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Modernizing the Accordion

 

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Once revered for its compactness and versatility, the accordion’s popularity has dwindled over past decades. Nowadays, when most people think of the instrument, old folk musicians or Parisian buskers are likely what comes to mind. Despite its fall from popularity, forward-thinking bands and musicians like Arcade Fire and Madvillain have proven the instrument can still be viable in contemporary music. And in Shanghai, equally eager to prove that the accordion shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed is independent musician Chen Kai.


手风琴,曾因其便携和灵活性而备受推崇,但过去几十年间,它已经渐渐尘封于人们的回忆里。现在,当大多数人想到这件乐器,大抵会想到年迈的民间音乐家或者巴黎的街头艺人。尽管不如从前流行,但像 Arcade Fire Madvillain 这样有远见的乐队和音乐家,却向大家证明了这种乐器在当代音乐中的地位依然不减。

而在上海,对此有着同样信念的,是独立音乐家陈楷。

All music evolves, and CK, as an accordionist with over two decades of experience, recognizes the importance of adapting. In fact, it’s especially important for an instrument that many consider archaic to keep up with the times. His awareness of this fact directly influences his playing style. Rather than relying on well-known tunes, his live shows are hour-long improvisational sets that blend unlikely genres—like psychedelic rock and baroque music—to form unclassifiable soundscapes.


其实,所有的音乐都在演变的过程中。作为一个有 20 多年经验的手风琴演奏家,陈楷认识到适应潮流的重要性。事实上,对于一个被许多人认为已经过时的乐器来说,手风琴演奏要跟上时代的步伐,显得尤其重要。这也直接影响了陈楷的演奏风格。陈楷现场演奏的并非那些人们耳熟能详的曲子,而是通过一小时的即兴表演,混合一些不太常见的流派──比如迷幻摇滚乐和巴洛克音乐──来形成独特而无法被归类的音乐背景。

Not only is CK able to wield the inherent versatility of the instrument, he makes full use of the effects pedals, transforming each note into something foreign yet familiar. Alternating between warm, soothing melodies to upheaving, violent crescendos, CK’s performances are a whirlwind of sound and emotion that both caress and assault the listener’s ears. Watching him perform is an enlightening experience that can sway even the most stubborn of skeptics to rethink the accordion’s place in modern music.


陈楷的演奏,不仅发挥出手风琴固有的即兴灵活的特性,还充分利用了效果器踏板,把每个音符都奏出了既熟悉又陌生的曲调。一曲曲演奏,温柔与暴烈并行,舒缓与激扬辉映,让听众得以斡旋于声音与情感之中,对耳膜既是爱抚,亦是冲击。观看陈楷的表演是一次极具启发性的体验,甚至连那些质疑手风琴地位的人,也会去反思手风琴在现代音乐中的位置。

While CK aspires to help his beloved instrument reclaim its rightful place in the world, it’s not the only thing that fuels his motivation. What truly stokes his creative flames is his appreciation of music’s cathartic qualities. To him, music is an outlet, and his accordion is a conduit, one that helps him bring his emotions into the world through sonic means.


陈楷渴望能让他心爱的手风琴重夺其在世应有的地位,但激励他的动力并不止于此。真正点燃他创作热情的,是他对音乐宣泄性的情感。对他来说,音乐是一个出口,他的手风琴是一种媒介,帮助他将自己的情感通过声音的方式带来这个世界。

Forming an emotional connection with others is perhaps the most rewarding part of being a musician. He speaks to others through his art and lets them interpret it as they will. “In Chinese visual art, negative space is an important concept,” he says. “It’s the room left aside for the viewer’s imagination and own interpretation to take shape. In my music, I try to follow this same concept.”


与他人在情感上建立联系,也许是陈楷作为音乐家来说获益匪浅的部分。通过音乐,陈楷得以与他人沟通,让人们从中解读出自己的东西。在中国的视觉艺术中,负空间是一个重要的概念。他说,这是为观众的想象力和自己的解释留下空间。在我的音乐中,我也试图遵循着与之相同的概念。

Of course, taste is subjective. Not only can different individuals find different meaning in the same song, but what qualifies as “good” music inevitably varies from person to person. As a seasoned musician and self-described lover of all genres, how does CK define “good” music?

Hesitating, he takes a long drag from his cigarette and exhales a lungful of smoke before breaking the silence: “Good music should come from the heart. It should move people. Simple as that.”


当然,个人品味是很主观的。不仅不同的人在同一首歌中能找到不同的含义,而且什么是“好”音乐也必然因人而异。作为一个经验丰富的音乐家和自我标榜的所有流派的爱好者,陈楷又是如何定义“好”音乐的呢?

犹豫半晌,他从香烟里抽出一根长长的烟,狠吸了一大口之后,才打破了沉默:“好的音乐应该发自内心。它应该能打动人们。就这么简单。”

Contributor & Photographer: David Yen
Videographers: Damien Louise, Cheok Lai


供稿人与图片摄影师: David Yen
视频摄影师: Damien Louise, Cheok Lai

Heavy Metal Mongolia

It’s 1985 – about 100 people are standing around in a local concert hall in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. Cigarette smoke and the murmur of social activity fill the air in equal measure. Members of the band Ayasiin Salkhi step onto the stage to set up their instruments.

Despite the country’s Soviet-allied government placing restrictions on anything it deems as promoting western ideals, many in the city are familiar with rock and roll, thanks to records and tapes that made their way into the country via black market smugglers or people returning from traveling through the Soviet Union, where contraband from the West is easier to obtain. But once the first guitar chords strike, it’s apparent that Ayasiin Salkhi aren’t playing the rock and roll on those black market records. This is something strange and new – this is heavy metal.


时间回到1985年,大约有100人挤在蒙古首都乌兰巴托的一间音乐厅里,二手烟的烟雾和人们交谈的低语声弥漫于此。这时 Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队的成员走上舞台设置乐器。

尽管当时因为蒙古政府与苏联结盟的关系,所有有助于传播西方思想的行为都被禁止,但许多人对于摇滚乐还是相当熟悉,这要感谢来往于黑市的走私者和从苏联旅行回来的人,他们将唱片和录音带带进蒙古,因为在苏联这些来自西方的违禁品更容易取得。但是,当 Ayasiin Salkhi 弹下第一个和弦,很显然的这不是从黑市那里听得到的摇滚乐—这既新奇又古怪—这是重金属。

As Mongolia’s­ first-ever metal band, Ayasiin Salkhi were pariahs in the 1980s.

Heavy metal was relegated to the fringes of Mongolia’s contemporary musical conscience. But metal has clawed its way back over the last 30 years, and now boasts a growing, dedicated following and its own festival in the steppe nation.

One of the Mongolian metal scene’s most ardent supporters is Unenkhuu Umbanyamba, or Uugii, the man behind Mongolia’s biggest annual heavy metal event – Noise Metal Festival – which marks its five-year anniversary this coming autumn.

After seeing how heavy metal festivals in other countries brought like-minded fans together, Uugii felt Mongolia’s metal community needed one of its own.

“We needed this festival to play, to express ourselves – to, you know, just let our energy and emotions go,” he says.


