Next weekend it’s going down. More on this soon. And that radio show, it’s cookin!
Next weekend it’s going down. More on this soon. And that radio show, it’s cookin!
Hey fam sorry for the lack of posts lately. Been out in the real world, or hiding from it due to pollution and construction. But we’re back with a brand new radio show, coming at you every Monday not-live from Shanghai. This week we pay respect to the year 1992, ahead of Wednesday night’s COME CORRECT party at The Shelter.
In 1992, Clinton stepped into office, Dr. Dre dropped the Chronic, Mario Kart and Street Fighter II gave us calluses, and Wu-Tang Clan crept onto the scene out from the slums of Shaolin. There’s loads of good dancehall, jungle, and rock tunes from ’92 as well but in this first episode of Love Bang radio we count down the best hip-hop jams. West-coast gangsta rap for cruising in plush LS400s and cold NY street rhymes for blunt circles. Though this wasn’t the best year for hip hop ever, some of the best hip-hop tracks ever come from ’92.
Catch Heatwolves and Caution from Love Bang guesting at COME CORRECT, Shanghai’s weekly hip-hop party, this wednesday Dec. 4th at The Shelter, which just turned six years old. One year living on Yongfu Lu is like 36 regular years. The theme this Wednesday is 1992, so expect at least 92 tunes from that year, everything from dancehall and rap to R&B and new jack swing.
LOVE BANG TOP TEN HIP-HOP TRACKS OF ’92
10. “How To Roll A Blunt” – Redman
8. “I Missed The Bus” – Kriss Kross
7. “Let Me Ride” – Dr. Dre
6. “Crossover” – EPMD
5. “Halftime” – Nas
4. “After The Laughter Comes Tears” – Wu-Tang Clan
Here’s the direct link if you can’t access Soundcloud (it’s now blocked in China – why?)
And here’s a couple of tracks from ’92 you might have missed, that didn’t quite make it on this list.
Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – On The Run (Untouchable Dirty Version)
Apache – Gangsta Bitch
I left off Pete Rock and CL Smooth I’m really not a fan of the raps. The beats and production are ace though. And I can’t stand Das-EFX, Fu-Schnickens, and all that gimmicky rap that dominated the charts. That’s why I say ’92 wasn’t the best year for hip-hop though a lot of good tunes and albums came out. If you know of some good jungle or dancehall tunes from ’92 please leave em in the comments!
New tunes from our good friend DJ Sal aka Skinny Brown, that time-traveling, ethnically ambiguous global mystic who hosts on Shanghai’s English TV channel and DJs from time to time at a party called Popasuda. Well he’s finally put together a mixtape for his night at Dada Bar tonight, and it’s free and a must grab.
There’s a million house music nights in China, but there’s only one Popasuda. This monthly party sounds like a mixtape that never leaves the player at a youth shelter in some post-colonial island in the tropics. His music policy is simple – no English lyrics. Patois doesn’t count as English in Sal’s world. Expect anything from Dancehall to Cumbia to some burgeoning African genre. Far from a culture vulture taking the best bits from distant lands, Sal grew up or lived in Brazil, Toronto, India, Japan, and lots of other places and he’s got a good understanding of this music. This is reflected in his mixing style – FAST mixing, lots of drops, lots of mic control, and a sampler for drumming out country names like “BRAZIL!!” in a Street Fighter II voice.
Sal describes the mix and the night as such:
“I’m dropping strictly tropical-global shit, with nothing in english. The mix starts with Brazilian Samba-type stuff, then moves into kwaito, cumbia-edits, random African stuff, global-trap, latin bass, and a whole world of international sounds”
GO GET IT. And check out the Popasuda party this Friday, November 15th.
Here’s a column dedicated to unadulterated positivity. In each “Big Up,” we’ll profile someone doing something cool in Shanghai that you should know about. This could be anyone from a treat shop worker to an artist, or a cat lady.
In this first edition, we’re Big-Upping Marcin Gajewski from Holland via Poland, a dude whose videos you’ve likely seen in many a 19RMB cab ride. But you may not know the dude behind the lens. The Dude is an appropriate title for this character, known in real life as Mr. White, or more recently Mr. Grey, due to his odd and rigid insistence on only wearing one color. What would compel someone to wear only the color white for an entire decade, from coat to socks? We won’t examine that here, but we’ll get into Marcin’s work as a director and a curator through his monthly “Mini Film Fest” nights at The NUT, an art collective and space in Huangpu District, as well as an annual weekend-long film festival he puts on for free.
