Sunday, March 20, 2016
Introducing :: Danxia
Words: Dave Beech
Glacial, otherworldly, woozily narcotic. All words which fittingly describe Warrington's Danxia. Though fresh-faced in the scheme of things, the band have already managed to carve out a niche for themselves, setting them apart from their contemporaries and allowing their compositional maturity to flourish.
Where most bands influenced by the aesthetics of the '90s opt to take the grungey route, assaulting listeners with wails of feedback and slabs of weighty guitars, Danxia tread a more delicate path. Sharing more in common with Slowdive than Soundgarden, the band subscribe to the more refined, nuanced ideals of shoegaze and dream pop, meaning that though they're no strangers to uncompromising noise, they off-set such passages with layers of reverb, meandering guitar lines and psychedelic synths.
'Head Down', for instance, is an understated and ambling affair, wrapping its listeners in a intoxicating blanket of layered vocals and the perpetual presence of its accompanying organ line. 'Empress', however, lays the reverb on thick. Towering columns of almost-formless guitar collapse in to fragile pockets of respite; the guitar reduced to single string meanderings, the vocals briefly audible before once again becoming lost in the mounting fuzz. It's this dynamic duality of 'Empress', its taciturn nature, that makes it arguably Danxia's strongest track to date.
Such manipulation, and in some cases disregard, of dynamics is a staple of the band, and as such can be felt in each track on offer. 'Unearth' for example, builds insidiously from the outset, though its direction never really becomes clear. Instead it throbs, ever on the brink of crescendo, but never quite reaching one.
Currently raising their profile through various support slots and small shows around the North West, and followed by a small yet dedicated number of fans, with the right support, Danxia could arguably become a force to be reckoned with in the North West, and indeed the UK's burgeoning psych scenes.
Danxia play Manchester's Night & Day Cafe on April 8.
Danxia are: Emma Bate-Nilsson - vocals, guitar, keys; Louis Haughton - bass; James Atherton - guitar; Lucas Holland - drums, percussion.
More info: FACEBOOK