Zealous Chang

Zealous-Chang-profile“richly textured and intricate tunes which navigate the heady canals of dream pop, groove-rock, ambient electronica and beyond” – Cool Perth Nights

The intoxicating music of Zealous Chang charges forward with mesmerising, motorik abandon, bubbling over with iridescent syncopation and a sense of yearning. Think of breakneck rhythmic explorers Maserati or Cave, shot through with the emotive vocal harmonies of classic Ride, and you’re someway towards imagining Zealous Chang’s potency and promise.

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Discography

 

ZC


December 2014

Zealous Chang’s debut EP is an exercise in hypnotic intoxication. Each song charges forward with mesmerising, motorik abandon, bubbling over with iridescent syncopation and an inescapable sense of yearning.

 

 

Biography

Zealous Chang formed in 2011, when James Samuel Utting-Webb aka ‘Jimmy Chang’ (guitar, vocals, synth) began jamming with Edward Stroud (drums). James Bowman (guitar, bass) and Magnus Newman (bass, guitar) soon came on board. The quartet played extensively throughout 2012, supporting Doctopus, Leure, Felicity Groom, Apricot Rail and Runner, as well as headlining shows of their own. Then, for live shows in 2013, the line-up was extended to include Toby Barker (synth) and Fabian Rojas (guitar).

Despite their success in the live arena, Chang felt their recordings didn’t do the live set justice  and made the move to Melbourne to study sound production at RMIT in 2013, where he recorded overdubs and finalised the ZC EP recordings. The EP was mixed with the help of Matthew Wilson, and then mastered by mentor Anthony ‘Tok’ Norris.

Chang continues to play regular shows in Perth and Melbourne with a unique Zealous Chang line up in both cities. He’s currently working on an album which will see the light of day later in 2015.

 

News

  • Eat Your Friends: A Hidden Shoal 10th Anniversary Compilation

    Eat Your FriendsHidden Shoal is excited to end the celebration of its 10th year of existence with the new compilation album Eat Your Friends, comprising remixes and covers of Hidden Shoal artists, by Hidden Shoal artists. This freely downloadable album not only showcases the wealth of original music released through Hidden Shoal, but also the creative ingenuity and deft musical touch of the remixers and cover artists.

    From searing solar-flared adaptations to delicately reconstructed covers, deep space jam reworkings, and shimmering ambient tapestries, Eat Your Friends reimagines the Hidden Shoal discography in new and beautiful ways, playing to all the strengths of the roster’s dizzying array of talent.

    Includes remixes and covers by: Antonymes, Arc Lab, Glanko, Wayne Harriss, Liminal Drifter, Makee, Chloe March, Markus Mehr, Erik Nilsson, REW<<, Slow Dancing Society, Tin Manzano, Willem Gator, and Zealous Chang  of music by: Arc Lab, Brother Earth, Cheekbone, City of Satellites, Medard Fischer, Gilded, Glanko & Daniel Bailey, Kryshe, Memorybell, Erik Nilsson, perth, Slow Dancing Society, Tangled Star, Umpire, and Zealous Chang.

    Eat Your Friends is available now as a free download via Bandcamp and is also streamable via SoundCloud. Listen and then throw yourself into the wormhole as you explore the originals and more work by the remixers and cover artists.  For all the filmmakers, games designers and others in need of engaging music, don’t forget that all tracks in our catalogue are available for licensing (film, tv, games, compilations etc).

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  • Hidden Shoal is 10!

    Hidden ShoalHidden Shoal is extremely excited to be celebrating its 10th birthday this month. It’s hard to believe that back in May 2006, Perth-based musicians Cam Merton, Stuart Medley and Malcolm Riddoch began Hidden Shoal Recordings as a means to put out releases by local artists. Tim Clarke, based in Melbourne, joined the team in 2007. Hidden Shoal has since gone on to become a much-loved independent label and publisher, releasing over 120 albums from a diverse range of international artists and licensing music from its catalogue across film, tv, web and compilation.

    Stay tuned for special anniversary announcements in the coming months!

