Kicking off at The Shelter this Friday is the first of 3 events by new collective ‘The Connection’. Headed by ChaCha (Uprooted/AM44/Sub-Culture) and Cookie (ROM/POP), the aim of ‘The Connection’ is to bring together artists from all over China to perform in one space together and to encourage them to collaborate and share knowledge and experience with each other. With so many events with big international guests this month (which I’m not complaining about of course) it’s great to see some events purely concentrating on the local scene and bringing artists from around China to Shanghai.
The first series of events are entitled ‘North Meets South: A Hip-Hop Connection’ and, as the title implies, is all about underground Chinese Hip-Hip. With the scene diluted by commercial RnB, Pop-Rap and, that dreaded genre, Mash-Up, Hip-Hop has kind of made a bad name for itself in China, but The Connection has decided to make a stand and connect up some of the most highly regarded underground artists from the North and South of China for a series of 3 events throughout September. Here is the schedule:
Friday 9th September – The Warm Up @ The Shelter
Thursday 22nd September – The Exchange @ The Shelter
Friday 23rd September – The Big Show @ Mao Live House
We will look into the latter 2 events nearer the time, but here’s the low down on this Friday’s launch at The Shelter.
H2O and LJ
With one of the organizers, ChaCha, being from GuiZhou, it made perfect sense to kick of the months proceedings by connecting with the burgeoning GiuYang scene and bringing to Shanghai two of the cities most promising artists – H2O and LJ.
At the young age of 20, beat boxer H2O is already beginning to make a name for him self. Since he started beat-boxing 5 years ago, he has quickly mastered his art and his live shows are quickly becoming something quite special. Using a Loop Station, a Micro Korg, a Kaos Pad and a mic, H2O loops up beats and sounds, adding bass lines and synth stabs with the Korg and plays with vocal effects on the Kaos Pad to produce beats and tracks live in front of the audience. From Jazz to Drum and Bass, the sounds that he manages to produce are very impressive, and with LJ adding cuts and scratches over the top its quite a show!
LJ isn’t a stranger to the Shanghai scene. Once a semi-regular DJ here a while back, over the last few years he has been honing his skills in his home town of GiuYang and is now ready to come back to Shanghai and show everyone what he has learnt. LJ has some serious skills on the turntables, and he takes DJing very seriously. Its been a good few years since I’ve seen him play a set but he tells me he’s been mixing in a lot of Jungle to his Hip-Hop sets recently so its going to be interesting to see what he comes out with.
Joining the 2 GuiZhou guests will be local turntablists and DMC champs Cavia and HBD, beat conductor Ceezy and up and coming DJ, KutFresh. With a great line up for 1st in what is going to be a fantastic series of events in Shanghai, make sure you get your ass down to The Shelter this Friday and show some support for some of the most promising Chinese talent coming up at the moment!