SHAO’s Abstract Soundscapes

April 13, 2016 2016年4月13日

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.




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。
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Contributor & Photographer: Banny Wang

Facebook: ~/shaoyanpeng


供稿人与摄影师: Banny Wang