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Friday, October 29, 2010

Sugar Plum Ferry - Islands In The Ocean Of The Mind (2010) (AWESOME !!!)

Genre : Post-rock, Taiwan

Tracklist :

01. False Awakening 07:50
02. Deerfield At Dusk 06:01
03. Feet On The Sun 07:54
04. People, People 08:17
05. Night Celestials 06:24
06. The Tolling Bell 07:15

Back in 1997, when singer-turned-producer Chang Yu-Sheng was still alive and kicking, and Taipei-based Ladybug hadn't broken loose from the Riot Grrrl genre, four college students formed their own band with a fumbling start. It was not until the frontman hailing from NTU missed one of those rehearsal sessions that the rest of the outfit uncovered their common grounds and carried on as the anchor of alternative/post-rock movement in Taiwan.

Months later, guitar slinger Xiao-Bai aka insecteens, bassist Leaf Lee and drummer Yoz came up with the name Sugar Plum Ferry after some casual conversation at the table of a Burger King. Due to the fact that there was virtually no college radio in the country, words of mouth concerning their live performances had to work the magic. And it did. For warming-up for Groupie and co-headlining with 1976 in numerous gigs and music festivals, their prize was to be the local opening act as Seam and Macha included Taipei in their 1999 world tour.

On the eve of making their very first full-length, major frustration stroke. Bundy K. Brown (of the Tortoise/HiM fame), who had expressed mutual appreciation after listening to SPF's earlier compositions on various compilation albums, couldn't spare time behind the soundboard for them, forcing the trio to trust their songs to a recording engineer (whom idolized Butch Vig) they knew. Despite Yoz's departure for solo career the next year, the result titled Lack of Something was released in 2001, and earned critical acclaim.

For the remaining pair, the notoriously prolonged search for a capable substitute reached an unlikely halt before their 2003 Shanghai debut featuring the drummer/founding member of Triple Six. Then there was another 20-month hiatus during Xiao-Bai's mandatory military service, which made it difficult for his side project (Tin Pan Alley, a math rock sensation led by local legend Huang Wan-Ting, formerly of Ladybug) to promote its first album with sufficient show counts, but fortunately didn't put an end to SPF 's existence.

With drumming coach John Wu and his flutist ex joining the roster, SPF launched a series of comeback concerts in 2005. To whom else would Icelandic collective Mum turn when it was in need of a Taiwanese band good enough to share the stage.

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