Babel Records – Return to Fantasy 回到范特西
Babel Records return with yet another highly satisfying compilation – this time paying tribute to Taiwanese pop singer Jay Chou with a collection of covers, edits, bootlegs, and interpretations of the star’s vast catalog of singles, hits, and rarities. Love the commitment and care given to each of the tracks, infusing the RNB singer with busts of energy, sophistication, and sonic aplomb all the while retaining what made the singer such a force of nature. With contributions from just about everyone, including Nanning producer allenvave, Beijing’s own Lofimaker, susses, Eliot Lee, and many many more, once again Babel Records proves themselves to be the electronic music scene hip big sister – not afraid to bask in the bubbly charm of China’s pop scene. Please never change.
Genome 6.66Mbp – Self Salvation Compilation
One of the electronic labels that made serious headway in 2017 was Genome 6.66Mbp, out of Shanghai, whose dark-minded, bombastic, artistically elevating brand of electronica is downright hypnotic. To celebrate their stellar year of releases they’ve unleashed their latest compilation entitled Self Salvation, chock full of ‘forward-thinking weirdo club music’ from an array of talent here and abroad. On the home front, Hyph11e, Dirty K, RVE, Khemist, and Charity. Hauntingly mesmerizing stuff here and a firm reminder that the underground electronic scene is doing wonders right now in China.
Sweaty & Cramped – Emotional, Too: An Asian Emo Compilation
Special shout-out to the Asian Emo Compilation, Emotional, Too, from Hong Kong’s Sweaty & Cramped label (read an in-depth profile on them over at Radii) – it’s hitting my emo sweet spot pretty damn hard. The compilation split into two sides, features an array of bands from Hong Kong, Japan, Southeast Asia, and China. While the mainland is represented by Shanghai’s Foster Parents and Guangzhou’s Nein or Gas Mus, other highlights include labelmates Wellsaid out of Hong Kong, Indonesia’s Settle, and Japan’s by the end of summer (who also wrapped up a tour with Chinese Football earlier this year). Highly recommend.
1724 Records – Half of Bottle Vol. 3
The Beijing based label, 1724 Records, has steadily been building its fanbase and roster for over a decade, focusing on post-rock and ambient music. To get a sense of their catalog and their taste, they issued promo compilations entitled Half of Bottle. Their third volume features some of the post-rock scene’s unsung heroes, including Xi’an’s Amber, Zhangjiajie’s Muggle, Changsha’s Summer Fades Away, and more. It’s also a solid tease of some new music from all of these cats in the near future.