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  • Zealous Chang Signs To Hidden Shoal

    Zealous ChangWe’re very excited to be able to welcome the wonderful Zealous Chang to the Hidden Shoal family! Zealous Chang, led by James Utting-Webb (aka Jimmy Chang), has been pouring sonic pleasure over Perth and Melbourne audiences during the last couple of years supporting acts such as Doctopus, Leure, Felicity Groom, Apricot Rail and Runner. The band’s debut EP, the brilliant ZC (December 2014), is an intoxicating and mesmerising mix of motorik rhythms, washed-out vocals and glassy, atmospheric guitars and synths. Think of breakneck rhythmic explorers Maserati or Cave, shot through with the emotive vocal harmonies of classic Ride, and you’re someway towards imagining Zealous Chang’s potency and promise.

    Utting-Webb is currently putting the finishing touches on a new album which will see the light of day in the second half of 2015. The ZC EP will also be given a deluxe re-release later in the year, featuring a raft of remixes from artists such as Markus Mehr, Arvo Tanty (Michael Dolan from Hidden Shoal’s perth) and Melbourne’s Rudolph C, with more to be announced soon.

    Zealous Chang’s music is available for licensing (master & sync cleared) for film, TV, web, games, compilations and more. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any licensing enquiries. Read more about Zealous Change here.

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Reviews

  • “Eat Your Friends” Compilation Reviewed at DOA

    “Over almost a decade, Hidden Shoal records developed a reputation as a consistently innovative and experimental music label, giving to us music of remarkable qualities whether it was the instrumental excursions of Gilded, the blissed-out indie of My Majestic Star, the electronica of Marcus Mehr, the alt.folk stylings of Kramies – the HSR list of significant talents was a lengthy one. I say was, as in 2014 or thereabouts, the Hidden Shoal label underwent a reorganisation of sorts, and it began to seem that one of the more influential Australian record labels of the recent past was itself going into hiding. Perhaps so, although only to return refreshed, renewed, invigorated and with its varying artistic visions intact – the Eat Your Friends compilation proves that the Hidden Shoal label is properly with us again.

    One thing I’ve found when reviewing compilations is that not infrequently, when I put them into my music players, the tracks separate instead of remaining in their album folder, and that has happened with my copy of Eat Your Friends, encouraging me to view each of the tracks as a single release rather than view the album itself as a cohesive whole. Then there’s the fact that only some of its contributors are already known to me and so, ditching some of my preconceptions about what it’s going to sound like, I began listening to the 11 tracks in a random sequence, and prepared for the unexpected.

    Firstly, there’s singer/songwriter Erik Nilsson’s “Moksha Can Wait”, a song which electronic composer Marcus Mehr has taken and adapted to his subtly developed production sound, a track that begins almost inaudibly and builds to a staggering crescendo of soaring, roaring electronic sound and with Nilsson’s guitar and piano providing a counterpoint to Mehr’s swirling atmospherics. The ambient chill of City Of Satellites is given an added gloss by Tim Manzano, although I’m not so sure what he’s actually done with the track – it does sound a lot like the City Of Satellites I know from their Machine Is My Animal album, although as the track progresses and the rhythm and bass begin to disintegrate into a dubby conclusion it seems more apparent where Manzano has left his mark. Arc Lab’s “Through The Burning Glass” is remixed by Glanko, beginning with a club-level bassline before levelling into a noir tinged synth epic. And just when you thought the tracks on Eat Your Friends were entirely instrumentals, Rew perform a cover version of Umpire’s “Green Light District” and they do it with a vocal, alongside the strings and crashing cymbals and haltingly uncertain rhythms, a highlight of an album each of whose tracks is in one or another way remarkable.”

    DOA

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  • Zealous Chang “ZC” EP Reviewed at Cool Perth Nights

    “Perth-cum-Melbourne sound wizard Jimmy Chang is the kind of guy who will materialise behind you at a gig or party with a frosty tinny in hand, flash you a wildly contagious grin, and readily dive into a jocular yarn or an energised boogie, all while wearing a shaggy blonde surfer’s coif and a Space Jam jacket. Given his larrikin aura, you might expect his music to be some kind of rough and jokey garage pop or whatever. Not so – Chang spends his downtime crafting richly textured and intricate tunes which navigate the heady canals of dream pop, groove-rock, ambient electronica and beyond. This fresh-out-the-the-oven EP is mostly Jimmy’s baby, but isn’t a solo effort (that’s coming early in the new year, in album form). The ZC EP features the contributions of Ed Stroud (drums) James Bowman (guitar/bass/synth), and Magnus Newman (Guitar/bass). And all up, it’s a moreish brew.

