Music Monday is a weekly SmartBeijing column, serving up fresh audio/video streams from bands living and making music in China (or coming to China, or thinking about coming to China, or whatever).
So this week is a little thinner on live music than the jam-packed break we just had, but if you're looking to get TOTALLY AMPED and maybe listen to some quality electronic music in THE MOST EXTREME ways, there's a a little corporate gig on that may be worth your attention. TO THE MAX. Red Bull — the blue & white one, not the gold one, think those two are beefing (pun) — is marauding its way into town for a three-day event series called Bass Camp. That's a pre-game for their annual Music Academy, a month-long workshop for aspiring musicians worldwide. 2014's edition kicks off next month in Tokyo, and Beijing has been selected for this Bass Camp warmup thing. Feel like it's a bit weird to be giving Red Bull free copy here... I'm not even a Taurine guy. Shit makes me edgy. Though, that said, I am enjoying a Red Bull right now because I did not sleep last night and one just flew into my hand via RedEx, no joke:
But yeah, RBMA is chill in my book. They pull legitimately interesting artists and kind of mash them up culturally with young, hungry producers, singers, songwriters, musicians of all kinds, and have amassed a pretty solid archive of lectures on creative process vis-a-vis music production. My favorite thing they've published is an essay on "The Enduring Appeal of Italo Disco" by William Bennett, founder of legendarily extreme industrial electronics unit Whitehouse. I did not know it was OK for me to like italo disco before reading that. So, thanks Red Bull.
Speaking of which, I just chugged this thing so I probably have like 20 minutes to bang this article out before a power crash. RBMA Bass Camp is a three-day lecture series / seminar happening from September 11-13 in Beijing. As for the big guns, Red Bull's pulled Glaswegian wunderkind producer-DJ Hudson Mohawke and American hip hop producer Just Blaze for a series of talks and also — hey, here's where you come in — club nights over the week/end. HudMo I'm not so familiar with but Just Blaze soundtracked a decent chunk of my youth via his many Jay Z production credits. Also: Joe Budden. Any BUDDEN heads in the mix here?!
Pretty awesome of Red Bull to bring a dude whose name is a straight up encomium to smoking weed immediately after all those drug busts! Hudson Mohawke & Just Blaze headline Lantern on Saturday night — should be a big one. (Pro tip: you can potentially win tickets to it and also edify yourself with musical escapism at Concrete Flux's fundraising event on Friday @ Meridian Space.)
But to get back to my normal schtick: the Lantern gig and another RBMA club night on Friday night at Migas also feature sets from the China-based (bass-ed?) workshop participants. There are 20 of them, running the spectrum from singer/songwriters (Zhang Shouwang of Carsick Cars, Helen Feng of Nova Heart, Han Han of Duck Fight Goose), to MC-producers (Jordan Thomas Mitchell, Conrank, Soulspeak), to producer-DJs (Tzusing, Downstate, Howie Lee), to just DJs (El-Se, aka Elise Massoni of Acid Pony Club; Drunk Monk, aka Gaz Williams of SVBKVLT / The Shelter). Mostly Shanghai and Beijing, but there are also a few sounds from Qingdao, Chengdu, and Kunming thrown in for balance. Here's one track from every RBMA Bass Camp participant, because I'm starting to lose feeling in my fingertips & not sure how much more I can really write about Red Bull stuff while on Red Bull stuff:
Wow, that's a lot! Only one missing there is trip hop chanteuse Lilisay, on account of she doesn't have any music outside of Douban. I bet getting a Soundcloud is included in Day 1 Basscamp curriculum.
One more stream before I hit a wall: P.K.14 vocalist / ubiquitously credited China-indie producer Yang Haisong is also giving a talk as part of the Bass Camp. That happens from 2-4pm on Thursday at the Beijing Traditional View Hotel, which is the slightly less run-down hotel behind the Hanting hotel that's across the street from that rad snacks shop on Ju'er hutong that sells the (taurine-less) Shaq soda. So here's my favorite track off PK's latest, 1984:
I think if I say "Red Bull" another time I'll actually start hallucinating red bulls ?!