Men’s Lies 俱乐部里的 “男人谎言”

September 9, 2019 2019年9月9日

Graphic design plays a crucial, if often overlooked, role in dance music. The right visual cues can convey taste and savvy, and an eye-catching poster can get people lining up to come to your show. Yet the two rarely come up in the same conversation—until now.

Meet Men’s Lies, an online platform dedicated to both electronic music and graphic design. It combines electronic tracks with original poster art—think of it as publicity for virtual concerts, or a Tumblr account set to music. Since 2016, it’s been bringing a fresh look to China’s underground music scene.

Men’s Lies was founded by two diehard electronic music fans, Yenk and PJ. The duo met while working in the magazine industry and bonded over daily conversations about art, design, and music. During one such chat over lunch, they came up with the idea of launching their own platform. “In the beginning, we envisioned a place where we could share our love of design and electronic music,” PJ says. “Naturally, the content was all based on personal taste. It became a small place where we could express ourselves.”


美学在俱乐部音乐中是绝对不可忽视的一环,其标榜着从音乐到文化等诸多方面品位。当赏心悦目的海报设计进入视线,其视觉冲击总会让人对当晚的音乐活动浮想连连。

Menslies 是一个以电子音乐和平面设计为主要驱动力的平台,伴随他们对音乐与设计独特品味的输出,为中国地下电子音乐场景送来一阵新鲜的清风。

Menslies 由 YENK 和 PJ 于 2016 年创立。早在创立之前,两位缘分之交就曾在两家杂志媒体一起共事,音乐和美学成为他们日常聊天的话题。而 Menslies 的成立便来自每日的午饭闲谈,PJ 说:“最开始,我们想为电子乐、设计的共同爱好找到一个输出平台,这一切都非常私人化,像是一个自娱自乐的小房间。”

Early on, they decided to dispense with original album covers and add their visuals of their own that encapsulated their listening experience; every mix has a specific aesthetic direction. “It started with the series ‘Pordmondnar,'” Yenk recalls. (That’s “random drop” spelled backwards.) “We picked random songs we vibed with and designed a graphic based on our interpretation of the track.” Even when the two began releasing longer mixes, they continued pairing individual tracks with visuals.

Each member of the duo handles different series, with different music and visual tastes. “PJ mainly works on the Music 4 series while I work on the Swim Cycle Run series,” Yenk notes.


在早期推出的诸多栏目中你会发现,他们抛开了音乐原本的包装,结合自己的听觉体验进行重新塑造;而每支 Mix 也都会有相辅相成的美学概念,“有点像是我们自己对音乐本身的美学反馈 ”,YENK 说道,“比如一开始的 PORDMODNAR 栏目,我们会特别随机地抛出一首当时很喜欢的音乐,然后照着我们对它的理解,去匹配平面视觉设计”。

好比 Menslies Logo 上的两个 “小人儿”,YENK 和 PJ 分别负责不同的栏目,他们共用一个空间,为各自的音乐与审美代言,“现阶段,PJ 主要做 ‘Music 4’ 系列,而我主要负责 ‘Swim Cycle Run’ 栏目”。

Not catering to mainstream tastes, not trying to be edgy, Men’s Lies designs don’t belong to any particular fashion, and their original use of colors and textures, combined with their attentive eye for detail, gives them a unique appeal. Much of their success is due to Yenk and PJ’s highly effective communication: they’re on the same wavelength. “The brainstorming process is my favorite,” Yenk says. “We have a blast every time.”


不一味迎合大众,不一味追求个性,Menslies 的设计不会让你觉得属于任何一个时代的时髦产物,但又能在独特的颜色、纹理搭配,以及不经意间的细节里出众夺人,让人倍感舒适。这些很大一部分都归功于 YENK 和 PJ 相互认同与理解的高效沟通模式,YENK:“最享受的是我们头脑风暴的过程,每次都聊得特别嗨”。

Men’s Lies’ poster art isn’t limited to the virtual world. Yenk and PJ also create posters for one of Beijing’s most inclusive clubs: Zhao Dai. When the club was looking for a new visual direction in preparation for its reopening in 2018, they turned to Men’s Lies to define their aesthetic in event announcements, publicity, and related products. Every weekend the duo create hype among the club kids with a series of striking, visually unified posters—an enormous amount of work. “Zhao Dai has given us a lot of creative freedom,” Yenk says. “We basically have no restrictions—we just do whatever we liked, whatever looks good. And almost all of it is PJ’s work. I handle the text and some of the routine design.” PJ recalls some initial creative friction, but the collaboration with Zhao Dai is now “100% silky smooth.”


Menslies 的设计也并不仅仅局限在虚拟的世界,Yenk 和 PJ 还为北京 Zhao Dai 招待所俱乐部提供美学支持。Zhao Dai 是北京最具包容性的电子音乐圣地之一,2017 至 18 年,经历过数月的停休和苦苦等待,Zhao Dai 的舞池计划再一次展开,这次回来的不仅是优质的音乐品位,还有一套来自 Menslies 的美学体系。俱乐部大量海报、活动文案以及周边产品由 Menslies 团队一手操办,他们承载着舞者们每周末的期待,他们的作品也呈现出非常丰富的视觉效果,但都处在同一风格的界限之内,堪称庞大的工作量,YENK:“因为招待所给了我们特别大的空间,基本没有限制。所以怎么好看、怎么讨自己喜欢怎么来。而绝大部分海报都来自 PJ 的手笔;我会负责文字内容,还有一些宣传拍摄的工作,” PJ:“记得在短暂的磨合期有一些来往,目前我们的合作已经 100% 丝般顺滑!”

Today Yenk and PJ are split between Beijing and Shanghai, but distance hasn’t slowed down their collaboration. They still try to put out several programs, such as “Take a Sip,” a series made in collaboration with producer Wu Shuang that features animated 3D art, and a round-up of the year’s best albums with the music critic known as 10000. They also have a guest mix program, where they invite friends to showcase their favorite music. Perhaps it’s 10000 who sums up the mission of Men’s Lies the best: “Great music should always have killer visuals to go with it.”


最近的 YENK 和 PJ 分别在北京和上海工作,但这并不妨碍两人之间的交流,他们还在公众号上进行着若干栏目的尝试,比如与 Wu Shuang 一起制作的 Take A Sip 栏目(一个以 3D 建模、平面设计、音乐为主的栏目)、与专业音乐爱好者 10000 的年度专辑榜单、还有与朋友制作的 Guest Mix 栏目等等,“现在要做的,就是把东西做好,然后多更新一些美丽的 ‘男人谎言’。最后,很想引用 10000 的一句话 —— ‘但愿美妙的音乐永远有美好的视觉陪伴’ ”。

Listen to our exclusive playlist, curated for Neocha by Men’s Lies.

 

Track List

1. DJ PoolBoi – Take Care
2. Akasha System – Afterimage
3. Soft Fit – North Shore
4. DJ Seinfeld – U
5. Leon Vynehall – Envelopes (Chapter VI)
6. Central – Keep Love on Me


最后,Menslies 贴心地为我们准备了一份歌单,温柔细腻的旋律,声动中铺开一副美好的画卷

 

歌单

1. DJ PoolBoi – Take Care
2. Akasha System – Afterimage
3. Soft Fit – North Shore
4. DJ Seinfeld – U
5. Leon Vynehall – Envelopes (Chapter VI)
6. Central – Keep Love on Me

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Contributor: Pete Zhang


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供稿人: Pete Zhang