The monthly film night happens to fall on this Thursday, November 14th at 7PM at 162 Yongnian Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu. 上海市永年路162号(靠近黄陂南路),一楼. Don’t be that late bro! This month’s theme is technology. It’s non-profit, so free entry to a world where you can catch cheap beers/wine and watch some amazing short films you probably won’t catch anywhere else. There’s still loads of film and video that exists outside the cloud. There’s around ten films each time, with an intermission sesh and elaborate introductions by Mr. Grey. You’re likely to make some new friends here too, with lots of creative types, artists, architects, film nerds, and characters in the mix.
So if you’ve never been to these nights, your connection to Mr. Grey is probably those WOW! Fitness ads, called “WOW男WOW女” in the taxi ad- video machines. He directs those now. This series, shown on TouchMedia screens in Chinese taxis, stars two neon-clad exercise fiends seemingly on anti-depressants x speed and wilding-out in a public awareness campaign for healthy living through exercise and diet. Take the stairs, lift those water coolers, do some stretching, and eat some vegetables
For those without the pleasure, the taxi-riding-class AKA le bourgeoisie has watched and possibly tried to avoid this video series for years now in cab backseats in Shanghai and other major cities. The campaign took a surreal turn in April 2013 when Marcin became the director and introduced kung-fu and oil-swilling foes in a colorful video-game esque adventure [video above]. When the junk-food boss pops up with a chicken drummy of death, the common-man-turned hero devours an apple and hurls the core to win the healthy [sic]. Really these are the closest things to PSAs in our Shanghai life and wowever you feel about these loud ads, they’re memorable and preach a message anyone can agree on – eat healthy and exercise. Recently WOW! started seat-belt use ads too, a critical message in a place with creative driving.
Aside from directing PSAs* and guest lecturing at Tongji University on the Architecture Department in the ‘Filming Architectures’ course, Marcin runs the aforementioned Mini Film Fest nights, which reel into a [also free] full-on weekend film festival once a year. The weekly film parties began at home years ago but eventually grew too big and now happen at The NUT, an art collective/gallery space that once lived in the last days of a now-demolished 被拆了Jing An building. I remember early Thursday parties there and Simon from Austrailia DJing circa 2009. In 2012 The NUT reemerged in what used to be Luwan district, which was incorporated into Huangpu district in 2011. Lot of changes in Shanghai.
An evening at the Mini Film Fest night could witness anything from from French cartoons about cats and omlettes to rather disturbing and grim bits. These are the dubplates of shorts and dude has the guanxi in the film world to cop great selections. Past themes include “Life in the City,” “Animate!”, and “ Under Water Love.”
Once a year, the night becomes a full weekend – a proper miniature film festival in Jing An. I DJed an intermission at last year’s festival, which brought a really chill and diverse group of folks. All attendants went home with a wooden xiao long bao steamer and an apron to remember the food-themed weekend. Drinks were free and ice-cream sandwiches were sold. People laughed, cried, and just got super into it. I became Weibo friends with a girl selling organic eggs for charity. Just a free party to enjoy some quality films, out of sheer love for the art. And that’s why were Big-Upping Mr. White/Grey/Marcin this week. Also he’s Polish by birth but grew up in Amsterdam from a young age – more proof that Dutch people are just really chill folks, not counting the conservative Dutch in Michigan. Big up Holland.
Mini Film Fest Night happens this Thursday at The Nut, 162 Yongnian Lu, near Huangpi Nan Lu, a quick walk from Madang Lu metro station (Line 9).
More about Marcin’s work as a filmmaker and photographer over on his website. He doesn’t exclusively do PSAs, sadly.
And a more in-depth article from 2011 about the WOW series, before Marcin took over, read this article in advertising language.
So 11/11 is Single’s Day in China. We don’t have this holiday in meiguo but people make a big deal of this in China. Basically this means:
1) There’s huge sales on Taobao, China’s biggest online retail network. It’s something like eBay without bidding. You can often get 50% off of everything from down coats to artificial hearts. Ok maybe not artificial hearts, but my girlfriend did get her maid from Taobao and I’ve found everything from rare turntable parts to custom silk-screened shirts. Unfortunately you can’t find second-hand car parts because China has strict regulations about second-hand auto parts and used cars. Ever wonder why you don’t see cars older than fifteen years old in China? Yeah it’s not allowed.
2) People go out to bars and hook up. It’s basically a day for celebrating casual sex. Just remember to wear a condom when you’re out there. Unfortunately that won’t be the case for many because sex ed is a joke in China.
So in celebration of consumerism and casual sex, I’m gonna play a set tonight at my favorite local dive – Dada Bar. Free entry, cheap drinks as usual. Motown, Stax, Northern Soul, Slow Jams, Jodeci.
It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you…without a dope beat to step to.
