Best Tracks of 2017
by Edwin Lo from Bitetone

Blood Wine or Honey
“The Forest is Expecting You”

Blood Wine or Honey is a Hong Kong based music trio formed by Joseph Hess, James Banbury, and Shane Aspegren. Self-described as “mantric afro-bitten electro-psychedelia”, the band wears it’s influences effortlessly, blending afrobeat with rock and electronic influences in the manner of greats such as Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, and Talking Heads before them. The band concocts a sweet cacophony that is worthy of their namesake.

Blood Wine or Honey on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

FOTAN LAIKI
“🔥火炭麗琪🔥” ft. YoungQueenz

Causing a lot of buzz and controversy upon release, this track from cult internet sensation Fotan Laiki is a bit of an anomaly. Produced by the talents at Wildstyle Records, the eponymous track spits venom on Hong Kong life, while touting the benefits of a stoner lifestyle. This perhaps is the best reflection of a growing generation of Hong Kongers who feel hopeless and are struggling to find their place in society.

FOTAN LAIKI on Twitter, Instagram.

Jason Kui
“Polarized”

Longtime Hong Kong guitar player Jason Kui made the transition from guitar session mainstay to proper recording artist mid last year with his debut album ”Absence of Words”. Released on American heavy metal label Prosthetic Records, Kui’s guitar chops are in fine form here – just take a listen to the scorching melodic opener “Polarized” or the massive riffage of “Squeaky Switch” for evidence. Truly epic!

Jason Kui on Facebook, Instagram.

Milos
“stutter . so hard”

This young three-piece math rock band shows that big things do sometimes come in small packages. “Stutter . so hard” is a blistering track that holds a lot of big ideas, expect everything from time signature changes, beat changes, syncopation, and a whole lot more, all in under three minutes. Talk about ambitious!

Milos on Facebook, Bandcamp.

More Reverb
“Glimpse”

Only a few months after releasing their debut album ”Lay Down and Mosh”, post rockers More Reverb dropped a new single “Glimpse”. A departure from their moodier pieces, “Glimpse” is a decidedly lively song that is wonderfully executed. From the beautiful piano arpeggio to the kinetic drum beat, the song is a real treat.

More Reverb on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Nowhere Boys
“天外飛仙”

Self-proclaimed “cinematic rock” band Nowhere Boys are no strangers to doing epic music. But with “天外飛仙” (“Tain Wai Fei Xian”) they have really outdone themselves. Blending traditional Chinese elements with a modern rock sound, the song provides a nod to traditional Cantonese opera, both musically and lyrically. A perfect example of an homage done well. Be sure to check out the music video too!

Nowhere Boys on Facebook.

Qiu Hong
“跪低” (”Kneel Down“)

Practically a legend in their native Hong Kong, Qiu Hong has been playing their unique brand of heavy metal for over 15 years. After the release of their disappointing second album “Serve the People” in 2013, their subsequent lineup change has done them wonders, and the band now sounds better than ever. Third album “Flower to the People” is a glorious return to form, showcasing a modern take on their signature alternative metal sound. You can find the album’s latest plug “跪低 (”Kneel Down“)” on Spotify.

Qiu Hong on Facebook, Instagram.

Serrini
“油尖旺金毛玲”

There is no doubt that Serrini has talent, since the young singer songwriter hit the scene a few years ago, she has charmed many with her unique voice, sharp lyrics, and eclectic sense of style. It seemed the only thing missing was some proper music arrangements (most of Serrini’s past songs tended to be bare boned and raw). The situation has been pretty much been rectified in her 2017 album “Don’t Text Me”. Look no further than the song “油尖旺金毛玲” (“Yau Tsim Mong Ling”) for a glowing example. Good stuff.

Serrini on Facebook, Instagram.

SOPHY 王嘉儀
“Brave New World”

Inspired by the dystopian novel written by Aldous Huxley, “Brave New World” is an understated electro track by newcomer singer songwriter SOPHY. The minimal arrangements provide the perfect background to showcase SOPHY’s sultry voice, this one’s definitely for those black trenchcoat wearing folk.

SOPHY on Facebook.

Triple G
“棉花糖” (”Cotton Candy“)

A welcome addition to the ever growing Wildstyle Records roster, Triple G is a laid-back companion to the more explosive label mates such as YoungQueenz and GrymeMan. For those that miss the relaxing brand of jazzy hip hop sounds from Taiwanese rappers such as Softlipa then Triple G is definitely a good alternative – check out prime cut “棉花糖” (”Cotton Candy“) for a taste of what this young rapper has to offer.

Triple G on Facebook, Instagram.