Tang dynasty

The Tang dynasty or the Tang Empire was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in Chinese history. Historians regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty; the Tang capital at Chang'an was the most populous city in the world in its day. The Lǐ family founded the dynasty, seizing power during the collapse of the Sui Empire; the dynasty was interrupted for 15 years when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, proclaiming the Wu Zhou dynasty and becoming the only legitimate Chinese empress regnant. In two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Tang records estimated the population by number of registered households at about 50 million people, yet when the central government was breaking down and unable to compile an accurate census of the population in the 9th century, it is estimated that the population had grown by to about 80 million people.

With its large population base, the dynasty was able to raise professional and conscripted armies of hundreds of thousands of troops to contend with nomadic powers in dominating Inner Asia and the lucrative trade-routes along the Silk Road. Various kingdoms and states paid tribute to the Tang court, while the Tang conquered or subdued several regions which it indirectly controlled through a protectorate system. Besides political hegemony, the Tang exerted a powerful cultural influence over neighboring East Asian states such as those in Japan and Korea; the Tang dynasty was a period of progress and stability in the first half of the dynasty's rule, until the devastating An Lushan Rebellion and the decline of central authority in the half of the dynasty. Like the previous Sui dynasty, the Tang dynasty maintained a civil-service system by recruiting scholar-officials through standardized examinations and recommendations to office; the rise of regional military governors known as jiedushi during the 9th century undermined this civil order.

Chinese culture further matured during the Tang era. Two of China's most famous poets, Li Bai and Du Fu, belonged to this age, as did many famous painters such as Han Gan, Zhang Xuan, Zhou Fang. Scholars of this period compiled a rich variety of historical literature, as well as encyclopedias and geographical works; the adoption of the title Khan of Heaven by the Tang emperor Taizong in addition to his title as emperor was eastern Asia's first "simultaneous kingship". Many notable innovations occurred including the development of woodblock printing. Buddhism became a major influence with native Chinese sects gaining prominence. However, in the 840s the Emperor Wuzong of Tang enacted policies to persecute Buddhism, which subsequently declined in influence. Although the dynasty and central government had gone into decline by the 9th century and culture continued to flourish; the weakened central government withdrew from managing the economy, but the country's mercantile affairs stayed intact and commercial trade continued to thrive regardless.

However, agrarian rebellions in the latter half of the 9th century resulted in damaging atrocities such as the Guangzhou massacre of 878–879. The Li family belonged to the northwest military aristocracy prevalent during the Sui dynasty and claimed to be paternally descended from the Daoist founder, Laozi the Han dynasty General Li Guang and Western Liang ruler Li Gao; this family was known as the Longxi Li lineage. The Tang Emperors had Xianbei maternal ancestry, from Emperor Gaozu of Tang's Xianbei mother, Duchess Dugu. Li Yuan was Duke of Tang and governor of Taiyuan, modern Shanxi, during the Sui dynasty's collapse, caused in part by the Sui failure to conquer the northern part of the Korean peninsula during the Goguryeo–Sui War, he had prestige and military experience, was a first cousin of Emperor Yang of Sui. Li Yuan rose in rebellion in 617, along with his son and his militant daughter Princess Pingyang, who raised and commanded her own troops. In winter 617, Li Yuan occupied Chang'an, relegated Emperor Yang to the position of Taishang Huang or retired emperor, acted as regent to the puppet child-emperor, Yang You.

On the news of Emperor Yang's murder by General Yuwen Huaji on June 18, 618, Li Yuan declared himself the emperor of a new dynasty, the Tang. Li Yuan, known as Emperor Gaozu of Tang, ruled until 626, when he was forcefully deposed by his son Li Shimin, the Prince of Qin. Li Shimin had commanded troops since the age of 18, had prowess with bow and arrow and lance and was known for his effective cavalry charges. Fighting a numerically superior army, he defeated Dou Jiande at Luoyang in the Battle of Hulao on May 28, 621. In a violent elimination of royal family due to fear of assassination, Li Shimin ambushed and killed two of his brothers, Li Yuanji and Crown prince Li Jiancheng, in the Xuanwu Gate Incident on July 2, 626. Shortly thereafter, his father abdicated in his favor and Li Shimin ascended the throne, he is conventionally known by his temple name Taizong. Although killing two brothers and deposing his father contradicted the Confucian value of filial piety, Taizong showed himself to be a capable leader who listened to the advice of the wisest members of his council.

In 628, Emperor Taizong held

True at Heart

True at Heart is the third solo album of the German female hard rock singer Doro Pesch. It was recorded in Nashville and released in August 1991; the third studio album of the former Warlock singer Doro Pesch is another exploration in new musical territory. Barry Beckett, a famous and seasoned mainstream music producer, was chosen to produce the album and a large number of authors and musicians living and working in Nashville, the recording haven of country music, participated in the recording sessions; the result is an intimate album, with few uptempo songs and a bluesy feeling. The working of this album marks the beginning of the collaboration between Doro Pesch and Nashville guitarist Gary Scruggs. Doro Pesch – vocals Jeff Balding – engineer, mixing Eddie Bayersdrums Barry Beckett – piano, producer Todd Cerney – backing vocals Jim DeMain – engineer, mixing Bob DiPiero – backing vocals Chris Eddy – backing vocals Kenny Greenbergguitar Jim Horn – alto saxophone Dann Huff – lead guitar Robert White Johnson – backing vocals Gordon Kennedy – guitar Mike Lawler – keyboards Dennis Morgan – guitar Don Potter – guitar Doug Saxmastering Tony Seals – backing vocals Troy Seals – backing vocals Leland Sklarbass Michael Thompson – lead guitar Ragena Warden – production coordinator American site "Fall for Me Again" video clip


