Tag Archives: music production

SHAO’s Abstract Soundscapes

Previously known under the moniker Dead J, Shao Yan Peng now performs and produces simply under the name SHAO. He is an electronic musician, sound designer, and a prominent figurehead in China’s contemporary electronic music scene. SHAO expresses himself through his music, almost as naturally as the way people express emotions. Through his intricately crafted soundscapes, he forms a sense of space, communicates his state of mind, and reveals the complexities of structure in sound. His minimalist production approach explores the abstract and psychedelic aspects of electronic music.


SHAO,即邵彦棚,先前以Dead J之名为人所知,是一名电子音乐人,声音设计师,也是中国电子乐当下最重要的面孔之一。相对于人类正常的喜怒哀乐,他更倾向于在音乐中表达一种空间、一种状态和一种结构。他用极简的表现方式探索着电子音乐中的抽象和迷幻。

Listen to SHAO’s newest EP Doppler Shift Pt. 1  below:

SHAO – A. Sensi

SHAO – B. Reflection Pt. 2

SHAO – Digital. Reflection Pt. 1


欢迎试听《Doppler Shift Pt.1》曲目:

SHAO – A. Sensi

SHAO – B. Reflection Pt. 2

SHAO – Digital. Reflection Pt. 1

SHAO’s unique sounds eventually attracted the attention of the legendary and world renowned, German electronic music label Tresor Records. This famous label has worked with Robert Hood, Blake Baxter, Surgeon, Juan Atkins, Terrence Dixon and Jeff Mills – whom many consider to be pioneers of techno music. The label’s own nightclub, Tresor Club in Berlin, is also widely regarded as a mecca of electronic music by techno fans. The stringent industry standards and sense of acoustic aesthetics Tresor Records works by has set the tone for the quality of the musicians and released works under the label.


这种探索下的独特作品也吸引了德国Tresor Records的注意。这是一个是享誉世界的传奇性电子厂牌,Techno音乐鼻祖 Jeff Mills、Robert Hood,以及Blake Baxter、Surgeon、Juan Atkins、Terrence Dixon等,都曾在其旗下发行作品,位于柏林的Tresor Club更是被techno乐迷奉为圣地。同时,Tresor Records也以极其严苛的工业标准和审美,对待所有烙上Tresor印记的音乐家及其作品。

In 2015, SHAO signed with Tresor Records and became the first Chinese musician to join the roster of powerhouse producers under the label. In September of the same year, SHAO globally released his EP Doppler Shift Pt. 1  on vinyl. Issued as Tresor.280, this EP was SHAO’s fifth album. His previous releases include Mental Imagery, Mental Magic, Psychedelic Elephant, and Ting Tai Lou Ge. This new EP, released with Tresor Records, is the first official foray of Chinese electronic music being marketed towards a Western audience, and thus is considered to hold a significant importance for the Chinese electronic music scene as a whole. This was a brand new starting point for SHAO.


2015年,SHAO签约了Tresor Records并成为该厂牌的首位中国艺术家后,于当年9月全球范围发行了黑胶EP《Doppler Shift Pt. 1》,编号为Tresor.280。这是他继《幻术》、《心象》、《活着》、《亭台楼阁》后的第五张录音室作品,也是中国电子音乐首次进入西方电子音乐大厂的里程碑作品。这张Tresor出品的中国电子音乐作品,对整个中国电子乐场景都具有重要的意义,也成为SHAO的全新起点。

Following the release of Ting Tai Lou Ge in 2011, the production for Doppler Shift Pt. 1  was already underway. A few demo tracks were completed as early as 2012. SHAO maintains his experimental and multifaceted barrage of minimal sounds in this EP. Over the course of the last couple years, SHAO has gained an even more thorough understanding of music and sound. He is more in tune with the different frequencies of sound and has a better grasp on how to bring to life the sounds he has in mind. “I used to think that sound should be ‘listened to’, but now I feel like really great music should be able to provide sensory pleasure in the way that the sounds reverberate through the space it occupies,” he explains.


《Doppler Shift》的创作始于2011年《亭台楼阁》专辑出版之后,其最早的几首小样于2012年就完成了。在这张EP里,SHAO持续着他对电子音乐多面性的试验。在最近两年里SHAO更注意对声音方面的把握,对频率、每一个声部该怎么去更加极致地表现,有了很多的认识。”之前觉得音乐是为耳朵去’听’的,现在的观念是,好音乐对我来说是声音在空间中的合理震动带给我的快感。”他解释道。

The new album is considerably more abstract than SHAO’s previous work, but at the same time more danceable. SHAO hopes to create an album consisting of experimental and minimalist sounds that at the same time can be played in a club setting. The Chinese name for Doppler Shift Pt. 1  is Guang Yan, which explores the concept of light. This fascination with light and playing with the concepts of light started with his albums Mental Imagery and Mental Magic. While in Ting Tai Ge Lou, he explores the environment and architectural spaces of modern day China. For SHAO, light feels spiritual and he considers the continuous nature of light to be an immense source of inspiration.


