The young Xi’an singer-songwriter WestByWest (named after the famed Hitchcock joint North By Northwest) teams up with long-standing electronic project TBOR for sensual trip-hop outing on her debut EP. Utilizing an array of modular synthesizers and vocal sampling in the arrangements, while the aesthetics of WestByWest’s music is digital in a large sense, the emotion is purely organic, evoking a rigid cold serving of haunting beauty and resonating lyricism that lingers long after. A great introduction to an artist we’ll surely be hearing from in the future.
Meng Qi is a man of many titles – musician, iconic hardware synthesis designer, innovator and lecturer. He’s an electronic wizard in the highest sense and on Span he gets to show off his far-reaching skill sets and makeshift toys. Dubbed as ‘a collection of his songs written during experimentation and enveloped in the design process,’ the release off of ambient music label Cloudchamber Recordings, is a vast portrait of moods and ideas manifesting themselves via Mengqi’s explorative, uniquely out there, and endlessly fascinating electronic soundscapes.
The new and exciting rap team Treasure Hill, established in early 2018 and consisting of rapper/producer SanCebai and rapper Jin Tiao Zao (with EDE thrown for good measure) bring their brand of “alternative rap” to life on their wildly fun debut. Essentially disciples, and as far as I can tell the reincarnation, of Chengdu rap collective L1STALLDO, there’s an undeniable energy and a sly narrative touch that dips more than once into sound performance art territory on display that perfectly captures the duo’s unique hip-hop sensibility like lightning in a bottle. It’s peculiar, snitched together like the greatest pop art, whilst remaining raw and frank, coasting on an air of authenticity that’s often missing in hip-hop these days.