作为蒙古有史以来第一支金属乐队,生长在 80年代的 Ayasiin Salkhi 是被社会放逐的。

重金属处在蒙古当代音乐场景的最边缘。它花了过去30年的时间慢慢找回自己的地位,现在在这个草原国度里,重金属乐已经拥有为数众多的热忱追随者,甚至还有自己的金属音乐节。

Unenkhuu Umbanyamba(Uugii) 是金属乐最狂热的拥护者之一,他同时也是 “噪音金属节” 的幕后操手。噪音金属节是蒙古金属乐界最具代表性的活动 ,今年秋季即将迎来第五周年。

在看到其他国家的金属音乐节是如何将志同道合的乐迷聚集在一起后,Uugii 认为蒙古也需要这样的活动。“我们需要这个音乐节来表达自己,一个让我们尽情宣泄能量和情绪的地方” 他说。

Uugii, the founder of Noise Metal Festival

The first Noise Metal Festival took place in 2014 at UB Palace, a venue in the capital. Uugii was equal parts excited and nervous at the uncertainty surrounding that inaugural event.

Ten bands were booked – eight local and two foreign acts – yet the execution of the event fell short of Uugii’s expectations. “It was a failure, but a big learning experience,” he recollects, noting production difficulties and the sizeable debt he incurred from renting all the equipment at exorbitant rates.

When asked why the difficulties didn’t deter him from throwing a second festival the following year, Uugii put it simply: “First is the passion I have for the music. Secondly, if I didn’t do it, nobody else would.”


第一届噪音金属节于2014年在首都乌兰巴托的 UB Palace 举行。 Uugii 对于首次举办这种活动,感到既兴奋又紧张。

他总共预定了10组乐队——8个本地乐团和2个外国乐团,但第一次音乐节的执行成效不如 Uugii 的预期。 “这是一次失败的经验,但我们从中学习到很多。” 他回忆起筹办中遇到的各种困难,还有当时因为租用高价设备所留下的巨额债务。

当被问到为什么这些困难没有阻止他举办第二届音乐节,Uugii 回答:“首先是我对音乐的热情。 其次,如果我不去做,就没有人会去做了。”

Subsequent iterations of Noise Metal Festival have gone much better, with the turnout growing each year and international acts from Canada, Russia, Japan and Singapore joining the home-grown lineups.

But Andy Teesh remembers when that wasn’t the case in Mongolia. He was the front-man for Ayasiin Salkhi at that 1985 show.

As a high school student, Teesh’s grades and aptitude in extra-curricular activities earned him a scholarship to study in Russia at a police training school in Volgograd. An Iron Maiden tape made its way into Teesh’s possession when he was visiting Moscow, giving the young Mongolian his first taste of the music that would divert his trajectory as an aspiring officer.

Because Mongolia had close ties to the Soviet Union in the 1980s, many of the steppe nation’s citizens were living, working, and studying in Russia. Teesh met other compatriots who also fell in love with heavy metal – so much so that they wanted to play it.

“I got the idea to start the band in 1984. I met this kid in Moscow that was still in high school but could play the guitar . . . I met another kid who used to live in Odessa that played the drums really well, another kid who played bass,” he says. “We all thought that we needed to start a heavy metal band back home.”

And the group became Ayasiin Salkhi, or “Fair Wind” in English, a name that served as something of an antonym to one more suited to a death metal band – “like ‘Death Hurricane,’” Teesh says with a laugh. The name also kept the band off any intrepid censor’s radar.


噪音金属节后来进行的越来越顺利,到场人次逐年增加,演出乐队也更国际化,来自加拿大、俄罗斯、日本和新加坡的乐队都曾加入演出阵容。

但是当 Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队的主唱 Andy Teesh,回想起以前金属乐还默默无闻的时候——那时 Teesh 还是高中生,课外活动的优异成绩让他获得一笔奖学金,可以在俄罗斯伏尔加格勒的警察培训学校学习。当他访问莫斯科,拿到了一卷铁娘子乐团的录音带。这是这位蒙古年轻人第一次品尝到金属乐,这改变了他的人生轨道,转移了他原本要成为一个军官的目标。

80年代由于蒙古与苏联的密切关系,许多蒙古公民都会去俄罗斯生活、工作和学习。Teesh 在那里遇见了同样喜爱重金属的同好,他们决定要组一个乐队。

“1984年我有了创建一个乐队的想法。我在莫斯科遇到了一个还在念高中、会弹吉他的小子…… 后来我遇到了另一个住在敖得萨的小子,他鼓演奏的很好,还有另一个会弹贝斯的。” 他说,“我们一致认为,我们需要在家乡组一个重金属乐队。”

“这个组合即是后来的 Ayasiin Salkhi (在蒙古语中意思是“正义的风”),这个名字恰好是一个 “死亡金属乐队” 的反义词。“可能 ‘死亡飓风’ 这样的名字会更适合金属乐队吧。”  Teesh 笑着说,但这个名字让他们成功躲过了审查员的雷达。

By 1985, all members of Ayasiin Salkhi were back in Ulaanbaatar, having spent the previous year practicing their sound. In that time, Teesh landed a job with the Investigation Department of Mongolia’s Ministry of Justice, a position he is still proud of. In stark contrast to the long-hair, black skull cap, heavy Iron Maiden shirt and combat boots dons on any given day, Teesh still has black-and-white pictures of the clean-cut, fresh-faced investigator he was back then, complete with the crisp, grey uniform of his profession. But that didn’t stop the band from practicing constantly.

“When I came back, I earned the rank of lieutenant,” he says. “I even played in the Investigation Department’s band. However, I started to put Ayasiin Salkhi first and spent more time practicing because, in the end, I was a metal head.”

That was the same year Ayasiin Salkhi had their inaugural, ill-fated show.


到了1985年,Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队所有成员都回到了乌兰巴托,他们花了一整年的时间不断地练习。当时 Teesh 在蒙古司法部的调查部门已经找到一份工作,想到这段过往,他仍然不掩骄傲的神情。工作所需保持的形象和平常留着长发、带着黑色骷髅帽子、身穿铁娘子乐队的衣服和一双军靴的他,形成了鲜明的对比。Teesh 拥有一张他还是调查员的黑白照片,照片中的他干净俐落、神态轻松、穿着整齐的灰色制服。但这份工作没有阻止乐队继续发展。

“当我回来时我获得了中尉的职位。” 他说。“我甚至参加了调查部门的乐队。 但是我开始将 Ayasiin Salkhi 放在我的首位,花上更多时间练习。因为我终究是一个金属迷。“

Ayasiin Salkhi 在同年举行了第一次登台表演,而这是一场不幸的表演。

Teesh recalls: “Our show was really badly received. It was very different in Mongolia back then. The way we were behaving on stage, with the head-banging, our look, and our singing style – for most of the people in the audience, it was very nightmare-like, almost like we were evil.”

There was an almost immediate media blackout enforced on Ayasiin Salkhi. No newspapers were allowed to write about them, no TV stations were allowed to broadcast about them, no radio stations were allowed to play their music. Teesh started to get pressure to abandon heavy metal from family members, friends, and by his superiors at the Investigation Department.

“My bosses told me: ‘Criminals and gangsters listen to this music, so if you are an investigator, be an investigator.’ If you played metal music during communist times, you were seen as supporting Western ideology, as well as disrespecting your own art and culture. In other words, you lacked communist ethics and ideals,” says Teesh.


