18-year-old Length, from Changsha, has promised to play something completely different from what you usually hear.
His genre of music, called Intelligent Dance Music, is an extremely popular music genre in Japan. Prepare your ears for tonight with Length at 9:00PM at Shelter by listening to him here.
We did a phone interview with Length while he was preparing for another show in Hangzhou last night.
Where: The Shelter (5 Yongfu Lu near Fuxing Xi Lu, 永福路5号)
Starts: Saturday, June 20, 9:30PM
Cover: 40 RMB
Welcome to Shanghai! Is this your first time here?
L (Length): Thanks. No, I have come to Shanghai before. This Febuary 14th, I performed with a Swiss DJ and some local Shanghainese DJs at Shelter, brought by Antidote, as well.
How did you get into being a DJ?
L: Well, strictly speaking, I am not a DJ, I am a producer. I make my own music instead of playing others’ songs. I have been making my own genre of music for the last 4 or 5 years. I have been exposed to Rock music when I was little and fell in love with the music immediately. When I was in high school, I formed a band and played guitar.
Afterwards, I joint a very famous band in China called 48Volt. I was a keyboarder in the band and we played post-rock music. However, I left the band because that I wanted a busier and more independent life. I formed an electronics music band called Sugarcane Radio before as well.
But your music is not exactly electronics. How would you describe your type of music? How did you involved with IDM?
L: My music, IDM – Intellegent Dance Music, is very unique in China. Not many musicians are producing this genre but it has been very popular in Japan for a long time. I got involved with IDM because I like the softness of this kind of music. It is not purely dance nor relaxing music. It is a mix. A good metaphor would be that the dance music is flood while mine is a streamlet.
We know that you are from Changsha. Is there you grew up color what you produce?
L: Yes, definitely. I actually grew up around Ye Lu Mountain, a mountain with long histories involved with Chairman Mao. I like the plants, animals, water, everything in the mountain. All these things influenced me to produce a sensitive but romantic genre of music.
Nonetheless, I like technology as well. The best way to combine the nature and technology is to produce my IDM. You will hear a very different kind of music tonight.
You may be one of the youngest music producers in China since you are only 18! How did your parents feel about your interest in music?
L: This is a very good question. Actually, I am a first-year student at Hu Nan University and majoring in Finance. I have good grades at school so my parents don’t mind me to play music. They doubt if I will be a professional music producer in the future and I understand where they come from. I study hard at college to set my parents’ mind at rest. However, my music accomplishments don’t excite them so much as my good grades.
So, what do you think of the music scene here in China?
L: I think there are two biggest problems in Chinese music scene. The first one is that people do not value musicians that much. As compared with other countries, musicians are under-valued in China; they normally do not have good pay nor good respect from people.
The second one is the lack of copyrights of original music. For example, even CCTV uses music originally produced by the musicians without any notifications. Also, we are playing too much of western music; we seldom have our own club music.
They do seem like serious problems! What is your goal in the near future? Do you think your line of music’s gotten more popular?
L: I will definitely continue producing and bringing good music out to people. I believe that when the electronic music matures in China, my music will get more popular. “Mature” means when Chinese will appreciate music produced by Chinese musicians instead of only western ones. We need to develop our own music environment in China rather than just copying from other countries.
Wow, how very impressive! You indeed have deep thoughts about our music. Ok, one last question, what will you be up to once you head back to Changsha?
L: I will go back to study and finish my first year of college. More importantly, I will experiment and produce better and better music. I hope that I will come to Shanghai again soon! At last, many thanks to Antidote for bringing me here!
It is very unusual to see an 18-year-old boy could think so deeply! Let us listen to his music tonight and fall in love with this new genre, IDM.