The Chinese duo White have one heck of a credential when it comes to their self-titled release -- production by Blixa Bargeld, who knows all about pushing the avant-garde in the midst of a bureaucratic society. Recorded in Berlin (perhaps resulting in the first song being called "Really Real German"), White's self-titled release proves to be a deft recombination of artistic impulses -- echoes of Laurie Anderson, Throbbing Gristle, Aphex Twin, and many others can be heard from the start. But so can the duo's own voices, and quite literally -- Shou Wang and Shenggy's spoken and sung interjections form the closest things to hooks on many tracks, even as their voices echo, repeat, shudder, and directly, crisply cut across the mix. The brief mock ad "Beijing Beer" shows what they can do with just their voices and liquid sounds, while other songs like "Build a Link" act as combination chants and disembodied instructions, in that particular song's case over an organ figure and synth pulse that evolves into an insistent percussion clangor. But "47 Rockets" is the triumph of the disc in that vein: a slow, majestic build of keyboards, vocals, and beats that becomes a guitar-led triumphant march. Many songs eschew vocals almost entirely in favor of often blissfully mysterious instrumentals -- the layered rhythms and drones of "Space Decay" are almost serenely joyful, while the chimes and shimmers of "Falling Down" are a lovely, strange collage of sonics.
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett