mui zyu - Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century Music Album Reviews

mui zyu - Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century Music Album Reviews
On her debut solo album, the Dama Scout singer explores her heritage and grapples with otherness in knotty electro-pop shot through with field recordings and traditional Chinese instruments.

Reconciling otherness with selfhood is at the heart of Eva Liu’s work as vocalist of indie-rock trio Dama Scout and in her solo project mui zyu. On her debut EP as mui zyu, 2021’s a wonderful thing vomits, the London-based artist reckoned with feelings of alienation by building an immersive dreamworld of shapeshifting soundscapes. Liu, who was born in Northern Ireland to a family of Hong Kong immigrants, was more confrontational on Dama Scout’s debut album: Traversing the turbulent, psychedelic art rock of gen wo lai (come with me), she worked towards healing by piecing together fragmented memories of her childhood.

mui zyu’s debut album, Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century, glides between mystical portal fantasy and fragmented reality in pursuit of self-acceptance. Liu delves deeper into her Chinese heritage, emulating the eerie folklore of Qing dynasty writer Pu Songling and his uncanny ability to cast the everyday in the realm of the supernatural. Envisioning herself as a lonesome warrior on a quest for liberation, she offers a mutated take on bedroom pop: Her yearning vocals are cocooned in a cacophony of bounding instrumental melodies, muggy synths, and bursts of fuzz. It is an unsettling world where feelings of cultural displacement manifest as demons.

A dense, tumultuous mixture of contorted electronics and discordant keyboard melodies forms the bulk of the album’s arrangements. Occasionally, Liu hides fragments of her childhood in the mix: 8-bit synths are reminiscent of video-game soundtracks, and field recordings of Chinese restaurants buried in the background mimic the noise of living above her father’s restaurant. mui zyu’s abstract lyrics match the warped dissonance with grotesque imagery. “We could cry blood in our eyes, we can’t breathe/We laugh so hard we could die,” she sings on “Dusty.” As the guitar melts, she’s caught somewhere between torturous anguish and bliss.

Some of mui zyu’s most interesting experiments are built with traditional Chinese instrumentation. On “Ghost With a Peach Skin,” a guzheng—a type of zither—is digitally distorted and folded into a danceable beat without losing its rich character, mimicking the transformative process of renewal. Liu uses the image of a peach—a symbol of longevity in Chinese culture, despite the fruit’s fragility—to remind herself of the trauma she must carry even in rebirth. Liu joined several local cultural groups as part of her exploration of her Hong Kong roots, and that sense of community emerges as revitalizing support in her fight against ghouls on “Demon 01.”

Repairing familial relationships is central to Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century’s drift between dimensions. Interlude “Ho Bao Daan” features her father reciting a recipe for the titular Hong Kong egg dish before it whisks mui zyu back into the otherworldly setting. The album’s most poignant moment arrives on “Mother’s Tongue.” Across glistening washes of dream-pop guitar, Liu sings, “Don’t need to forgive you for something you don’t mean to do.” It’s her most direct statement here, her voice filled with empathetic understanding as she relinquishes old resentments. She seems to recognize that love sometimes entails letting go, yet leaving a path open for the loved one’s return. A voice note from her mother cuts through the tense air: “Eva, I’m so proud of you,” she commends, before she’s swallowed by the ambient swell.

mui zyu’s crusade culminates in an open-ended resolution. A world away from the daunting vortex of the opening “Rotten Bun” and its guzheng, arpeggiated piano, and haunting erhu solo, the closing “Sore Bear” is little more than an ominous, sinewy piano line. The song dampens into an acrid hiss as its melody sidesteps a tidy conclusion, trailing to a ghostly calm. “I dismember words/You won’t believe/How much they can hurt,” Liu sings, but she resists yielding to despondency. Instead, she softly delivers commands across the commotion in what feels like a moment of restoration, a quiet yet self-assured reclamation of personal agency.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
mui zyu - Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century Music Album Reviews mui zyu - Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on March 17, 2023 Rating: 5


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