Teesh 回忆起:“我们那年的表演真的很糟糕。这种音乐当时在蒙古非常少见。我们在舞台上表演的方式,撞击彼此的头,我们的穿着打扮、演唱风格——这对于大多数观众来说是噩梦般的体验,几乎像我们是邪恶的。”

随之而来的,是对 Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队立即的媒体封锁。没有报纸、电视台、广播电台被允许刊登他们的信息,也不能播放他们的音乐。Teesh 开始受到来自家人朋友以及工作上级长官,说服他放弃重金属的压力。

“我的老板告诉我:‘只有犯罪分子或流氓会听这种音乐,如果你是一个调查员,就要有调查员的样子。如果你在共产时期玩金属音乐,你会被认为支持西方意识形态,不尊重你本身的艺术文化。换句话说,你缺乏共产主义的道德和理想。”  Teesh 说。

Mongolia ended its status as a satellite state of the Soviet Union with a democratic revolution in 1990. Just as the country had chosen a new direction, Teesh too had a choice to make that year: a career as an investigator or a life in heavy metal. He chose metal.

“There were few fans, no income, and no respect for us,” says Teesh, who still fronts the band today. “Our families and friends even told us to quit, but it didn’t matter because our hearts were in metal music that much.”

Mongolia’s revolution ushered in a new wave of openness to the outside world in the 1990s, but some of the old biases against what many deemed as western culture remained.


1990年,蒙古发起了民主革命,结束它长期与苏联结盟的关系。正如同国家选择了一个新方向,Teesh 也面临一个抉择:调查人员的职业生涯或是重金属。他选择了重金属。

“我们几乎没有粉丝,没有收入,也没有人尊重我们。” Teesh 说,他今天仍然是 Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队的核心人物。 “当时我们的家人朋友甚至直接告诉我们放弃,但这并不重要,因为金属乐在我们心里实在太重要了。”

当时的革命为蒙古迎来了一股改革开放的新浪潮,但还是有许多人对于西方文化抱持一些难以革除的偏见。

Uugii is a member of the generation of Mongolian metal heads that really embraced the genre in the 1990s. Rock and roll was now celebrated, commemorated with a monument dedicated to The Beatles erected in Ulaanbaatar – one of the bands many growing up in communist Mongolia became fans of through illegal record swaps.

Still, heavy metal and the culture that came with it chafed against the social sensibilities of 1990s Mongolia. “Back in the day, people would say ‘Those metal-heads, or whoever listens to rock, are potheads who are just into drugs and sex,’” says Uugii. “This kind of perception carried onto the next generation and people saw people like me and would say, ‘Oh, you guys who listen to this really heavy music probably do drugs,’ but I don’t even smoke cigarettes.”

That experience sowed the seeds for Uugii to later launch Noise Metal Festival, seeing it as his “mission” to one day “help people here understand metal music more as a form of art.”


Uugii,也就是噪音金属节的主办人,是上世纪90年代拥护这种音乐类型的元老级人物。那时最盛行的是摇滚乐,一个向披头士致敬的纪念碑竖立在乌兰巴托街头,以缅怀这个伟大的乐队。许多成长在共产主义的蒙古之下的人,都是通过黑市的唱片交易认识到披头四的。

尽管如此,重金属及其伴随的文化仍然无法被当时敏感的社会所接纳。 “当时,人们会说 ‘那些听金属或是摇滚乐的人,都是大麻和性爱上瘾的毒虫。’ ” Uugii 说。 “这种观念传到下一代,人们看到像我这样的人,会说 ‘哦,听这种金属乐的人可能都在吸毒’。可是我甚至连烟都不抽。”

这样的经验,在 Uugii 心中种下举办噪音金属节的念头,并将其视为他有朝一日要完成的 “使命”——要帮助人们更理解作为一种艺术形式的金属乐。”

The genre has come a long way in Mongolia since then. Local heavy metal albums can be found in the capital’s music stores, and the internet has ushered in a new era of music discovery for the country’s mostly young population. The new generation of Mongolia’s metal heads faces much less resistance in society. According to some, that fact has fostered a greater willingness in the youth to express themselves how they see fit. And Noise Metal Festival has become a place where all generations of the country’s metal heads gather.

Battulga Khurelbaatar is the lead singer of one of Ulaanbaatar’s up-and-coming heavy metal bands, Growl of Clown. The 21-year-old has taken the stage at Noise Metal Festival with his band for the past three years. With a greater ability to express oneself, he says it’s a lot easier for metal fans to build a sense of community in the country.

The young metal head also sees the genre as having a positive influence, a departure from the biases of the past. “This whole metal thing, I’ve never regretted pursuing it or the things I’m doing. Some people may think they may be better off if they chose a different route, but listening to metal music has been a very positive influence on me,” says Khurelbaatar.


从那之后,金属乐走过了很长一段路。现在在乌兰巴托的唱片行可以找到金属乐专辑,网络的兴起让年轻人更容易接触到新音乐,新一代金属迷在社会上承受的压力要小得多。有些人认为,这波浪潮促使年轻人更愿意表达自己。噪音金属节已经成为各世代金属迷相聚的地方。

Battulga Khurelbaatar 是乌兰巴托崛起的重金属乐队 “Growl of Clown” (“咆哮小丑”) 的主唱。这位21岁年轻人的乐队在过去三年里曾在噪音金属节登台。少了社会的压力,金属迷可以更好的表达自己,他认为现在要在蒙古金属乐迷之间建立凝聚力,再也不是一件困难的事。

年轻的金属乐迷也认为这种音乐类型具有积极的影响力,因为它消除了过去的偏见。 “关于金属乐这件事,我从来没有后悔过追求它和做我现在正在做的事情。有些人可能会认为如果当初选择了不同的路,他们现在会过得更好。但金属乐对我而言有非常正向的影响。” Khurelbaatar 说。

Ayasiin Salkhi has also graced the stages of Noise Metal Festivals. After the turbulence of their first 20 years as a band, they released their first album in 2004. They’ve also racked up countless performances both at home and abroad. Yet, to Teesh, Noise Metal Festival is still an important event for both his band and Mongolia’s metal community as a whole.

“The festival is helping the Mongolian metal scene to grow further. Hopefully, it will attract more metal bands and attendees from abroad to come and experience Mongolia, to see this scene,” says Teesh. “I want more people to experience Mongolian heavy metal.”

While Mongolia’s heavy metal scene has grown, Uugii is still the main force behind its biggest event. Support from outside the metal scene ebbs and flows; the festival has test-driven three venues in its four years of existence, though none is quite a perfect fit. Promises of sponsorship and more commercial funding for Noise Metal Festival often come and go. He generally bears the brunt of the work and financial responsibilities of organizing it. Last-minute changes to the lineup have happened at every festival. Still, the growing turnout year on year means that things are still going more right than wrong.

Despite the difficulties, Uugii expresses no intention of stepping away from keeping the fest going: “When I think about myself, you know, ten years from now, I’ll probably still be doing Noise Metal Fest. I’ll do it for as long as I can. I don’t really feel like I have any other options except to keep doing it.”


