beijing, the beating heart of China’s rock underground, with their riveting, explosive performances.
The trio went into the studio in fall of 2005 to record their debut EP Cut Off! and attracted the attention of legendary composer/producer and all-round nice guy Brian Eno, who was using the studio to record some of his Afternoon Ambient Works. Eno sat down with the band and contributed guest keyboards on several tracks. As Hua Dong puts it, “he wanted something exiting, and there we were.”
In over 5000 years of unbroken civilization, China has produced no analogues, no precedents nor peers for Rebuilding the Rights of Statues, and so they have built a catalogue of influence combed from internet piracy, black market CDs, and mix tapes worn thin from being passed from friend to friend. One can detect a careful ear to an international underground that was both hopelessly enchanting and heartbreakingly unattainable. Hua Dong credits bands like Bauhaus, Joy Division, Television, Pere Ubu, Blond Redhead, Modest Mouse, and the Futureheads among his greatest influences, and acknowledges the incongruities of developing their music in a Chinese environment.
March 13th 2005, they performed in the New Get Lucky Bar. According to Adam (of Chaile): This show was a bit different from the norm. Instead of being placed with Ourself Beside Me or own of Beijing's punk bands, they shared the billing with Convenience Store, Midnight Flight, and a duo I had never heard before, 牛奶和咖啡 (Milk & Coffee).
On February 2nd 2007, online music mag The Fader (New York, USA) featured them in their issue no. 44. (info)
In May they joined the Midi Music Festival 2007.
In October they performed during the Modern Sky Festival 2008.
In May 2009, Liu Min is voted the no. 12 coolest rock star in Beijing by Timeout Beijing Magazine. Icy cool bassist Liu Min is not only a major musical influence, but a key part of their intoxicating live sets. Her backing vocalswith lead singer Hua Dong have been compared to Kim Deal in her Pixies days, and she does what all the best bassists do: anchor the music while looking moody and mysterious. August 7th 2009, they performed during the InMusic Festival 2009 on the Zhangbei Grasslands on the Main Stage.
InMusic Festival 2009 - 2009, August
Modern Sky Festival 2007 - 2007, October
Dino Beach Rock Festival - June/July 2007
Appearances in Press/Books
- Mentioned as one of "Beijing's hottest bands" in the Insider's Guide to Beijing 2008.
- Mentioned as "Yaogun band to watch" in the Insider's Guide to Beijing 2007.
Appearances in Podcasts
New Sounds of China Episode V - 2008, June
Pissing On The Bamboo Curtain - 2008, March
Rock in China Radio Show 6 - 2006, November
- Hua Dong was once a classmate with Kanye West in a Nanjing primary school.
Labels & Distributors
Articles & Interviews
- Music Video: TV Show (Hang the police)
- 19 Live videos of Re-TROS playing in Guangzhou and Xiamen from user denyfebe
- 2006 Live video performing 4 songs
- Re-TROS at the Strawberry Festival 2009, 51min, complete performance
- ↑ Adam (Chaile) (2005-03-14). "Waiguo Yinyue Monday: Bedroom Beats". Retrieved on 2009-11-11.
- ↑ Andy Best (Kungfuology.com) (2009-04-19). "Retros live @ Yuyintang". Retrieved on 2009-04-29.
- ↑ Timeout Beijing Magazine (May 2009). "Class of '09". Retrieved on 2009-05-07.
- ↑ TimeOut Beijing, Music - Eye of the tiger, Page 61, February 2010, issue no. 64
- ↑ "重塑雕像的权利2009年04月13日18:25 音乐时空访谈" (June 3, 2009). Retrieved on 2009-08-14. (Via: @JakeNewby)