City Weather Sailing (P.K. 14)

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General Information

Artist: P.K. 14
Title: 城市天气的航行 (chéngshì tiānqì de hángxíng) / City Weather Sailing
Release Date: 2008, July 26
Label: Maybe Mars Records
Type: CDDA
Catalog No.: MAYBE 7.1
Language: Chinese

Track Listing

  1. 我会在南京的路上等你 / I Wait For You In Nanjing's Streets
  2. 穿过河堤 / Wade The River
  3. 消失的地平线 / Vanishing Horizon
  4. 一些点缀 / Embellishments
  5. 那个傍晚 / Fall Of Night
  6. 有些意外发生地太早 / Some Surprises Come Too Soon
  7. 无名的港口 / Unsung Harbor
  8. 夏天,以及夏天以后 / Summer, After Summer
  9. 孤岛 / Orphaned Isle
  10. 另一边 / The Other Side
  11. 多么美妙的夜晚 / How Majestic Is The Night
  12. 每一种分离背后的疼痛 / Behind All Ruptures
  13. 向前 / Dead Ahead
  14. 错过了 / Let Things Slide
  15. 荒原 / Wasteland
  16. 北方的灵歌 / Northern Spiritual
  17. 灯塔 / Lighthouse
  18. 阳台 / The Balcony Song


this is the second release out of china i have received in the last few months. the first by demerit was caustic street punk in look, style and sound, and the p.k. 14 could not be any further removed. citing influences such as fugazi, talking heads, bauhaus, fela kuti and woody guthrie, you have to wonder not only how on earth did they hear all of these bands, but how do they melt them all down to create their own sound? sung completely in their native tongue and featuring an eclectic array of sounds, the p.k. 14 certainly does recall the nyc post-punk scene but they also have some very lush arrangements as well. there are moments of wonderful orchestration that really fill out their otherwise indie sound, and they have that uncanny ability to shift gears mid-track without losing power. there is talk of a tour down-under and on the strength of this they will be seriously memorable shows, just as this is a seriously memorable cd.

  • (c) dBMagazine, Patrick Lang, Issue #460 (February 25 - March 02)

Two things become overwhelmingly clear reading the press release for 'City Weather Sailing' - the record company want you to know that The P.K. 14 are THE NEXT BIG BAND OUT OF CHINA and that they should be seen as a contemporary Asian version of NY art-punkers Television. Add to that a list of influences which essentially includes all American music from 1950 onwards and an album cover that looks like a Mars Volta cast-off, and you could understand why I was somewhat dubious.

Oh, how I love to be wrong. Pop in the disc and you'll be greeted by I Wait For You In Nanjing's Streets, and it couldn't sound less like Television if it tried. A funereal, dirge-like piano wraps its way around a mournful vocal, whilst ominous synths sputter and whir in the background, peppered with spikes of guitar feedback. It's urban, contemporary, disquieting and utterly brilliant. After the slow burn start, the album builds tension with the epic Wade The River, with it's existential lyric of "what is gonna happen/ his body turned around to ask another body /whatever happens is merely your illusion/ is the man's reply." Light as a feather drums quickly give way to bursts of noise, while inventive bass playing holds the bottom end down as an Eastern-tinged string section adds an additional layer of intrigue.

And that's just the start - amazingly, 'City Weather Sailing' manages a consistent pacing throughout. Despite the presence of improvised musical 'interludes' (usually code for 'wank' or 'filler') which, against all odds, actually help hold the album together with a wonderful sense of cohesiveness. The band demonstrate a wonderfully polymathic sensibility too - hopping from sound to sound (check out the pop hooks of Some Surprises Come Too Soon or the acoustic and synth driven How Majestic Is The Night) whilst managing to remain defiantly themselves throughout.

This is far more than punk/ post-punk influenced music. Instead, it borrows from some of the greatest music of the 20th century and recontextualises it, placing it in an irritable, urban, scratchy, paranoid and above all contemporary environment. In doing so, it no only manages to capture the zeitgeist, and forge strong bonds between eastern and western musical sensibilities in the 21st century, but it makes one bloody good record. Miss it at your peril.


  • (c) Rave Magazine, Jakeb Smith, February 17, 2009

Way better than most post-punk these days

Punks like to think themselves tough, alternative and against the system. Unfortunately, that shit gets a little disingenuous with equal access resources, uninhibited self-determination and the gentrification of city centres. Nanjing post-punks P.K.14 dodge that whole debate by being Chinese. Formed in 1997, not only do the band have lots of systemic abuses to complain about, but doing so is both anomalous and genuinely hazardous. Yet the best thing about P.K.14’s fourth studio album is that, for all the naming and finger-pointing they could rightly do, they don’t. Instead the band tell beautifully cinematic stories of urban life with strong undercurrents of melancholy and chaos, which is ultimately a far more powerful message. That they sound like an Oriental interpretation of Television and Talking Heads certainly helps the four-piece. The production is regularly amazing, and the band’s willingness to experiment beyond their winning formula of jangly guitars and thumping rhythm section is thrilling. A host of instruments are utilised, including sparing string and horn arrangements, but also organs, synthesisers and layers of percussion. The esoteric sounds wrung from each device are quite cerebral at times, but never interrupt the songs in which they reside, nor indeed the overarching sonic narrative P.K.14 have constructed on City Weather Sailing. Count this is as a firm recommendation.


  • (c) Dr. O,, August 2010
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Gut Ding will manchmal Weile haben, so auch dieses Review. THE P.K. 14 war die erste chinesische Band, die jemals den Weg in meinen Player gefunden hat. Schon beim ersten Durchlauf war klar, dass „City Weather Sailing“, Tondokument Nummer 5 der Band, noch viele Rotationen bekommen würde, denn THE P.K. 14 haben Gefühl und Seele.


FAZIT: THE P.K. 14 sind vielleicht die beste Band, die mir bisher aus China untergekommen ist, eine vergleichbar gefühlvolle Scheibe hat schon lange nicht mehr meinen Weg gekreuzt. THE P.K. 14 sollten in einer gerechten Welt ganz groß werden!


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