Ayasiin Salkhi 乐队的确为噪音金属节增色不少。即使乐队从成立到现在,20年以来经历各种动荡不安,到了2004年终于发行第一张专辑,现在已获得无数国内外的演出机会。然而对 Teesh 来说,噪音金属节对他的乐队和整体乐界来说,仍然是一件重要的事情。

“这个音乐节正在帮助蒙古金属乐市场进一步发展。希望它可以吸引到更多金属乐队和来自国外的乐迷来看看这个地方。” Teesh说,“我希望能有更多人能体验到蒙古的重金属场景。”

尽管蒙古的金属乐版图已经越来越大,但 Uugii 仍然是活动背后的主力军。外界的支持力量时好时坏,四年来他们在三个场地试办过,尽管没有一个是完全适合的。赞助和商业合作的机会总是来来去去,不太稳定。总体上 Uugii 承担着首要的组织工作和财务责任。每次在最后一刻总会发生阵容上的变化。尽管如此,噪音金属节依然年复一年的成长,意味着这件事情是走在正确的方向上,而不是错误的。

即使困难重重,但 Uugii 并不打算放弃这场盛事:“当我试想十年后的自己,我可能还在办噪音金属节,我会尽可能做到这一点。除了继续做下去之外,我并不觉得自己有其他选择。”

Contributor & Photographer: Bejan Siavoshy


供稿人与摄影师: Bejan Siavoshy

Summer Love Aria

 

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“Summer Love Aria” is a long-overdue collaboration between Shanghai-based musicians ChaCha and Akin. The instrumental, produced by the ever-versatile HARIKIRI, works in tandem with ChaCha and Akin’s crooning vocals to form a soundscape that’s equal parts dreamy and funky. Pairing Akin’s buttery smooth delivery with ChaCha’s sultry and seductive voice, the single captures the feel-good vibes of a summer romance from two different perspectives.


《恋恋夏日咏叹》由常驻上海的音乐人ChaCha 及 Akin 合作而成。多才多艺的音乐制作人 HARIKIRI 担任编曲与后期制作,为二人的低吟浅唱构建了一个梦幻却时髦的音景。Akin 绵滑的唱腔与 ChaCha 诱人的歌声两相融合,从两个角度演绎出夏日恋曲的浪漫情调。

  

“My life revolves around love,” ChaCha tells us. “But it’s not limited to romantic love. It includes the love between family and friends, the love for our world and for Mother Nature, the love you feel when pursuing your passions, and the love you feel for yourself. These are the things that make life worth living.”


“爱,是我赖以生活的空气。” ChaCha说,“但它不仅仅是恋人之爱,亲情之爱、友情之爱、对世界和自然的爱、对所做之事的爱,以及对自己的爱,都是保持生活运转的最核心的动力。”

Weibo:
~/xhaxha
~/lilakin

 

Contributor: David Yen
Images Courtesy of PaulbtRose


微博:
~/xhaxha
~/lilakin

 

供稿人: David Yen
图片由PaulbtRose提供

Shedding Labels with 9m88

With a head full of curly hair and an oversized coat, 9m88 is a jazz singer who has risen to fame in the Taiwanese music scene in recent times. Her fashion sense often radiates a stylish retro vibe, sprinkled with offbeat, comical touches in the detail. From head to toe, the way she dresses is reminiscent of someone from straight out of an 80s discotheque. Her unique, idiosyncratic style is what’s most striking about her, after her voice.

9m88’s unexpected rise to fame came about following a successful collaboration with rapper Leo Wang on “Weekends with You.” She has a deep, sultry, alluring sound, the kind that feels more fitting for the age of cassette tapes than our Spotify generation. With nothing to go on but a voice alone, it’d be easy to attribute her voice to a soul singer with a few decades under her belt. But in reality, 9m88 is a millennial whose music career is just taking off.


一头卷发,穿着过大的宽松外套,仿佛刚从八零年代复古歌厅走出来的个性女孩,她是台湾当今独立音乐界最受瞩目的爵士女声 9m88。她全身上下散发一股时髦的复古气息,有时候再加点搞怪的戏谑成分。这种别人模仿不来的独特风格,是这位歌手除了歌声之外,让人印象最深刻的标记。

因为一首和说唱歌手 Leo 王合唱的《陪你过假日》,大家像着了迷似的开始追踪这个魅力十足的嗓音,关于 9m88 的好奇一一浮现。歌声是磁性、低沉而且迷人,是适合存在在卡带里的那种悠扬。如果没有见过她本人,光听声音,脑中想像的是一位已经唱了十年多载的老灵魂歌手。但 9m88 不过是 90后,音乐生涯刚刚起步而已。

My name is 9m, sounds like Joanne

 

Perhaps like me, you were mystified the first time you saw the name 9m88 – it almost looks like the name of a radio station. In reality, 9m (“jiu em”) is an approximation the English name Joanne, while 88 (“ba ba”) comes from her childhood nickname, Xiaoba.

Ever since she was a child, 9m88 dreamed of becoming a star, she confesses with a laugh. And that always meant through music. She often had intricate fantasies about being on stage with backup dancers performing behind her. “At some point, I’ll have to shoot a few music videos with singing and dancing – definitely!” she laughs. “But now that my artistic career is becoming serious, I’m looking at things more from the perspective of 9m88, figuring out what I want to bring to this world as an artist.”


我的名字 9m,是 Joanne 的諧音

 

第一次听说这号人物时,连名字都让人有点摸不着头绪,容易联想到某个广播电台。9m 其实是英文名 Joanne 的谐音,88 则取自中文小名‘小芭’。9m 笑说自己从小就有明星梦,音乐是一直不变的梦想,常常幻想有舞者在后面帮忙伴舞那种大排场的演出。“ 未来拍几支唱跳歌手的 MV 还是必须的!但现在当创作者的使命变大了,我会更以 9m88 的身份去做考量,思考自己作为一个创作者,要带给这个世界的是什么。”

 

 

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While she may not have a group of glamorous backup dancers or tens of thousands of fans at her concerts yet, it doesn’t matter much to her. She just wants to live her life honestly and simply. Even without the resources of a mega-celebrity, she’s still able to create meaningful work when inspiration strikes.

The song “Nine Head Hinano” is a great example of this – it’s a theme song she wrote for a key ring designed by her friends Sid and Geri. The key ring is made up of nine heads, with each representing a different woman. The lyrics describe each woman with a single short line, revealing a little secret about their lives, such as “Joanne sang jazz but didn’t make it, had to work selling juice on the side of the road” (in Taiwan roadside juice stalls are often staffed by attractive women), or “Janet just wanted a little love, went on Tinder but got no likes.”

With this song, the message she hopes to communicate is that people come in different shapes and sizes – there’s not necessarily a one-size-fits-all model. In 9m’s opinion, in a society with an increasingly unified standard of beauty, everyone’s gotten so used to striving for so-called perfection that they’ve forgotten that having flaws is healthy and perfectly normal. It’s an intriguing song that sounds casual but is layered with meaning.


