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.
Lots of stuff happening now that the summer is officially underway and as Electrolist returns after a prolonged absence. The World Cup is just a week away, that means a month of continual drinking and late nights for a great many – pubs and not clubs will be the places to be this month. Firstly, what is NOT happening tonight is Dirty Party at Shelter. It’s been moved to Not Me, as the Shelter is closed because of some “electrical issues.”
Heh, that’s a good one. Note today’s date and draw your own conclusions. But if you like dirty electro-house, laptop DJs Liman and R3 will be, eh, spinning, at Not Me. Going ahead as planned tomorrow night at Shelter is a live show from San Fransisco’s BvDub. He’s an interesting guy to say the least – an internationally recognized artist fluent in Chinese and a professional translator, he’s now living in Shaoxing in Zhejiang province. Since he is known for more ambient and chilled-out sounds, his live show will be something of a departure for Shanghai crews Void and Subculture, who are combining forces to play alongside BvDub.
Since he is such an all-round good egg and sinophile, Electrolist thought he might be able to give a more interesting interview than the usual banalities spewed forth by Djs in town.
Can you give us a little self-introduction about yourself as an artist and what kind of music you write?
My name is Brock Van Wey, and musically I go by Bvdub. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I was introduced to the rave scene in about 1991, and never looked back. I DJed and at threw underground parties (actual underground, back when there was one) up and down California for about 10 years before taking a long break from the scene that had become too different from what I and so many others had lived for, and given everything for, for so long.
In the end of 2006 I began writing my own music, and have been doing so steadily since then. I write deep electronic music, which can span from beatless ambient, to more “IDM” based experimental glitch and breaks, to straight up deep techno.
How did you end up in China? What made you come out here? How long have you been out here?
I came originally in the beginning of 2002 both because I had wanted to live in China for a long time to pursue a better understanding of Chinese language and culture, and because I needed to completely separate myself from what the San Francisco scene had become, and really everything that had to do with electronic music. I came out to teach, and stayed here until 2004, before returning to continue my education. Now I’ve been back for just over 4 months, and plan to stay here for many years to come.
Why Shaoxing? Any special reason for moving to that town?
I had been to Shaoxing before in about 2003 or so, and liked it a lot. Though big cities can be fun for a day or two, I’m really more of a small city kind of guy. I like it nice and chill – and quiet. Shaoxing is a comfortable, homey place, and in my opinion it’s a great place to live, and I like the people here. Many foreigners find it boring here, but I don’t. I’m probably not the best litmus test for what’s boring or not, though.
There’s not many internationally-recognized electronic musicians living in China. Do you think that will change as time goes on?
That’s hard to say, but I would imagine the numbers will grow over time. When I moved here 8 or 9 years ago, pretty much everyone looked at me like I was insane, but this time when I told people, nearly everyone has a friend of relative who has lived here, been here numerous times, etc, and people’s attitudes toward and interest in China has really changed a lot. As a result, I think China has become a better place to live over time as well, and has made many strides, so I think more and more people will want to call here their home over time – that being said, I think a lot of people are intimidated by the language barrier, which I don’t have to face, so my view on the whole thing might be a bit skewed. I hope more and more musicians will decide to live here, not only because it would be great to see the music scene here expand, and to be able to expose so many new people to something they’ve never known, but also because the more people who come to live here, and vice versa, the better the relationship of all our countries; people will be, and tha’s only a good thing.
Looking at some of the track titles and album artwork, there’s a clear reference to China in some of your work. Can you tell us how the environment of China influences your art? Are there specific times, places or memories that you have of being in China which led you to produce a particular track?
China and my experiences here often have a massive influence on my work, as my time here in the past really symbolizes so much about ideals and dreams, along with the heartbreak of never realizing them, both of which are very heavily woven into my work. As far as which experience or time, that would take thousands of pages 😉 but my time in China, past and present, is definitely a major factor in a lot of work. The environment itself does’t really influence me, but to be honest I’;m not really influenced by environments, whether in the US, China, or anywhere else. I’m only influenced by experience and emotion.
You are known for your more ambient work, but what can fans expect during your upcoming live show? Can you describe what kind of feeling or atmosphere you want to create during your show?
In recent years nearly all my releases have been ambient (with more to come), but in the beginning, I was purely known for more 4/4 based deep techno, and that’s what I’ll be playing at Void. I want to create a purely deep, underground vibe, the kind there used to be, where you could just groove all night into the early morning, in a sort of trance. It’s going to be deep, hypnotic, and thumpin’.
Anything else you want to add?
Just a big thanks to Void and Subculture for having me out, and that I’m looking forward to being able to share a piece of my head and heart with everyone on the dancefloor. Hope to see you there!
So there you have it, BvDub. He’ supported by Drunk Monk and DJi of Subculture, and Void’s Nat Alexander and Shanghai Ultra.
Coming up soon on the Shanghai electronicsphere later this month is highly-rated techno act Technasia from Hong Kong. More details on that soon.
TONIGHT: Dirty Party with Liman, R3 and Ben Huang @ Not Me, 21 Dongping Lu, 东平路21号近衡山路. 40 RMB entry.
SATURDAY: Void and Subculture present BvDub LIVE @ The Shelter, No. 5 Yongfu Lu, near Fuxing Xi Lu 永福路5号，近复兴西路. 40 RMB on the door
Read more about music in Shanghai here.