I’ve been away in Michigan and driving around the States a bit, taking in lots of hip hop gems on the excellent Ed Lover show on XM Radio’s Backspin station and rinsing the new Danny Brown album, slowly getting through Drake’s new effort (so far 还不错), and planning to check out that Pusha T and DJ Khaled. Haven’t been up on any new “ratchet” or “twerk” music lately, just been focused on the man from Egypt.
Nowadays a lot of peeps like their rap slow a la Chief Keef/French Montana, but back in the 1980s, there was plenty of 128 beats-per-minute hip hop – even Dr. Dre was making it when he started out with the World Class Wrecking Cru. They called this style “electro,” but that’s kind of a confusing term nowadays. Egyptian Lover was one of the most important characters in this whole West Coast Hip Hop/Electro scene, and this megamix I ripped from YouTube is a rock solid introduction to his work. As I’ve mentioned, he’s performing live at our monthly party this Saturday, Nov. 9th at 390 Shanghai and I highly recommend you come out.
Egyptian Lover – Egyptian Lover Megamix
If I can offer one reason to come out, it’s this – probably 95% of the DJs who perform in Shanghai just get up on the decks and play songs from a computer or CDs. Some people are extremely good at this but nothing beats a good live show, and that’s what we’re bringing on Saturday. Egyptian Lover is gonna sing, rap, dance, make beats live on an 808, scratch, and play records backwards all at the same damn time. I’m looking forward to learning a lot from the set as well as dancing like it’s 1984.
On Nov. 9th Love Bang presents a once in a lifetime opportunity
To see The Egyptian Lover,
The King of The Freaks,
Play Live in Shanghai.
A true old school party as we go back to 1984
With Egyptian Lover playing a Vinyl DJ set and banging out live beats on a vintage 808
and busting out a Dance Routine.
It’s Not Just A Man,
It’s an Adventure.
Egypt Is The Place To Be.
Egyptian Lover – Dial-A-Freak
If you often read this site or go out to the Love Bang parties, you know we’re massive fans of Kingdom, the LA-based producer who makes dark, R&B-infused electronic music that sounds just as good through headphones on your bed as it does through subwoofers in the club. His HD productions are richer than eighteen-layer cake, punctuated with literally a kingdom of sounds, from phone rings to screams. It’s super high-definition music that combines bits of rave, dancehall, diva-vocals, vogue, various strains of club music, and of course that Masters at Work “Ha” sample.
He’s also on two of our favorite labels, Night Slugs and Fade To Mind, which Kingdom started in LA with friends Nguzunguzu, Total Freedom, and Prince William as a sister label to the mighty Night Slugs.
Ahead of his two shows in Shanghai this weekend, one at the Wood and Wires festival and another at The Shelter, I interviewed Kingdom via email about the intersection of underground and pop music, album art, and what we can expect at The Shelter tomorrow night.
But before you get into the reading, I suggest throwing this mix on, which really exemplifies exactly how Kingdom melts the underground and pop worlds together into something beautiful.
Heatwolves: For those out there who don’t know you, could you please introduce yourself real quick and briefly describe your sound?
Kingdom: You can just use my short bio:
“A leader in the new wave of American producers, L.A.-based DJ and label head Kingdom (aka Ezra Rubin) has built considerable influence with both his formidable discography and the output from his own imprint, Fade to Mind. Since 2007, his distinctively bittersweet productions—deep synths, R&B vocals, and apocalyptic drums—have coalesced into a spacious, metadimensional sound has become a major voice in club music worldwide. While living in New York he quickly gained a following thanks to his signature DJ sets which merged R&B, hip-hop, grime, rave, and subwoofer experiments. Critical acclaim for his early EPs Mind Reader (Fool’s Gold), That Mystic, and Dreama (Night Slugs) took him from NY to LA in 2010 to form new label Fade to Mind with close friends and collaborators Nguzunguzu, Total Freedom, and Prince William. He quickly expanded the roster to include such diverse artists as ballroom legend MikeQ and Kuwaiti-born composer Fatima Al Qadiri. This year has seen Kingdom release a new 7-song EP, ‘Vertical XL’ (with lead single “Bank Head” featuring Kelela), and also curate and contribute production to the freshly released Cut 4 Me mixtape by Fade to Mind songstress Kelela.”
Heatwolves: In a recent interview you said “Female vocal R&B has been more or less absent from mainstream radio for about 5 years now so it’s just about to come back really strong. Our new project with Kelela is going to help with that.” Can your music become mainstream? I feel like that’s what you’re going for, especially on your solo releases, with tracks like “Let U No,” “Take Me,” and “Bank Head.” What’s your ultimate goal with music?