即使没有华丽舞群和万人演唱会,只要诚实、简简单单的过好日子,灵感来时不犹豫的把握住,就算没有大明星级的资源,也一样能做出好的作品。这首《九头身日奈》 是她帮朋友 Sid and Geri 设计的钥匙圈所写的主题曲,钥匙圈上面九个头代表九种女生,歌词里每个女生都只用短短一句话形容,揭幕她们生命中不经掩饰的小秘密。“Joanne 她唱爵士乐却没有红,只好去卖大脚桶”(大脚桶是台湾路边常见的果汁摊贩,店员通常是很漂亮的女生)、或“Janet 只想要一点爱,上 Tinder 却没人 Like”。

人本来就各式各样,不一定只有一种样板,9m 想说的是在这个审美观逐渐趋向一元化的社会里,大家似乎都习惯了朝所谓被认定的‘完美’方向前进,却忘了有缺点其实是一件健康、再正常不过的事情。是一首听起来随意,背后意义却不随意的有趣作品。

I don’t care who wants to be a jazz singer

 

9m went from being a bedroom musician to an artist now under the limelight – after such an abrupt change in status, how does she perceive herself? “I’ve actually never stopped creating, and as a female creator, femininity has long been a concern of mine,” she says. “As for jazz music, that’s just one part of what I’ve studied. Today my main creative focus is searching for the value of being ‘myself.’ It’s hard to say what I’ll want to talk about in a few years.”


爵士女伶谁想当,我都没关系,给你或妳当吧!

 

从一个埋头写歌的女孩,到舞台上迎着众人目光的歌手,面对状态的转换,9m 是如何定位自己? “我其实一直都在创作,身为一个女性创作者,‘女性’ 这个表述本来就长在我身上。至于爵士乐,它就是我学习的一部分而已。目前的创作主轴主要还是放在探索身为 ‘我’ 的价值,很难说过几年后我会想要讨论什么。”

As more and more people are beginning to hear her work, her shows in Taiwan have begun to sell out, and with this success, she’s even scheduled tour dates abroad. It might still be too early to say her childhood musical dreams have come true, but this is definitely a promising beginning. At this point in time, planning for a full-time career as a jazz singer might be jumping the gun. But she says it doesn’t matter where life takes her – what’s important is the music. “I think music is music. It doesn’t need a hard definition. Having a style is good, but the spirit of music is not making distinctions,” she says. “‘Jazz performer’ is a label other people put on me when they were trying to help me out. I just want audiences to get to know 9m88 better. I don’t care who wants to be a jazz singer. None of that matters. The main thing is to do what you like.”


作品被越来越多人听见,在台湾的表演场场完售,还巡演到了海外。说从小的音乐梦实现了,还太早,但这一切依然是个美好的开始。9m88 在音乐界引起了一阵小小的炫风,现在就问未来生涯是严肃了点,对 9m 来说,怎么走无所谓,一切重要的只关乎音乐。“我觉得音乐就是音乐,是不需要硬去定义的。有风格很好,但不分家才是音乐的精神。爵士女伶这个称号是别人为了帮我放一个注解,我只想让观众更认识 9m88。至于爵士女伶谁想当,我没关系,都不重要。给你或妳当吧,人生欢喜就好!”

Facebook: ~/9m88baba
Instagram: @9m88

 

Contributor: Yi Xuan
Photographer: Xu Anrong


脸书~/9m88baba
Instagram: @9m88

 

供稿人: Yi Xuan
摄影师: Xu Anrong

 

Silk Road Sounds Vol. 1

Asia-based and London-born, music collective Yeti Out has recently unveiled their latest project: Silk Road Sounds Vol. 1, a compilation album eponymously named after their new record label. The reference to Silk Road is meant to embody the album and label’s core mission of facilitating an exchange between different cultures, much like how the ancient trade route linked Asia with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. But instead of peddling fabric and spices, Yeti Out founders Arthur Bray, Erisen Ali, and Tom Bray are eager to build cross-cultural relations by wielding the universal language of music.


诞生于伦敦而常驻于亚洲的音乐团体 Yeti Out ,最近推出了他们的与新唱片公司同名专辑《丝绸之路》——这是为了体现专辑和唱片公司促进不同文化交流的核心使命,也是致敬于历史上那一条连接亚洲与中东、非洲和欧洲的古代贸易路线。但Yeti Out 的创始人 Arthur Bray,Elisen Ali 和 Tom Bray 并不想贩售传统的织物和香料,他们想通过音乐推动现代亚洲与世界的跨文化交流。

Listen to select tracks from Silk Road Sounds Vol. 1 below:

Aristophanes ft. Chiu Pi – U Were Not Here (prod. by Jam City)

Delf – Sentimental Mood ii

Bohan Phoenix ft. Chauncey, Slodown – SOLOW (prod. Drummy)


点击即可试听《丝绸之路 Vol. 1》中的几首歌曲:

Aristophanes ft. Chiu Pi – U Were Not Here (prod. by Jam City)

Delf – Sentimental Mood ii

Bohan Phoenix ft. Chauncey, Slodown – SOLOW (prod. Drummy)

 

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Silk Road Sounds Vol. 1  features an all-star roster of emerging musicians, including Bohan Phoenix, YoungQueenz, Zean, Aristophanes, Chiu Pi, Roska, and more. From minimal Saigon electronica to Tokyo grime, the album seamlessly stitches together different languages and genres to bless listeners with a dynamic yet cohesive soundscape.

Aside from the talented musicians taking part in the album, art director Derick Van Wijk and photographer Alex Maeland were brought on board to create accompanying visuals. See larger versions of images Maeland shot for the album along with additional unreleased selects below.


《丝绸之路 Vol.1》专辑中收录了目前一众新晋国际歌手的音乐,包括 Bohan PhoenixYoung Queenz、Zean、貍貓邱比、Roska 等等,出色地融合了不同语言和流派的音乐,从西贡解构电子乐到东京Grime音乐,这张专辑既展示了文化多样性,又突显了音乐将世界各地人们凝聚一起的力量。

除了参与录制的歌手之外,Yeti Out 还邀请了艺术总监 Derick Van Wijk 和摄影师 Alex Maeland 分别负责专辑设计和摄影。下面一起来看看 Maeland 为《丝绸之路 Vol. 1》拍摄的作品吧。

Website: www.yetiout.com
Facebook~/yetiout
Bandcamp: bandcamp.silkroadsounds.com
Instagram@silkroadsounds @yetiout
WeChat: YETIOUT

 

Contributor: David Yen
Images Courtesy of Yeti Out & Alex Maeland


网站: www.yetiout.com
脸书~/yetiout
Bandcamp: bandcamp.silkroadsounds.com
Instagram: @silkroadsounds @yetiout
微信: YETIOUT

 

供稿人: David Yen
图片由 Yeti Out与 Alex Maeland 提供

“Falter” by Black Letters

 

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Black Letters is a four-piece alternative rock band based out of Bangalore, India. Comprised of Sharath Narayan, Sarang Menon, Arjun Radhakrishnan, and Akash Chacko, the band harnesses a dreamlike sound that blends electronica and rock elements with wistful pop vocals. Their unique sound has led to the band to be hailed as one of the most promising talents in the Indian music scene. “Falter” is the debut single from their upcoming album released via Overfeed Records. The accompanying music video for “Falter,” directed by Pranav Bhasin and Ankur Vyas, tells a surreal story about two lovers caught between worlds.


Black Letters 是一个印度班加罗尔的另类摇滚乐队,由 Sharath Narayan, Sarang Menon, Arjun Radhakrishnan 和 Akash Chacko 四人组成。他们用梦幻般的音效,将电子和摇滚元素与流行金曲结合起来,为自己打造出印度最有前景的乐队声名。《Falter》作为他们的首张单曲,将由 Overfeed Records 唱片公司收录并发行于整张专辑中。歌曲的 MV 由 Pranav Bhasin 与 Ankur Vyas 执导,讲述了两个恋人在不同世界之间的离奇故事。

Take a listen below to “Landscaper,” the second single from their upcoming album.