Seefeel are a British post-rock band formed in the early 1990s by Mark Clifford, Daren Seymour, Justin Fletcher, Sarah Peacock. Bridging the guitar-based dream pop and shoegaze scenes with the production techniques of ambient techno and electronica, they gained recognition for their 1993 debut EP More Like Space and first album Quique, both on the British independent label Too Pure; the band signed with electronic label Warp Records in 1994 releasing an album on Rephlex in 1996. Following several subsequent releases, Seefeel went on an extended hiatus in 1997. Following the reissue of Quique in 2007, Clifford and Peacock relaunched Seefeel and were joined by Shigeru Ishihara on bass, former Boredoms drummer Iida Kazuhisa. In 2010 they released the Faults EP followed shortly after on Warp. Clifford began writing tracks for what would become Seefeel in late 1991, he placed an advert at Goldsmiths College, London where he was a student, it was answered by Fletcher who joined him on drums. Peacock would become part of the group after Clifford answered an advert she had placed in the NME.

Soon Daren Seymour joined them on bass. Early recordings were made at home, other London studios. A demo tape was sent to John Peel at BBC Radio One. John Peel rang Peacock to say how much he liked the tracks and the band would perform a session for his Radio One show. Soon after, one of the labels, sent a demo, Too Pure, approached the band; the band's first release was the self-produced More Like Space EP, released in Autumn 1993. It was compiled from four-track home recordings, but enhanced in the studio. Subsequently, the Plainsong EP was released along with an EP of remixes including two remixes of'Time to Find Me' by Aphex Twin. Notorious for tearing tracks apart when remixing them, Aphex Twin notably left the track much as it was released, asserting in an interview for Lime Lizard magazine, prior to remixing the track "I think its gonna be a weird kind of mix because I really like their stuff as it is, what I'm going to do is just add a groove to it; the main reason I like it is that as soon as you turn it off it leaves this big gap, this big void.

Fucking hell thats well intense. I love it"; these first two EP's, along with the remix EP, would be released in the US as a single CD Polyfusia, by Astralwerks. The band's first album, was released in October 1993. Initial recordings for the album were made at home before the band transferred to Falconer Studios in North London, where the recordings were finished and the album mixed, it was produced by Mark Clifford. On its release, Quique was critically acclaimed, was one of Melody Maker's'Albums of the Year'. In his review for the Melody Maker, Simon Reynolds called the album "consummate, a blanched canvas for the imagination". Spin magazine's review stated "Seefeel, have struck a sublime groove midway between MBV's sensual tumult and Aphex Twin's ambient serenity" going on to add "you try to squint your ear in order to bring the music into focus give up, just bask in the gorgeous, amorphous glow". Quique was re-released in 2007 in redux form, containing alternate versions and material not released at the time.

Reviewing this re-issue Pitchfork stated that "Seefeel's music continues to sparkle 14 years an entire generation having built an ambient-motorik noise-pop aesthetic around Quique songs like'Plainsong'" and adding "Quique still sounds timeless". The band became a notable live act, receiving many positive reviews in the NME and Melody Maker. In his review in Melody Maker of their show at the Garage, just prior to the release of Quique, Simon Reynolds noted their performance was "like an orgasm turned into an environment, a honeycomb space of luminous, globular goo. You feel like you're inside the drugged or orgasmic body, a grotto of rushes, shivers, spasms" further adding that the band was "a pipe-dream come true, the best new band of'93"; the band would tour in Europe with the Cocteau Twins soon after the release of Quique, Mark Clifford would do remix work for the band. Following the success of Quique, Seefeel were approached by Warp Records in early 1994, they subsequently became the first band signed to Warp who used guitars.

Steve Beckett, the label's owner said in an interview "Seefeel were the first band that Warp signed who had guitars...they were brave to sign to us because they became the'older siblings' in the family and took all the flak by breaking the unwritten rules of an purely dance label". The band's first release on the label was the 1994 Starethrough EP; the four tracks emphasised the electronic side of the band more than previous recordings. The EP included the track'Spangle' which would be featured on Warp's Artificial Intelligence II compilation and in 2009 would appear on the Warp20 compilation Chosen, being voted in the all-time Top 20 Warp tracks by the label's fans and being one of the choices of Warp founder Steve Beckett; the single Fracture was released soon after, along with a video made by Peacock, the band's first. The video would appear on the DVD WarpVision. Seefeel's first album for Warp, was released in 1995. Succour incorporated a darker, more abstracted sound than their first album, while commercially a more difficult record, was again well received.

Writing in the NME, Sharon O'Connell stated "Succour provides both everything and nothing and is just as much a minefield as a treasure trove. It's beautiful. Be careful"; the band played several dates of their own as well as tour