the Kalakuta Kid
A once regular feature, huMP3 day(a play on the slang term for Wednesday combined with MP3) has been dormant for quite some time. But with a weekend of music genuinely worth being excited about we felt it was the right time to bring it back. So here you are dear reader, a long overdue spoon-feeding of free music and event information.
Kicking things off Friday night are two DJs who are no stranger to anyone who keeps up with this here website. Firstly, its former CQ’er and personal friend of CQSCENE Kalakuta Kid, who makes his Chongqing return to Nuts Club with ProhiBEATion. A night of “roaring electro-swing rags and turntablism,” or as our grandparents called it “devil’s music.” Accompanied by his Chongqing based musical partner, and arguably the best scratch DJ in all of China Slim Doctor, this one promises to have the flapper/Nucky Thompson in all of us doing the Charleston late into the night.
A couple years back the Kalakuta Kid was kind enough to share with us an exclusive mix featuring his unique blend of jazz, ragtime, hip-hop and electro. So here it is, once again for your listening pleasure.
Also returning to Chongqing Friday night, is crowd pleasing, heavy hitting, oft masked, Beijing-based DJ Liman. Having created dance floor mayhem at both Nuts Club and CiCi Park in the past, this time around he’ll be bringing his style of electro-house bangers tinged with rock to H2O Club out in BeiBei with his first ever 'unmasked' set in Chongqing.
If Beibei seems like it's too far of a trek for just one night of partying, fear not. Find yourself a hotel, and stay for the weekend because Saturday night, H2O welcomes another Beijing based DJ in the form of Oshi. The Frenchman behind The Drop, Beijing’s premiere Bass music party. Blending dub-step, “gangsta-house,” and tropical electro. You better believe I’d be at this one if I didn’t already plan on celebrating a friend’s birthday.
And if the whole DJ/EDM thing isn’t for you, then you must not worry. Arguably the most high-profile act embarking on the Mountain City this weekend comes in band form. That’s right. Guitar, drums, bass, vocals, and maybe even an erhu(二胡) and some horns. And as if that wasn’t enough, these weirdoes who have the audacity to actually play instruments, even perform in drag(or they used to at least).
Beijing’s Secondhand Rose(二手玫瑰) is one of only a handful of Chinese indie acts that have been going strong for over ten years. Over which, their unique blend of traditional Chinese folk with American classic rock and glam rock, has seen them develop quite the fan base. Quality musicianship coupled with eccentric stage antics makes this one of the must see live acts of the year. Tickets for this Saturday’s show at Nuts are a bit steep at ¥80(¥60 advanced), but rest-assured you won’t be disappointed. After party featuring DJ Green Monkey kicks off at 22:30(free entry).
Sorry that posting has been nonexistent for the past month or so, as I was fortunate enough to spend spring festival outside of Chongqing. I'm back, and re-acclimated and plan to bring you all sorts of Chongqing goodness for the year to come.
First off, I want to share with you a couple of nuggets done by 2 DJs who currently call Chongqing home. The first is "Brand New Year," which is pretty much a musical 'Happy New Year' card by Chongqing's very own DJ/turntablist Slim Doctor.
The second nugget "Grilled Dweez Sand wedge," is a mix by current CQ resident Dweezy, who brings us roughly an hour and a half of mostly hip-hop and "bass music."
Hope you enjoy!
Its been a while since I've done one of these, partially because it feels like a waste of time, and partially because recently, there have been few acts out here that I have been excited about seeing. Thankfully, that trend has come to an end, with a diverse weekend line-up featuring some cool-ass music.
First of the cool is Wuhan band Mini Train Heart 小火车心.
I first read about them over on Andy Best's blog(one of the best around for Chinese indie music), where he said that "By the end of the set you felt like you'd been on a journey with the band." That, and some things about humor, retro-electronica and the Smashing Pumpkins, got me to give them a listen, and the listening has sold me a ticket to there show(11/17 @ Nuts). Now, I'm a child of the 80's who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, so its not hard to sell me on the combination of synthesizer and lo-fi, shoe-gaze guitar. Add to that a danceable drum-beat, like on the first track 就是那种感觉(Is a Feeling), and you've got me in the pocket.
The second track 危险人物(Dangerous) reminds me a bit of early Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, without sounding at all emulative. Again, a great way to get me on board.
Another weakness of mine, and a sure-fire way to get me through the door is Funk. Anything "funky" for that matter, which Gāofēng & G. Eleven(11/20 @ Nuts) are. The band have a skilled blend of funk, r&b, and blues that is fun and rare(in Chongqing at least) if not original. The first track Walk Slowly deep, heavy funk bass-line that is lightened a bit by an acoustic guitar, making for a smile inducing ass-shaker.
The second song 独舞(Solo) is starts out with a heavy bass drum, smooth-jazz vibraphone, and a disco guitar riff that brings more of a smirk than a smile to your face, as you nod your head to the perfect blend of cheesy and groovy.
Neither a band, nor a single man, Sighborg takes on as many incarnations as the possible spelling of its name. Some times SIghhhhhhborg, others ssiigghhbboorrgg, the one thing that remains constant is the order in which the letters fall. Fitting for a band...er...artist...er...uhhh... music making entity, who'm is as likely to improvise, as it is to make music.