    This more or less self-titled effort opens with “Air,” which drifts in through an open window with clean guitar motifs spiralling over one another before propulsive bass and insistent drums pin everything down, meanwhile ushering in some washed-out textural vocals. The groove soon changes gear, and rewires itself into something a little more funky, the sort of upbeat-yet-reflective workout you might expect from Tortoise or Atoms for Peace. Eventually the “funk” factor envelops the more atmospheric leanings suggested by the title: upper-register glassy guitar of the Nile Rodgers persuasion oscillates wildly in stereo, and your inner ear membranes shimmer like disco balls.

    “Spacetime” doesn’t deviate too far in terms of palette, but the flow here is a little darker, more businesslike, seemingly more informed by Motorik rhythms and the synthy aural hypnosis of Spiritulized, Trans Am and kin. When the characteristically moody, soft-edged vocals suddenly emerge, a new pattern folds deftly over the underlying beat – polyrhythmically, as if you’re lost in some sort of beautiful cosmic origami. Incidentally, this is the only tune not to feature Jimmy’s hometown collaborators: it’s totally a JC creation via his studies at RMIT, Melbourne.

    Third and longest tune “Dennis” opens with some thick and toothy analog synth-paste, before bringing back the clean guitar helix approach of “Air.” Again, distinctly geometric and almost bell-like riffs perambulate and loop into themselves via rhythmic delay. Underneath, a marching-band snare dances with studious, gently driving bass. Simple cathedral vocals take up their modest mantle, and layers of contrapuntal guitar continue to build, until the beat gives way and the fuzzy booming guts fall out – leaving only a soothing whitewater of revolving synth melody to wash over your toes.

    “Hyla” is a type of tree frog, and also the closest thing to a conventional pop song the Zealous Chang EP offers. The lyrics are (more or less) discernible, the nodworthy beat is alluringly rudimentary hip-hop fare, and the chords shift – albeit at a leisurely pace – lending the tune a sense of harmonic progression that psychedelic groove music often eschews. Oh, and it’s three-minutes and thirty-three seconds: the ultimate pop song length. But it’s not some kind of concession to convention; indeed, its sound is totally consistent with the rest of the EP. When the chords finally take a decisive move away from the tonal centre about halfway through, it feels like a tension that’s been building up throughout the EP finally releases. Like you’ve been drinking cool Chang beers on a sultry day and – just before the humidity gets too much – the heavens open up and cool crystal beads of rain pelt down. Tonal repetition is great, but more electronic and psych artist could take note of how effective a bold shift can be thereafter. Synths ring out like glorious trumpets and the chords unfurl stirringly. Then – the song reverts to its initial theme and (sadly, too soon) trails off into a sunny void.

    Those who buy into the notion that leftfield music demands constant formal reinvention may find themselves wanting: Zealous Chang aren’t trying to spark a stylistic revolution here. Yep, it’s electro-acoustic and working within the “experimental” tradition, but most of the musical ideas within feel more homey than avant-garde, recalling the breezy beauty of local kindred spirits Apricot Rail and perth, and perhaps Erasers in terms of repetitious synth-groove. If you suspect I’m damning the record with faint praise (“it sounds nice”) I urge you to reconsider. Because making a record that sounds this nice – this sunny, smooth, consistent and instinctively alluring – while remaining genuinely interesting, well, that’s no mean feat. All we need now is more.”

