Tim Zha aka Organ Tapes makes a hyperjump to DJ Python's Worldwide Unlimited label with an emotionally slushed set of singer-songwriter pearls spiked with his own idiosyncratic production moves. An investigation into avant pop, it sounds like a DIY inversion filtered thru the autotuned hypersonix of Ecco2K, Yves Tumor or Palmistry.
For over a decade now, Organ Tapes has been masterminding his own obsessively-curated and unique style, attempting to reconcile not just his interests in pop and experimental modes, but also his identity as a British-Chinese artist who's spent his life between Shanghai and London. Through production work for Triad God and releases for Tobago Tracks, Genome6.66Mbp and Berlin’s much loved Creamcake, he’s developed a style that’s pretty much inimitable, with autotuned vocals informed by a long-term love of dancehall, afrobeats and Soundcloud rap, and songs that slip into folk and country, with a compositional mindset that’s unmistakably non-Western.
"Chang Zhe Na Wu Ren Wen Jin De Ge Yao" (sing the song that no one cares about) expands on the misty landscapes of 2019's TT-released "Hunger In Me Living”, but while that album retained a wisp of R&B and a vague whiff of ambient, this new one feels firmly grounded in a bedroom pop aesthetic, allowing beams of sunlight to crack through his usually dense, textured clouds. Weft around guitar and vox, Organ Tapes bends the form by employing muffled field recordings, squashed drums and dreamy synths, assembling his tracks with the sort of diaristic warmth you’d expect to find on a claire rousay record.
Zha positions himself a few feet away from indie and emo, instead channeling more sparkling influences like TV themes and advertising jingles. His earworm compositions drip with familiar-but-alien riffs, with hooky choruses rendered personal and heartfelt through low-key, lo-fi production smarts. In different hands, it might have all sounded overly exuberant, but anchored by Zha’s muted voice and shaved arpeggios, it's touching and indelible. There’s no cynicism here - the songs work because they come from a genuine place. Just listen to 'Heaven can wait' and tell us you ain't feeling it.