Prior to next week's Nuts Club performance(Monday, 4/4), we had the opportunity to talk with Sean Maylone, the man behind Sighbooooorg about, Sighhhhhhborg, cyborgs, and "nerd rage."
CQSCENE: Can you explain a little bit what sighborg is all about?
Sighborg: Ripping tunes in a stand-out fashion tween the rock vibe and computer vibe, with an incomplete of either tradition.
CQSCENE: Listening to your music, particularly the 8-bit elements, it would seem that you draw inspiration from video games. What game(s) have had the most impact on you and your music?
Sighborg: All the mega mans are really good spazz jazz stuff. A lot of games have fun calypso kinda styles i like. the final fantasy series had a few heartbreak sound tracks before declining into self-satirizingly awful, batshit insane JRPG reality. No one but nerds might know what i mean by that, and nerds tend to forgive/overlook, but seriously, google final fantasy and you'll see just ridiculous stuff, guys with 12 foot long swords and wearing 5 or 6 belts. nerd rage!
CQSCENE: Do you get a lot of the cos-play kids to your shows? I imagine they might dig it.
Sighborg: There is a masquerade style of fan that dig it
CQSCENE: Does sighborg dream of electric sheep?
Sighborg: I can cuss things on fire. I can cuss so bad, fires start.
CQSCENE: So. are you taking responsibility for the roof?
Sighborg: "my lips are seals"
CQSCENE: Who's the better cyborg? Van Dam(via Cyborg), Shwarzneggar(via Terminator), or Robo-cop?
Sighborg: Robocop is the tin man, he's got a heart in there! arnold is rad though. with james cameron's help they both created the suspension of disbelief that the future would need to send buffed-out cyborgs back in time wearing sunglasses and that actually SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF US!
CQSCENE: Musically, which of history's many cyborgs best personifies Sighboorg?
Sighborg: Probably the six million dollar man. by the way, i just thought- do cyborgs use the expression "pre-op/post-op", like people who undergo sex changes?
CQSCENE: I read somewhere that your shows often take on themes. Have anything planned for the Chongqing show, or China tour in General?
Sighborg: We've been doing improv work that shapes out via sampling in the room and also the tone of the line-up. there are always a few punky songs, and IDM-style jams, but the set can go in other directions with the room. also different masks/vibes we choose after watching the collaborating bands. we like to jam with interesting local types on the fly at times too.
Sighborg plays Nuts Club, Monday, April 4, 20:30(30 rmb)
Wang Wen, the first ever band we highlighted on CQSCENE, and one of our favorites in all of China, will be performing at Nuts Club, Saturday 11/13. Recognized as the forefathers of Chinese post-rock(instrumental rock), the Dalian based band seldom make it out this far west, so we highly recommend catching them while you can.
And the forecast for the next few days calls for angst! Both Thursday and Friday are sure to have their fare share, as punk band Buyi, and thrash metal band Inner M will bring they're mosh inspiring sounds to Chongqing, before the weekend clears up with something a bit less likely to leave you with bruises.
Sinne Eeg, one of Denmark's premiere jazz vocalists, will be performing both at Nuts Club, and Bossanova(Nan Ping), but as I'm sure she has enough money to sue me, I'm gonna spare you the mp3s, but you can give her a listen on her website.
This week's huMP3s are brought to you by Thursday. For it is Thursday, when the artists who's compositions I give to you, will put their talents on display. And it is Thursday when we have the opportunity to experience a bit of the old China, as well as some of the new.
The former, in the form of folk artist Old Street's song "Wang(hope)," an 8+ minute piece of acoustic guitar mastery.
Old Street plays Nuts Club Thursday night(9/30) at 20:30. Tickets are 30 RMB, 25 for students.
The next couple of tracks, the "new" China, come from local producer of electronic music, eclove23. The ambient/electronica musician will be doing a live set as part of Baroque Bar's Post Garden party, which also features DJ Teacher, and live visuals from Beijing(via Chongqing) VJ Banana.
The Beats and Visuals begin at 21:30, Thursday night.
tomorrow sees to of China's best bands come to Chongqing, for anyone still undecided as to whether or not to head down to Nuts to check them out we're giving you a taste of each...[continue]
as i sit in createa(bottom floor of the "capital retail" shopping mall @ san xia guang chang), my coffee shop of choice here in shapingba, i am overly annoyed by what i assume is some of that infamously horrible chinese pop music playing throughout the cafe. a quick google search of the lyrics reveals that the song is "pretty pretty boy" by the group m2m, which is in-fact a norwegian pop group(my ancestors must be rolling in their graves), but a bad pop group all the same. the song has played for the 2nd time in less than an hour, and is tempting me to pay the extra 7-20 RMB for a cup of caffeination over at starbux, but my past experiences, all of which pleasant, especially to my wallet(10RMB espresso/americano, 16 RMB med. soy latte), convince me to stick it out, and turn my annoyance into inspiration.
inspiration to share with you, what the unkowing may consider to be oxymoronic. good chinese pop music, or shall i say "indie-pop." in particular, a couple of bands who recently made their way to chongqing. Life Journey(gallery) and Hedgehog.
Hedgehog - (24 hr rock party)24小时摇滚聚会 [dwnld]
Hedgehog - (day dreaming)白日梦蓝 [dwnld]
Life Journey - (back to babylon)回到巴巴拉拉的城堡 [dwnld]
Life Journey - Dog Dog Dogs [dwnld]