Kingdom: I will never do just one thing, though I do want to make pop music. My music is still experimental also. I’ve always played with going back and forth between the two. Female vocals have been pretty absent from the charts lately but it’s on its way back already. The reception of the Kelela mixtape proves that.
Heatwolves: You’re on mini-tour of Asia, with stops in Korea, Japan, and China. What promoted this? Have you played in Asia before?
Kingdom: I’ve played twice in Tokyo before and once in Seoul. This trip was prompted by the Tokyo booking first, which was a awesome show with a shop in Toyko called GR8, and then we built the other Asia shows around that.
Heatwolves: The cover art for your Vertical XL EP was done by Shanghai-based Kim Laughton (ROM / Stockholm Syndrome) – How did you two link and what’s the story behind that album cover? Great cover art, it reminds me of the last scenes in Akira or an arms scrapyard.
Kingdom: Jude from the Thunderhorse collective recommended Kim to me, it was fun collaborating with him on that! I wanted the cover art to depict a rural / post-industrial abduction. Levitation and ancient ruins were also inspirations. I made a Photoshop mockup and Kim created all the renderings and added a bunch of the details.
Heatwolves: I read in another interview that you love driving. Why is that? What do you listen to in the car? Do you test tracks in the car? Do you have any classic CDRs that have stayed in car-rotation through the years?
Kingdom: Living in LA for three years has drained that love a little bit sadly. Driving becomes just part of every day life. I think I romanticized it a little in NY because it was so novel. I still like longer trips though and driving in the suburbs. I listen to Electrik Red’s album “How to be a Lady” and some old CDs I used to DJ off of, and “The Claw” CDR, a Fade to Mind CD of live improvised collaborations between me, Nguzunguzu, and Total Freedom.
Heatwolves: Speaking of driving, you live in LA now – can people make a decent living playing strictly music like what you and the Fade To Mind Crew play in LA? Do you work a day job too? Do you DJ in LA or out of LA more? I’ve been to a Night Slugs party but never Fade To Mind – what are your nights like?
Kingdom: You can make a living doing anything if you try, work, have something interesting to say, or something that people wanna hear. I DJ more outside of LA more, in NYC, Canada, and Europe. We have built a solid scene in LA though. Our parties are dark and foggy, loud club music, cute people.
Heatwolves:Will that Masters At Work “Ha” sound ever get old? Or does that get a special pass?
Kingdom: It gets a special pass.
Heatwolves: Your tracks always sound really polished and hit hard, even the earlier releases. What do you produce with now, and what did you produce “That Mystic” with?
Kingdom: I use Ableton Live, and I’m also recording from some keyboards and drum machines. All of my Eps before “Vertical XL” were all made on my 12” Macbook in my living room. For Vertical XL I set up a studio with more equipment.
Heatwolves: What is this Moleskin “Turnt On” track on your XLR8R innovator mixtape? Shit is crazy. Also, this is an “Innovator Series” mixtape – what exactly is your area of innovation?
Kingdom: Moleskin is a great new producer from the UK. I’m not sure what the innovator thing is for the mix series but I think I helped bring R&B and club music together in a new way around 2008. I was playing UK club music in NY before most people got into it there, mixing it with rap and R&B and dancehall I was hearing on local NY radio.
Heatwolves: I heard you have a ton of edits for shows that you don’t release – how many do you think you’ve done total? What do you make edits with? Can we expect a lot of those at the Shanghai show?
Kingdom: Yes, edits are my lifeblood. Total Freedom makes a lot of the ones I play at the shows too. I’ve probably made hundreds of edits, its hard to keep track, they are temporary objects.
Cassie – All My Love (Kingdom Edit)
Heatwolves: What’s the worst experience/craziest story you’ve had at a gig, e.g. stolen bag, gang fight on dancefloor?
Kingdom: Shitty speakers and empty dancefloors… We’ve all been there.
Heatwolves: What are your top five female R&B songs? And also your top five favorite Hip Hop songs.
Kingdom: I truly can not play favorites. I would prefer to list some that are on my mind lately:
Tink “Somebody Else”, Schoolboy Q “Collared Greens”, Jhene Aiko’s part on Drake’s “From Time”, Asap Ferg “Hood Pope”, Kelela “Enemy”.
Heatwolves: What’s next after this Asia tour?
Kingdom: Back to LA, doing the Nguzunguzu “Skycell” release party there on the 8th, and working on my next release for Night Slugs in my studio.
Heatwolves: Finally, what do you wanna say to peeps in Shanghai who haven’t heard of you yet?
Don’t miss Kingdom DJing at The Shelter on Saturday, Nov 2. 2013 with support by Mood Supply, Beardslap, and yrs truly. It’s only 60RMB – you’d be a fool to pass this up.