Aloe Records

Track A: Op. 1 19’34’’
Track B: Op. 2 19’32’’

All sounds come from Soviet Pop 苏维埃波普
Snare Drum (A) Pedal cymbal (B) by Li Qing 李青
Metronome (B) Four-track tape recorder (A&B) by Li Weisi 李维思

Recorded on March 24, 2023, Beijing
Mastered by Hiroyuki Ura 浦裕幸
Cover art origin from René Daniëls 勒内·丹尼尔斯
Designed by Cai 爫

Released by Aloe Records 2023 (Aloe-001)


Aloe Series (Aloe Record’s new series for duos) is pleased to present a new album by Soviet Pop, an electronic-acoustic duo consisting of Li Qing and Li Weisi, who are also members of well-known indie rock bands. Producing mostly synth-based lo-fi songs/noises, Soviet Pop was one of the representatives of Beijing’s D-22 underground music scene. In the following years, Soviet Pop’s music became increasingly quiet and abstract. It became more concerned with acoustics and space. They have also performed with musicians such as Lionel Marchetti, Axel Dörner and Kai Fagaschinski, and are active members of the Chinese improvised music scene.

The two compositions on the album were first performed in 2019-2020, and were re-recorded and released this year. Unlike Soviet Pop’s previous electronic releases, these two compositions seem to be dominated by acoustic instrumentation. But again, they emphasise the method and process of musical experimentation. Below are liner notes by Li Weisi:

Two small works, both starting with the ideas of ’two parts interfering with each other’ and ‘continuous/discrete’.

The first piece is more about frequencies, overtones and resonances. It is a bit like the modulation between oscillators in sound synthesis or the transmission of signals in radio: the snare part corresponds to the modulated signal/base wave and the harmonics, while the long tones are the modulated signal/carrier. The different overtones of the snare drum resonate with a simple long tone of variable frequency to produce the playing process and the sound result. Want to acoustically test the results of resonance, discrete vs continuous/and also continuous vs continuous sound.

Op. 2 is more about pitch and rhythm, like an orchestra in a very simplified but classical way… with just the concertmaster and the rest. The main idea is to see what happens when a noisy/non-continuous sounding instrument like the pedal cymbal is used as a “lead instrument”. So we arranged 4 metronomes of different pitches and rates to play together with variable pedal cymbal. 

releases May 5, 2023