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All around the world: Meet China's Re-Tros

Could one of China’s biggest bands break the wall with their UK debut? Meet multi-instrumentalist Hua Dong

The walled city of Beijing is better known in the West for its rich history than its music, but Re-TROS could change that with their first ever UK release, Before The Applause.

Formed in the Chinese capital in 2003, the trio – Liu Min (vocals, bass, synth), Hua Dong (vocals, guitar, synth), Huang Jin (drums) – began as a reaction to the local indie scene. “We were not so satisfied at that time,” says Dong. “It was a little boring and depressing. We thought we could do something cool to shock the audience.”

Their latest release adds EDM elements to a post-punk sound that’s inspired by rule book-breaking bands Gang Of Four, Public Image Limited and Talking Heads. The results are wildly experimental and a million miles away from China’s more melancholic post-rockers such as Summer Fades Away and Hua Lun. The key to their creative success? A gizmo!

“A few years ago, we bought a Boss Loop Station pedal and it’s a very interesting tool for us,” reveals Dong. “It’s made our music more diverse and colourful. I really enjoy the process of building songs up from a very minimal riff with the loop station.”


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