这张新Ep比之前的作品更加抽象,同时也更舞曲化。SHAO希望能用极简,抽象的声音做一张能作用于Club环境的专辑。《Doppler Shift》的中文名叫《光衍》,是光的概念。从《心象》、《幻术》三部曲,到后来以《亭台楼阁》影射当代中国的环境/建筑,光对他个人而言,具有某种“精神性”,更是一种概念的延续。

Following this latest EP, SHAO also released Date, a documentary he produced about electronic music. This film takes place during 2009 in Berlin, which was the first time SHAO performed there. During that period of time in China, keeping up to date with Europe’s electronic music scene was only possible by following a few select magazines and websites. The first time SHAO had ever met the German electronic artists that influenced him early in his career was during the filming of Date. Even today, this documentary and the process of filming it has had immense significance for him. With this film, SHAO hopes to introduce electronic music to Chinese people interested in Berlin or contemporary music.


随着这张EP的发行,SHAO也公开发表了电子音乐纪录片《Date》。这部片子是拍摄于2009的柏林,时值SHAO第一次来到柏林演出。彼时在中国,了解欧洲的电子音乐只能通过少量一些杂志或网络文字资料。拍《Date》的过程,是他第一次跟自己所崇敬的音乐家和艺术家面对面进行交流,那些德国音乐家在他早期的音乐创作方面影响很大。时至今日,这部片子及其拍摄过程都在SHAO的创作生涯中打表着重大意义。他也希望把这些声音介绍给对柏林或对当代电子音乐有兴趣的人们。

 

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SHAO thinks that the current state of electronic music in China is abysmal – there simply isn’t a lot of original work being created nor is there much demand for it. Electronic music never went into the frenzied developmental phase in China like it did in Western countries. But of course, nobody knows what the future will hold; electronic music could still make a rise in China despite the stagnant state of the scene in the past. The current situation might even motivate more artists to try and bring electronic music to the attention of more people through their work. For SHAO, his creative process is embedded in his subconscious as a daily routine. Day in and day out, he is mentally attuned to create and proactively searches for inspirations rather than letting it just come to him. As far as the future goes, SHAO expresses notions about self-improvement. “I hope to have more structure and I’ll work on managing my energy and time better. I have ideas that are five years old, and didn’t make it farther than the conceptual stage,” he says. For the moment, SHAO is fully focused on completing the remaining tracks for his up-and-coming full-length album Doppler Shift.


电子乐在中国的现状是“嘴少菜也少”,归因于缺乏像它在西方那样几十年的发展。未来是怎样没有人知道,也许没有过去的束缚,反而让艺术家另辟蹊径也说不定。目前的SHAO依然每天例行工作一样,他会每天保持一种创作状态,主动在这种方式里去追求灵感,而非只是等待它的到来。对于接下来的创作计划,他告诉我们,“希望能更有条理地安排自己的精力和时间,有一些5年前构思的创作想法现在都没去实现呢。”近期他则准备专注于将《Doppler Shift》专辑里其他的音乐完成。

Websiteshaoyanpeng.com
Facebook: ~/shaoyanpeng
Soundcloud~/dead-j
Weibo邵彦棚SHAO

 

Contributor & Photographer: Banny Wang


网站shaoyanpeng.com
Facebook: ~/shaoyanpeng
Soundcloud~/dead-j
微博邵彦棚SHAO

 

供稿人与摄影师: Banny Wang

The Foxgrove

The Foxgrove is a new boutique electronic music and DJ school that opened late last year in New York City. It was created for beginner-level music lovers, who have absolutely no production skills and probably never imagined being able to make their own music. Co-founder Natalie Lam, who originally is from Hong Kong and previously had worked 20 years in the advertising industry, actually prefers to think of The Foxgrove not as a school, but more as a “music social club” or a “fine learning experience”.


The Foxgrove是一所电子音乐和DJ的精品学校,于去年年底开设于美国纽约。这间学校是为毫无制作经验,甚至可能从未想象过拥有能力制作自己的音乐的入门级音乐爱好者们所设。联合创始人Natalie Lam,这位前20年致力于广告业的原香港人,更乐于不把The Foxgrove看成一所学校,而更多是一个“音乐社交俱乐部”,或者是一个“极佳的学习体验”。

 

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She believes that most people’s knee-jerk reaction to the idea of schools is not necessarily a positive one, but aside from the learning part, how The Foxgrove functions is unlike how traditional schools work. For both Natalie and co-founder David Maurice, creating a comfortable learning environment was really important. They decided at the beginning to get rid of the things that they didn’t like about schools, namely the “bad lighting, coldness, rigidness, discipline, (and) pressure”, and add the things that they would have liked to have had in school.


