Electrolist, by Shanghai Ultra of the VOID crew, gives a regular lowdown on the Shanghai electronic music scene, with picks, tips, news, and other rumors.
Musical highlight this week is none other than the don of turntablism himself, Grandmaster Flash. He probably doesn’t need all that much introduction, save for that he played a pivotal role in the development of hip-hop by being one of the first to use turntables as a musical instrument in themselves – manipulating existing vinyl recordings via scratching, backspinning, beat-juggling two copies of the same record and all manner of other tricks in the mix.
Not only was he influential in hip-hop, he also helped lay the foundations of what was originally known as “electro” (ie Kraftwerk et al) before that term was requisitioned by followers of awful French electro-house, which ironically is what you can often hear at the venue where Grandmaster is appearing tonight, club Mao. Was there some kind of booking mix-up? They may be surprised when the godfather of electro doesn’t drop any tracks with a cheesy side-chained saw wave riff and vocodered vocals. Anyway fair play to Mao for bringing such a landmark artist, and for charging boys and girls the same price to get in.
Elsewhere Electrolist was concerned to read that Mao Livehouse may be demolished to make way for Starbucks or some other crappy souless bourgeoisie development, although seems like it just might move instead when its lease runs out. That’s not much of a consolation – good spaces are hard to find in this town. Still, who needs culture and good musical venues when there is money to be made by jacking up the rent as soon as a business becomes sucessful?
Although normally a live venue and not Electrolist’s cup of tea, Shanghai needs this kind of mid-sized venue for live music and other events – DJ Richie Hawtin played there in December. Although musically his set was boring, the vibe was good and lights, sound and ambiance appropriate.
Management might want to rethink their business model though – Electrolist hears that hiring the venue can cost promoters around 15,000 RMB. Maybe if the venue sorted out its rubbish bar service it could get proper revenues from that and not charge the earth for would-be event holders. Perhaps they would fill the place out more regularly that way. With the city now in a state of anticipation for the Expo countdown, it pays to take in whatever musical events you can before any party-pooping jobsworths spin their evil web of red tape.
Also tonight is an interesting event happening at YYT – Miniless Electric Wave. Featured there is local industrial-electro artist Confirm-X, and VOID’s MHP among others. Confirm-X is following a sound which very few others in China seem to be making and that in itself makes him worthy of attention. Check out his music on his douban.
That’s all for this week. Next week DJ Buzz Goree from bad-ass Underground Resistance of Detroit brings his Mixworks tour to Shanghai with Electrolists own crew Void. That will be quite something.
Tonight: Grandmaster Flash @ Club Mao, 46 Yueyang Lu, near Dongping Lu 岳阳路46号，近东平路. 150RMB on the door.
Tonight: Miniless Electric Wave @YYT, 1731 Yanan Xi Lu,near Kaixuan Lu, 延安西路1731号(凯旋路) 40RMB on the door.