Black Letters – Landscaper


点击试听他们的第二张单曲《Landscaper》,将收录于即将发行的专辑。

Black Letters – Landscaper

Facebook: ~/blackletters
Instagram: @blackletters
Soundcloud~/blackletters
Bandcampblackletters.bandcamp.com

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


脸书: ~/blackletters
Instagram: @blackletters
Soundcloud~/blackletters
Bandcampblackletters.bandcamp.com

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

SPLENDOR

We recently caught up with Taiwanese musician Chiu Pi to talk about SPLENDOR, his new full-length album (which he proudly proclaims to be even better than his previous album, Zang Zang). The album has been generating a lot of chatter in China, so we were keen to chat with Chiu Pi to learn more about his creative approach and how recent lifestyle choices have shaped the album.


“《大放》是比《正正》还要更正的一个作品。”邱比也在这张新作里表现出不同以往的乐观开朗,网络上对这张专辑的介绍已经很多,但我还是以新专辑为由选择更私密地跟邱比聊天30分钟。我们的话题在严肃的音乐创作主题跟一个年轻人应有的愉悦生活之间进进出出,就像《大放》说的故事一样,拥有充满各种微妙细节的高尚。

Listen to two of our favorite tracks from his new album below:

Chiu Pi – TT
Chiu Pi – X


先来听一下这张专辑中的两首音乐:

 邱比 – 铁塔
 邱比 – 没有

On each track of the new album, Chiu assumes the role of four different characters. The characters – which represent personality, logic, emotion, and physicality – are all based on the concepts from the field of psychology, a discipline that he’s been endlessly infatuated with. Chiu is ecstatic about how the album turned out, considering that the concept is something he hasn’t seen done before. But the experimental aspects of SPLENDOR don’t end there; rather than following a conventional songwriting process, his loops and samples were meticulously worked and re-worked based on individual words in the lyrics. This method is meant to emphasize the underlying meanings of his deliberate word choices. As the cherry on top, Chiu enlisted the help of Grammy Award-winning sound engineer Chris Gehringer to master the album.

Being such an ambitious and painstaking endeavor, the production of SPLENDOR ate up most of Chiu’s 2017. But with this new year, he hopes to find a better balance between work and personal life, even entertaining the idea of being in a relationship. Explaining his shifting priorities and outlook, he says, “Without a destination to look forward to, people don’t feel motivated. However, in the past, I thought that walking alone meant getting to my destination faster. Now I’ve realized, much like Frodo being accompanied by Sam in Lord of the Rings, having someone by my side will ultimately help bring me closer to completing my journey.”


《大放》一人分饰四角的演唱方式暗合了心理学所谓人的四部分:本质、理智、情感、身体。这是邱比全新的尝试“全地球上没有一张唱片这样做”,由曾获格莱美的母带工程师Chris Gehringer负责整张专辑的响度处理,这次的环形编曲也并不是简单地去剪接整段完整的演唱,而是依靠一个词一个词的录制重组,去强调邱比对每个中文词语含义的不同理解,这也几乎让他的整个2017都置身在这种禅修般的创作环境中,以至于他的新年愿望是希望可以恋爱,“人总要发愿才会有愿力,以前觉得,一个人会走的比较快,可是如果我有一个伙伴就像山姆跟弗罗多一样,我才能走更远去摧毁魔戒。”

In Chinese mainstream music, listeners have been conditioned to expect songs that focus on generics stories of experiencing heartbreak and finding catharsis. Chiu abandons this clichéd formula in SPLENDOR. Instead, he sings about his own random musings and mundane observations (such as discarded aluminum cans or even his own pillow). “Most people can only enjoy superficial topics,” he says. “But I believe this album will resonate with certain listeners, and through my music, I want them to grow. I want to grow with them.”


在主流音乐世界里我们似乎习惯了太多泛泛而谈——概念的失恋,通用的自我安慰或者干脆直接截取的一个群体价值观,《大放》描绘的那些私人意象就显得格外动人,漂洋过海的铁铝罐跟你的枕头与一些看似毫无关联的形容词碰撞在一起,他毫无保留的呈现出这些来自真实生活的物品,“大众化的情绪不够性感,我更相信有很多特别的听众存在,我想通过我的音乐跟他们一起去成长。”

His upcoming 18-city Asia tour will be one of the largest Asia tours by a Taiwanese musician in recent years. Acknowledging the long road ahead, Chiu jokingly tells us needs to go and do his voice exercises as our interview comes to a close. The name of the tour, Shang Xia Yi Fang (上下一方), is constructed from dissecting the Chinese characters from the albums SPLENDOR (大放) and Zang Zang (正正). While the nuances of the tour’s name become lost in translation, the main takeaway will be that it’s designed to be an ambivalent phrase; the purposeful ambiguity perfectly embodies Chiu’s own musical style – thoughtfully created yet difficult to define and categorize. 


邱比接下来会开始十八个城市的巡回演唱会,这大概是台湾音乐人近年来最大规模的巡演了,他笑称挂了这通电话就要立刻去练肺活量了。这次演唱会被邱比命名为「上下一方」,取自《正正》与《大放》的缩写,一个就像没有任何风格的镜子的名字,却能折射出最邱比的样子。

Website: chiu-pi.portfoliobox.me
Weibo: ~/chiupi
Instagram: @chiu.pi

 

Contributor: Shou Xing
Images Courtesy of ROKON


网站: chiu-pi.portfoliobox.me
微博: ~/chiupi
Instagram: @chiu.pi

 

供稿人: Shou Xing
图片由滚石电音提供

East x West with Bohan Phoenix

 

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For Chinese American rapper Bohan Phoenix, the subject of identity is thematically central to his music. Having spent his formative years in the U.S., the Hubei-born rapper has gained a sharp insight into both cultures that he channels through his bilingual lyrics. Bohan’s music – which often touches on positive, universal messages of love, acceptance, and pride – is a way for him to reconcile his Eastern and Western identities as well as narrow the cultural divide between the two different worlds.


对于美国华裔说唱歌手Bohan Phoenix来说,身份认同是他音乐的核心主题。这位出生于湖北、在美国成长的说唱歌手在美国和亚洲地区越来越受欢迎。他所创作的双语歌词,正是他跨文化成长背景的体现。Bohan的音乐大部分都是在传递爱与接纳、忠于自己等正能量信息,他希望通过自己的音乐来缩小东西方文化的鸿沟,并以此调和自己介于这两种文化间的身份认同。

Take a listen to select tracks from Bohan Phoenix below:

Bohan Phoenix – PRODUCT (prod. Yllis)
Bohan Phoenix – EASTSIDE (prod. Drummy)
 Bohan Phoenix – 3 DAYS IN CHENGDU (prod. Jachary Beats)


下面是Bohan Phoenix的几首精选歌曲:

 Bohan Phoenix – 一摸一样 (prod. Yllis)
Bohan Phoenix – 东边 (prod. Drummy)
 Bohan Phoenix – 回到成都 (prod. Jachary Beats)

This cross-culture pollination has gifted Bohan a versatility and open-mindedness that’s abundantly evident on the JALA EP released earlier this year. From “EASTSIDE,” an AutoTuned R&B song with Bohan singing instead of rapping, to “NO HOOK,” a trapped out collaboration with Chengdu’s Higher Brothers, Bohan’s sound is not only reflective of his cultural influences but also of the diverse musicians who have inspired him over the years, a list that includes the likes of Jay Chou, Eminem, 2Pac, and D’Angelo. The final song of the EP, “3 Days in Chengdu,” introduces listeners to an introspective side of Bohan. Delivering the opening verse completely in Chinese, Bohan speaks of missing his late grandmother and shares an apologetic confession for not finding the time to call his mom more often. But it’s not just the intro, Chinese lyrics throughout the song display a sense of emotional vulnerability that has often been avoided in the Western mainstream hip-hop of recent years. “Being a rapper in America, there are certain things that come with it,” Bohan says. “You have to act or look a certain way and it can’t be compromised all that much. There’s less emphasis on some of the macho parts of Western hip-hop in China. But stereotypes within the genre are starting to change now in the West as well.”