她相信,大多数人对于学校这个概念的本能反应不见得是积极的,但是除开学习部分,The Foxgrove的运作与传统学校则是大相径庭。不管是对于Natalie,还是另一位联合创始人David Maurice来说,创造一个舒适的学习环境相当重要。他们一开始就决定去除学校中他们不喜欢的东西,即“糟糕的光线,冷清,坚硬,纪律,(以及)压力”,加入他们希望一些学校有的东西。

The space of The Foxgrove was designed with “organic luxury in mind”. They used “ample wood, leather and fabric elements to create an intimate, relaxing space to offset the brand new music gear”. For Natalie, it was important that people didn’t feel intimidated by some of the challenges of having to learn and work with new technology. Some of their past students have likened the experience of attending a class at The Foxgrove to “learning to remix EDM in a spa”, while Natalie herself likes to describe it as a “boutique hotel meets recording studio”.


The Foxgrove的空间设计上应用了“有机奢华”。他们用“大量木料、皮料以及织物元素去营造一个私密放松的空间去陪衬崭新的音乐器材”。对于Natalie来说,让人们不被应用新技术所遇到的挑战吓退是很重要的。他们过去的一些学生曾将在The Foxgrove上课比作“在SPA中学习电子混曲”,而Natalie自己本人则喜欢说它是“精品酒店遇见录音工作室”。

The Foxgrove believes that the future of music in this digital age will go beyond streaming music and will also involve the democratization of music production. Natalie says, “We all love music. A hundred years ago, many people played music in their homes. It was only in the past fifty years that music was monopolized and commoditized by the record industry – music was put on a high pedestal. Music creation was reserved by the industry for the few who are ‘talented, charismatic, and connected’ in order to make massive profits.” The Foxgrove believes that with the current advancement of electronic music technology, more and more people can become the creators of music without even relying on record labels. With the technology becoming more accessible and affordable, the future of music may soon lie in the hands of music lovers and amateur producers. Natalie says, “We want to be the portal for those who never thought of touching music to get the first sweet taste.”


The Foxgrove相信在这个数码时代中,音乐的未来会超逾流媒体音乐,也将迎来音乐创作的普及化。Natalie说: “我们都爱音乐。一百年前,很多人在自己家中演奏音乐。仅在过去的五十年间,音乐就被唱片行业垄断和商业化了,音乐被高置神坛上了。音乐创作被预留给‘有才华、有魅力、有关系’的少数人以大举逐利”。The Foxgrove认为当下电子音乐技术的发展中,越来越多的人可以无需依赖音乐厂牌就能成为音乐创作人。随着技术的越来越触手可及,音乐的未来可能很快就被掌握在音乐爱好者和业余创作人的手中。Natalie说: “我们想要当一个传送门,让那些从未想过触碰音乐的人得到美好的音乐创作初体验。”

So far, The Foxgrove have had over 300 students attend their school. They are mostly young professionals looking for a new hobby or teens from high school. Their approach to classes and workshops is to provide their students with useful music education in digestible quantities that are short and sweet. There are music introduction classes that cover about 80% of the basics of music production and DJing, and there are also more advanced courses for those who are more serious. The focus is mostly on having fun, and turning the idea of music production into a mainstream hobby, like going for yoga class after work or going to catch a movie during the weekend. Similar to how Instagram and digital photography have in recent years helped democratized and popularized photography, The Foxgrove is looking to help bring music creation back into the lives of people. In the future, they are looking to expand globally to other important creative hubs, in cities such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, and elsewhere in Europe.

 


迄今,The Foxgrove已有超过300个学生加入他们的学校。这些学生多数是寻求一个新爱好的年轻职业人士或高中青少年。学校的课程和研讨班,以短而精易为消化的数量,为学生们提供有用的音乐教育。这里拥有初阶课程,其包含了80%的音乐制作和DJ基础知识;也有更高阶的课程,以满足有更进一步追求的学生。这里的注重点多数还是在于享受乐趣,以及将音乐创作转化为一个更为主流的爱好,好比下班后上瑜伽课或者周末看场电影。与Instagram和数码摄影近年为摄影的普及化和流行化助力相似,The Foxgrove期望可以将音乐带回人们的生活里。他们期待着在未来可以扩展到全球其他重要的创意中心去,例如上海、北京、香港这样的城市,以及欧洲。

Websitethefoxgrove.com

 

Contributor: Leon Yan
Video & Images Courtesy of The Foxgrove


网站thefoxgrove.com

 

供稿人: Leon Yan
视频与图片由The Foxgrove提供