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Lose Yourself in Alex Zhang Hungtai's Collection of Sparse Piano Compositions, 'Knave Of Hearts'

The artist formerly known as Dirty Beaches shares a new tape via Arizona's Ascetic House.
August 31, 2016, 4:05pm
Courtesy of Ascetic House

While he's best known for his lo-fi, 50s-influenced work as Dirty Beaches, globetrotting Taiwanese-Canadian musician Alex Zhang Hungtai is remarkably prolific, releasing records as Last Lizard, composing soundtracks, and guesting on other artists' albums. Under his own name, he's just released Knave Of Hearts, a six-song collection of recordings made between 2012-2015 in Europe and Los Angeles.

Anchored by the three-part suite "Crimée," the electric piano compositions are strikingly sparse, with a handful of ambient field noises thrown in for good measure. In an accompanying note on Bandcamp, he wrote, "In the form of unsent letters and postcards, the idea of 'before' and 'now' becomes irrelevant. Instead, it's a silent testament that endures the weathering and perversion of time, forever enclosed on a meridian between 'before' and 'now.'"

Stream the whole tape below and purchase a limited edition cassette via Arizona label Ascetic House.

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