在今年早些时候发布的《加辣》EP中,Bohan借助自己的跨文化背景大玩了一番。从大量Auto-Tune处理的R&B歌曲《东边》,到与成都说唱组合Higher Brothers合作的《NO HOOK》,你能感受到他的音乐受到不同类型的音乐人影响,包括周杰伦、Eminem、2Pac和D’Angelo。而EP的最后一首歌曲《回到成都》,Bohan放慢了节奏。歌曲开头以中文演绎,讲述Bohan对自己已故姥姥的思念,以及对于太少抽时间给母亲打电话的歉意。这段歌词所透露的脆弱情感,在近年来的西方主流嘻哈文化中难得一见。Bohan表示:“美国的说唱歌手,有时候会有一些不言而喻的要求,你的行为和造型似乎都要遵循某种标准,这一点你不能有太多的自由。但中国嘻哈不一样,没有像西方嘻哈中那样非要强调这种男子气概。当然,在现在的西方嘻哈,这种现象也开始改变了。”

With the recent conclusion of his JALA Asia Tour, Bohan has now officially moved back to China, and joining him is his DJ, longtime collaborator, and close friend Allyson Toy. For Bohan, this move was first and foremost about being closer to family. Secondary to that, both him and Allyson want to be involved in China’s music scene, seeing it to be a refreshing change of pace from the oversaturated music scene that left them feeling jaded in New York. “Having the courage to move back to China and experience a different side of things has been a big milestone for me,” Bohan tells us. “Howie Lee has talked to me about the Chinese Dream a lot. I feel like there have always been opportunities for creatives in China, but now there’s a bigger audience. The equivalent of the ‘American Dream’ has always existed here and right now it’s more alive and well than ever. There seems to be more opportunities now in China for young creatives.”


随着JALA在亚洲巡回演出结束,Bohan也正式回归了中国。和他一起搬过来的还有他的DJ,也是他长期合作的好友Allyson Toy。对于Bohan来说,这是一个让他拉近与家人距离的机会。除此之外,他和Allyson都看好这里的前景,可以一同来推动中国音乐的发展。与之前在过度饱和的纽约那种被慢慢淹没的感觉不一样,这里有一种耳目一新的感觉。Bohan告诉我们:“鼓足勇气回到中国,体验不同的世界,这对我来说是人生的一个重要里程碑。Howie Lee(北京的电子音乐制作人/DJ)已经跟我提过很多次‘中国梦’。我以前一直觉得在中国是有机会去发挥创意的,不同的是,现在这里有了更多的观众。‘中国梦’一直存在,但现在它比以往任何时候都更好、更旺盛。现在的中国可能会给年轻创意人才提供更多的机会。”

In a time where much of mainstream rap has become predictable and formulaic, Bohan stands out by being a rapper who can fully and unapologetically be himself, an outspoken third culture kid unafraid of challenging conventional hip-hop archetypes. “It took me a while to get over my fear of not being understood, but then I realized that I could create and didn’t have to just imitate,” he shares.”Now, I understand my music to be a reflection of self. It’s all of my emotions – when I’m happy, when I’m upset, all of my insecurities and my possibilities. My music is me.”


在当今许多主流说唱方式变得过于公式化的时候,Bohan脱颖而出,无所谓地做着真正的自己,一名不怕挑战传统Hip-hop的第三文化小孩(third culture kid)。他说:“我花了很长一段时间来克服自己对于不被理解的恐惧,但后来我发现,我也可以创造,而不只是模仿。现在,我明白到,我的音乐就是自我的写照,是我的情绪,高兴、不高兴、所有的不安全感和可能性。我的音乐就是我。”

If you’re keen to learn more about Bohan’s story, check out the fun animated spot our creative agency made for Beats By Dre featuring him and his crew.


欢迎点击收看我们创意机构为Beats By Dre创作的动画短片,讲述了Bohan Phoenix的故事。

 

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Website: www.lovelovenyc.com
Facebook: ~/bohanphoenix
Instagram: @bohanphoenix
Soundcloud: ~/bohanphoenix
Weibo: ~/bohanphoenix
Xiami: ~/bohanphoenix

 

Contributor & Photographer: David Yen
Videographer: Ye Zi, Damien Louise
Music: Howie Lee

Special Thanks to Carhartt WIP, The Private Label, Hotbox, Beats by Dre, and Avenue & Son.


网站: www.lovelovenyc.com
脸书: ~/bohanphoenix
Instagram: @bohanphoenix
Soundcloud: ~/bohanphoenix
微博: ~/bohanphoenix
虾米: ~/bohanphoenix

 

供稿人与图片摄影师: David Yen
视频摄影师: Ye Zi, Damien Louise
视频音乐: Howie Lee
特别鸣谢Carhartt WIP, The Private Label, Hotbox, Beats by Dre, and Avenue & Son.

9999

Earsnail is an electronic music duo comprised of musicians Wang Xu and Yan Shuai. Combining their individual approaches to music, the duo is unconstrained by boundaries of genre. Their experimental style reimagines the possibilities of sound and how music can be presented. Under FakeMusicMedia, the two have recently released their debut album, 9999, and locked in tour dates that takes the duo across China. We grabbed drinks with the duo during the Shanghai stop of their tour to learn about their recent musical developments and what we can expect from them in the future.


耳蜗是北京非刻文化旗下的电子乐团,由音乐人王旭和阎帅组成。二人对音乐及乐器的把控有着不同寻常的理解及释放,没有风格的界定及预想,他们发掘着新的方式,试图用不同于以往表达的途径和声音构建一些新的可能。借着新专辑《9999》的发布,耳蜗的全国巡演来到了上海站,我们就在一个雨夜,跟耳蜗一起喝着啤酒聊了聊他们以及他们正在做的事。

Having played in bands when they were younger, Wang Xu and Yan Shi have both been interested in creating music even prior to Earsnail. In 2013, the two would meet up and experiment with the production equipment they each had on hand. These early days of experimentation became the foundation for Earsnail. Now, the two’s production style have matured immensely since those early days, with each track filled with richly complex elements. Yan Shi shares that one of his favorite samples is from a field recording of a random saxophonist they met at the park – even though the original recorded sound wasn’t interesting, they were able to take segments of it and integrate it perfectly into a track.


