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WHYOCEANS

Post Rock/Math rock • China


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WhyOceans biography

WhyOceans was formed in 2005, since the band has never stopped impressing crowds with their energetic and infectious live performances.

The band strives to deliver both audio and visual pleasure to audiences. With chemical reaction by different musical interests, WhyOceans has been claimed to have created a unique style of their own. Their sounds compile with different elements from Alternative/Psychedelic/Post Rock/Soundtracks.

WhyOceans has been participating in various music festivals and gigs happening in the Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China. The band kicked off their first China Tour on Jun-2012, visiting five main cities in Mainland China. The band was also on the stage of international event "SpringScream Music Festival" hold in Taiwan at 2012 & 2013. They also played on the main stage of the most remarkable event "MIDI Festival"at 2013 and "Zhuhai Beach Music Festival" at 2014 in China.

WhyOcean's debut record 'At Land' is produced and published on July-2011 by Hong Kong indie record label Chopxticks Entertainments, which has presented the audience with gigs from today's famous bands, such as Mono, World's End Girlfriend from Japan and Ef from Sweden. Among the few indie record labels in Hong Kong, Chopxticks focuses on promoting post-rock music.

Second album "Inmost Dens Of Emilie" was released on May-2017. Mixing by band member Ellison. Mastering by Magnus Lindberg from Sweden.

WhyOceans is among those bands whose brand of post rock is recommended to fans of artists like Mogwai and Mono.

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WHYOCEANS discography


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WHYOCEANS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
At Land
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Inmost Dens Of Emilie
2017

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WHYOCEANS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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WHYOCEANS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Inmost Dens Of Emilie by WHYOCEANS album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Inmost Dens Of Emilie
WhyOceans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
4 stars A truly gorgeous second effort

WhyOceans have been around since 2005 and remain one of my favorite instrumental rock bands. Their second release, "Inmost Dens of Emilie," is described as "six stories from six scenes with the same origin," and was recorded primarily in Hong Kong.

While "post-rock" is often ignored by many prog rock fans for being too sleepy or one-dimensional, I've always went out of my way to notice and listen. This is a style of music that shoots down musical instant gratification, aiming instead for what I consider the more emotional receptors in our being. We cannot latch onto the vocal hook or hide in the instant thrills available with more direct rock and roll tools. Instead we are dealing with music that almost commands personal introspection. At the same time, while WhyOceans will also employ some of the narcotic dives and swells so often associated with some of the original post-rock bands, there is much more happening here in the subsets of pastoral beauty, technology, storytelling, and visuals. This is one "post-rock band" more than suitable for active, engaged listening. One should not consider it background music.

Not only is their music cinematic, but the band has mastered the art of video as well. Their video for "Transparent People" is as professional and, more importantly, as breathtaking as 90s European eye-candy films I used to enjoy. Vibrancy, confusion, youth, death, innocence, suffocation, wonder, beauty -- so many adjectives spring to mind while watching it. I'm not that big on video outside of live performance, but this one was completely enjoyable.

On to the album, I love the way piano, flute, and strings are incorporated into the album, often given their own space to shine unaccompanied by the rock instruments, including through the entire beautifully melancholic first track -- a stunning opener that draws you in. These moments, along with some ambient sounds like waves or birds, serve to give the album additional color and personality. When the full band finally arrives nearly halfway through the second number, even then they do so with a light touch at first. Then the layers start to unfold, each member building step by step with exemplary playing and attention to technique, especially noticeable in the some of the guitar warbling and drumming sustain/ring. But beyond the instrument choices and playing techniques, what matters is whether the songs connect with you emotionally and are interesting enough for repeated plays. Big slam dunk on both counts for this listener. The changes in the title track alone, from full, heavy rocking to suddenly veering to a hauntingly quiet melody on a piano are simply breathtaking. It's all so beautifully planned out, nothing sounds forced, but rather like carefully written stories.