    - Lyndon Blue (Cool Perth Nights)

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  • Zealous Chang “ZC” Reviewed at Cool Perth Nights

    “Perth-cum-Melbourne sound wizard Jimmy Chang is the kind of guy who will materialise behind you at a gig or party with a frosty tinny in hand, flash you a wildly contagious grin, and readily dive into a jocular yarn or an energised boogie, all while wearing a shaggy blonde surfer’s coif and a Space Jam jacket. Given his larrikin aura, you might expect his music to be some kind of rough and jokey garage pop or whatever. Not so – Chang spends his downtime crafting richly textured and intricate tunes which navigate the heady canals of dream pop, groove-rock, ambient electronica and beyond. This fresh-out-the-the-oven EP is mostly Jimmy’s baby, but isn’t a solo effort (that’s coming early in the new year, in album form). The ZC EP features the contributions of Ed Stroud (drums) James Bowman (guitar/bass/synth), and Magnus Newman (Guitar/bass). And all up, it’s a moreish brew.

    This more or less self-titled effort opens with “Air,” which drifts in through an open window with clean guitar motifs spiralling over one another before propulsive bass and insistent drums pin everything down, meanwhile ushering in some washed-out textural vocals. The groove soon changes gear, and rewires itself into something a little more funky, the sort of upbeat-yet-reflective workout you might expect from Tortoise or Atoms for Peace. Eventually the “funk” factor envelops the more atmospheric leanings suggested by the title: upper-register glassy guitar of the Nile Rodgers persuasion oscillates wildly in stereo, and your inner ear membranes shimmer like disco balls.

    “Spacetime” doesn’t deviate too far in terms of palette, but the flow here is a little darker, more businesslike, seemingly more informed by Motorik rhythms and the synthy aural hypnosis of Spiritulized, Trans Am and kin. When the characteristically moody, soft-edged vocals suddenly emerge, a new pattern folds deftly over the underlying beat – polyrhythmically, as if you’re lost in some sort of beautiful cosmic origami. Incidentally, this is the only tune not to feature Jimmy’s hometown collaborators: it’s totally a JC creation via his studies at RMIT, Melbourne.

    Third and longest tune “Dennis” opens with some thick and toothy analog synth-paste, before bringing back the clean guitar helix approach of “Air.” Again, distinctly geometric and almost bell-like riffs perambulate and loop into themselves via rhythmic delay. Underneath, a marching-band snare dances with studious, gently driving bass. Simple cathedral vocals take up their modest mantle, and layers of contrapuntal guitar continue to build, until the beat gives way and the fuzzy booming guts fall out – leaving only a soothing whitewater of revolving synth melody to wash over your toes.

    “Hyla” is a type of tree frog, and also the closest thing to a conventional pop song the Zealous Chang EP offers. The lyrics are (more or less) discernible, the nodworthy beat is alluringly rudimentary hip-hop fare, and the chords shift – albeit at a leisurely pace – lending the tune a sense of harmonic progression that psychedelic groove music often eschews. Oh, and it’s three-minutes and thirty-three seconds: the ultimate pop song length. But it’s not some kind of concession to convention; indeed, its sound is totally consistent with the rest of the EP. When the chords finally take a decisive move away from the tonal centre about halfway through, it feels like a tension that’s been building up throughout the EP finally releases. Like you’ve been drinking cool Chang beers on a sultry day and – just before the humidity gets too much – the heavens open up and cool crystal beads of rain pelt down. Tonal repetition is great, but more electronic and psych artist could take note of how effective a bold shift can be thereafter. Synths ring out like glorious trumpets and the chords unfurl stirringly. Then – the song reverts to its initial theme and (sadly, too soon) trails off into a sunny void.

    Those who buy into the notion that leftfield music demands constant formal reinvention may find themselves wanting: Zealous Chang aren’t trying to spark a stylistic revolution here. Yep, it’s electro-acoustic and working within the “experimental” tradition, but most of the musical ideas within feel more homey than avant-garde, recalling the breezy beauty of local kindred spirits Apricot Rail and perth, and perhaps Erasers in terms of repetitious synth-groove. If you suspect I’m damning the record with faint praise (“it sounds nice”) I urge you to reconsider. Because making a record that sounds this nice – this sunny, smooth, consistent and instinctively alluring – while remaining genuinely interesting, well, that’s no mean feat. All we need now is more.”

    - Lyndon Blue (Cool Perth Nights)

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Press Releases

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Artist Photos

 

Music Videos

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Licensing

Zealous Chang’s music is  available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.

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