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Drifters / Love Is the Devil

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iTunes Review

Alex Zhang Hungtai—a.k.a. Dirty Beaches—is a fairly prolific guy, over the course of six years releasing a stream of singles, collaborations, soundtracks, and albums (the standout being 2011's Badlands). Drifters/Love Is the Devil finds our dark-souled lover of skewed rockabilly and post-punk existentialism combining two projects recorded over two years' time into one expansive, expressive work that's perhaps a bit baffling but surprisingly cohesive. Drifters comprises the first eight tracks here. The remaining eight, starting with "Greyhound at Night," are haunting, sometimes-unsettling instrumentals. The second collection reportedly took shape after Hungtai moved to Berlin in the wake of a painful breakup. We know bleak can often be beautiful, but tracks like "Love Is the Devil" and "Berlin" somehow drill right to the bottom of the soul and paint despair in new forms. From Drifters, we glean the spark of Badlands on "Night Walk" and "Elli," and we sense new textures on tracks like the jittery "Aurevoir Mon Visage" and the shape-shifting mini-epic "Mirage Hall."

Customer Reviews


Pretty sure the other reviews found this on accident and have absolutely no clue what is going on. This is great and a wonderful progression from his last work. If you are familiar with previous Dirty Beaches then the sound of this record (or his vocals like everyone seems to be suprised about) will not suprise you. Loving this.

Not for the dull

This double album expands Dirty Beaches original Lo-Fi Rockabilly sound to a more Abstract, Avant-Garde display. This is one of those albums that will inspire many for years to come. I loved this sound from the beginning, but if at first you seemed put off. I'd give it some time. Not all music is instant gratification.

The city, the night time, the lust and the heartbreak...

Dirty Beaches are definitely not everybody's cup of tea but if you've ever wondered "what happened to experimental underground music?" or better yet "why doesn't anyone make challenging yet totally accessible records anymore?" this record is for you. By taking cues from seminal and influential NYC act's like Suicide and their ilk, while filtering those influences through a contemporary sonic landscape, Dirty Beaches create a world uniquely their own - a dark, chaotic pulsing world where anythings possible and the appetites run riot, for better and worse. Give this record a chance, especially if you're heading out tonight, take this music with you, what happens is up to you.


Formed: Taiwan

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The project of Alex Zhang Hungtai, Dirty Beaches' spanned low-slung, lo-fi, post-rockabilly to ambient instrumentals. Born in Taiwan, Hungtai moved to Canada at an early age. Starting in 2005, he released a slew of albums, EPs, and cassettes on labels such as Night People and Fixture Records. Hungtai's music is equally familiar-sounding and surreal, mixing a croon worthy of Elvis or Roy Orbison with Suicide-like drum machines and a fondness for found sounds and hypnotic loops. He moved to Zoo Records...
Full Bio
Drifters / Love Is the Devil, Dirty Beaches
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Customer Ratings