So while in some respects, "Emilie" is not radically different from the original hallmarks of the genre they are considered, it is done with such command and beauty that it impresses from start to finish. Another reviewer commented that post-rock has been in descent recently, but that WhyOceans is one band bucking that trend because they are clearly rising. I couldn't agree more with the second part of that thought. WhyOceans have now fully realized their creative talents. "So we start our night" is what they say when they begin another evening of rehearsing, writing, and crafting their sound. This is a band that has been working very hard for many years, not only on this album but on their live sound and visual presentations as well. They have put in the long hours it takes to craft a release like this.

My suggestion is that folks forget about the post-rock label and instead, approach this recording as the fine piece of instrumental rock that it is.

 At Land by WHYOCEANS album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.00 | 3 ratings

BUY
At Land
WhyOceans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Post-rock from the bustling streets of Macau

I'm always searching quite haphazardly to hear unique little bands from all over the globe, like a kid in a candy store. That element of buried treasures and sonic travel is one of the few things about the Web that interest me. Aside from music and history hobbies I'd rather be outside or reading a book. WhyOceans was one of those lovely moments finding a band with much to give and who've had little buzz at PA.

WhyOceans are from Macau which is a small peninsula of China near Hong Kong. The band began in or after high school in 2005 and are still together over a decade later, a testament to their friendships and work ethic. They initially were influenced by 60-70s psych and Pink Floyd before drifting into some soundtrack work, and finally the natural progression to post-rock. The fact that they must finish their day jobs before plugging in has not stopped them from growing their talents and fan base. While we may know little of them at PA they have been successful regionally and performed some decent sized gigs in Macau and mainland China, and their CD is well into a second pressing.

Their debut "At Land" was named after a 1944 film by avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren, an evocative stream-of-consciousness experience. I decided to watch "At Land" and some of Deren's other short films while listening to WhyOceans. Fantastic! One can see why they love Deren and I wonder if she didn't influence Kate Bush and even one of my favorite directors, Antonioni. In any case, the experience was like RanestRane doing their music to film and I recommend it. You can watch Deren's work on YouTube if you can't find a DVD.

While in some ways "At Land" is textbook post-rock, with wave after wave of beautiful emotional swell, you can hear the Floyd influence here and there. In one or two places it is obvious with simulation of Wall era darkness creeping in but in other places it is much more subtle. Aside from the intro the other five tracks are 7-12 minutes long and have the luxury of time to develop into pleasing little instrumental stories. Colorful lead guitar and really nice, varying keyboard textures, even some piano, and minimal vocals (which I appreciate as an instrumental rock fan). They have a wonderful confidence in finding good melody and then using the guitar and keys as equal partners in developing them, unapologetically choosing pleasing sounds over abrasion. The guitars and keys work as a tight knit unit rather than individuals. The rhythm section is inventive and there are some heavy sections that contrast the tranquility for a satisfying active listening, unlike the post-rock which some people think of as "background music" alone. There's even a bit of funky electronica. This is not one dimensional repetition, WhyOceans strives to keep it engaging. And I love the fact that the music truly feels like the product of band collaboration as opposed to the one-guy projects with other people helping out later in the recording.

I was able to enjoy a YouTube documentary of this band (Thank you 24+ Project!) which featured band interviews and footage of them rehearsing and gigging. They are in it for all the right reasons, love of music, and they often win over people who've never heard them before with their live performance. It was also interesting to note that despite how much times have changed, being in a band is a dynamic that remains pretty constant over the decades. Their practice space in Macau didn't look that different from our own despite being separated by decades and half a world.

Loved "At Land" as I often do debut albums, I love hearing youth and that special period when everything is still running on wonder. But these guys probably have a better album in them after five years of becoming more proficient and gigging. In 2015 they have a new bass player and are working on their second album. Don't miss checking out WhyOceans as well as the filmmaker who inspired them. Between 3 and 4 stars, liked it just well enough to round up.

今 晚 練 習 開 始 。 "So we start our night"

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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