王旭和阎帅早年都身处各自的乐队,13年两人决定把手头上的电子设备攒在一起,开始创作电子音乐。耳蜗的音乐里包含着丰富的元素,阎帅跟我们分享了他们录取的公园里有人在练习吹萨克斯的声音。录音本身也许极不协调,却被很巧妙的融入他们的作品中。

The new album, 9999, is a reference to Beijing’s nickname of “The Four Nine City,” a fitting name considering that the duo sees the album as a compilation of their memories from living in Beijing. For Wang Xu, the most meaningful track on the entire album is “City Bird.” “The song has to do with the place where I called home,” he shares. “There was a tree in front of my house, and during that time, Beijing’s air quality was particularly bad. A few birds made their nest there, and I would observe these birds as they grew and hatched babies. Watching them survive in this kind of environment gave me a lot of different ideas. It made me feel like our lives were not too different from the lives of these birds.” Similarly, their “Ant” track builds on the theme of living in urban environments. The song is a statement about the daily lives of the working class, likening them to a colony ants, continuously working to survive without a moment of respite.


《9999》意为四九之城,这张专辑也记录了两位创作者在北京的生活状态,让王旭印象最深刻的是《城市小鸟》,“这跟我住的地方有关,我们家前边有一棵树,北京那段时间的空气特别不好,有几只鸟在那棵树上筑巢,那两只鸟越来越大,后来还生了小鸟,它们拥有这样的一个小窝在这个城市里生存着,我每天看着他们的状态,有一些想法就记录下来了,觉得我们其实跟它们差不多。”而《蚂蚁》也正是反映了生活在北京的全国各地的人们的一种共同的生活状态,在这个偌大的城市里,我们也许像蚂蚁一样微不足道,却始终推动着大齿轮的转动,一刻不得松懈。

Listen to select tracks from the new album below:

Earsnail – Ants

Earsnail – City Bird

Earsnail – Post Soho City


点击下方链接试听新专辑的精选曲目:

耳蜗 – 蚂蚁

耳蜗 – 城市小鸟

耳蜗 – 后现代城

The two share a similar mixed feeling around the current state of electronic music in China. They’re both eager to see more new faces and hear new sounds but also feel a sense of apprehension. “I feel like it’s good that more and more people are interested in this kind of music, and more are willing to try and produce it,” Wang Xu comments. “But at the same time, I feel like people are very impatient in this kind of environment, whenever they start anything they’ll first think about whether or not their work will succeed or be recognized by others.”


对目前的电子音乐创作环境,他们有担忧也有期待:“我觉得有一点特别好的是,越来越多的人对电子乐感兴趣,也尝试去创作。 只是其实当下的创作环境还是挺浮躁的,大家在做一件事的时候可能会先去想我的作品会不会成功,会不会被认可。”

As their tour nears the end, Earsnail has toured through a number of different cities across China. The duo has been documenting every city along the way. “Of course, every city is different,” Wang comments, expressing an eagerness to revisit certain cities on their tour. “I’m curious about the changes that these different cities have undergone over the years. The plan is to snap some photos and also keep my ears open to try and find interesting sounds to sample in these different cities.” Concluding their China tour, Earsnail will be stopping by Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai. Click here to purchase tickets.


巡演过程中,耳蜗去往全国很多城市,熟悉或不熟悉的都有,他们也期待纪录下更多内容。“每个城市都特别不一样,最大的好奇点是这些城市相对于几年前发生的变化。我们会在这些城市采集一些有趣的声音,拍一些有意思的影像。” 接下来,耳蜗的巡演还会去到广州、深圳及珠海三个城市,点此购票。

Xiami: ~/Earsnail
QQ: ~/Earsnail

 

Contributor: Shou Xing
Photographer: Ye Zi
Additional Images Courtesy of Earsnail


虾米: ~/Earsnail
QQ: ~/Earsnail

 

供稿人: Shou Xing
摄影师: Ye Zi
附加图片由耳蝸提供

Concrete & Grass 2017

The 2017 edition of the Concrete & Grass Music Festival will be kicking off on September 16th and 17th in Shanghai. Organized by Split Works, the annual festival is well known for hosting an eclectically diverse spectrum of artists and genres. Rather than bringing in the expected mainstream musicians and bands of other festival lineups, Concrete & Grass boasts as many domestic acts as international acts and a roster with no repeats of attending acts from the previous year. With this unique curation approach, Concrete & Grass is designed for music lovers who are open to hearing avant-garde and alternative sounds; it’s a festival that’s unafraid of offering a completely new and unexpected experience for attendees each and every year.


2017混凝草音乐节(Concrete & Grass Music Festival)将于9月16日至17日在上海举办。这个一年一度的音乐节由Split Works主办,以其风格多样的演出阵容而为人熟知。 混凝草音乐节没有跟其它音乐节一样,把目光放在当下的主流歌手和乐队,它所邀请的国内和国际歌手和乐队数量相等,并且每年的演出阵容都不会跟去年重复。这一独特理念表明混凝草音乐节是专为那些喜欢前卫和另类音乐的音乐爱好者而设的,每一年,为听众呈献一场前所未有、出人意料的全新听觉体验。

“Life can be somewhat homogenous in Chinese cities,” says Archie Hamilton, one of the co-founders of Split Works. “There isn’t an awful lot of places or environments where you can go to get a taste of something completely different. Even festivals get homogenized very quickly. Concrete & Grass is a place less ordinary. This is a place you’ll hear music you’ve never heard before, you’ll see things you’ve never seen before, and we want everyone to come and be a part of that experience.”


Split Works的共同创始人之一Archie Hamilton说:“在中国,不同城市的人们的生活大都很类似。你很难找到太多的地方或环境去体验新事物。就连音乐节的同质化也很快。而混凝草音乐节则不太一样。在这里,你可以听到你从未听过的音乐,看到你从未看过的表演,不仅如此,我们希望所有来参加音乐节的人都能成为其中的一部分。”

This year, Concrete & Grass will offer five stages split into three differently themed areas: The main area, Downtown, will feature the headliners and a selection of more accessible music; For heavier sounds, visitors can drop into the Thunderdome, which will be playing shoegaze, noise rock, punk, and a variety of metal music; and finally there’s Field of Dreams, a safe haven for hip-hop heads and electronic music lovers. Beyond great music alone, there will also be other relaxing activities that visitors can partake in, such as music workshops, kid-friendly games, and even a handicrafts market. Click here to purchase tickets or here to view this year’s full lineup.


今年,混凝草音乐节将按照三个主题区,设置五个舞台:主舞台 Downtown将会呈献主力演出阵容和各类较为大众的音乐; Thunderdome舞台带来更重口味的音乐风格,从瞪鞋摇滚(shoegaze)、噪音摇滚(noise rock)到朋克(punk)等各种金属音乐;最后的Field of Dreams舞台则是为所有嘻哈音乐和电子音乐发烧友而设。除了好音乐,音乐节上还会有其它好玩的活动,譬如音乐工作坊,适合儿童玩的游戏,甚至还会有一个手工艺品市集。点击这里购买门票,或点击这里查看今年的演出阵容。

Website: concreteandgrass.cn
Weibo: ~/concreteandgrass
Facebook: ~/theconcretekids
Instagram: @theconcretekids

 

Contributor: David Yen
Images Courtesy of Split Works


网站concreteandgrass.cn
微博~/concreteandgrass
脸书: ~/theconcretekids
Instagram@theconcretekids

 

供稿人: David Yen
图片由Split Works提供