This weekend, The Lost Party and Gently Altered have brought down French trip-hop group Chinese Man to Mumbai, and here’s why we deem the performance absolutely unmissable.
The second edition of the eclectic festival that is The Lost Party is off to an exceptional start. Along with electronic music project Gently Altered, the festival has in store a night of the choicest electronic music to make the wait for the festival a lot sweeter. And performing at the flag-off event, along with fellow Indian trip-hop acts Burudu and Tansen is the very criminally underrated Chinese Man, whose debut performance in the country is worth every hype. For if you dig synth-based groovy trip-hop tunes, then Chinese Man deserves the very top spot amongst your list of favourites.
Allow us to tell you everything you’ll enjoy about the group, and make sure to check out the music that goes along with. We promise it will prove the perfect warm-up for the brilliance that lies ahead.
They’re spot on at creating unique tunes, each as catchy as the other
We’ve had our electronic music-sceptic friends latch on to the music of Chinese Man, for so catchy is their music. There is an underlying sense of understanding in their composition – in their ability to be subtle and elegant, while also allowing themselves the room to absolute abandon. Their harmonies are astutely composed to command the attention of even the most tone-deaf member of the audience. From the most groovy tunes to the most bass-worthy drops, there is something to love about every song.
You’d love the interesting samples their songs employ
It’s ingenious how the band goes about collecting the samples for its various songs. From something as instantly identifiable as Samuel Jackson quoting the Bible from Pulp Fiction to sampling a few brilliant moments of Under Pressure by rock legends Queen, to cleverly inserting a sketch from the early British cartoon era, there is something immensely quirky and fitting about each of their sample use. If you’ve got a keen ear for electronic music’s production, you’d love everything that comes out of Chinese Man’s kit.
The group has a particular affinity for the Indian sound
Several electronic producer infuse their productions with samples off Indian music, or Indian instruments to create a unique melange. But few do it as effectively as Chinese Man who dig into the very genesis of India’s classic fodder to dish out ragas that sit perfectly well with their synth beats. From using the Nadaswaram of Carnatic music fame in the track ‘If You Please’ from the album Racing with the Sun, to the generous violin tunes also bearing homage to the same house of music in their very popular anthem ‘IndiGroove’ to the several Indian percussion elements in their many songs, you’re going to be hard pressed to find anything better.
Their music defines eclectic
The group bears their musical influences from genres across the world. Jazz, swing, classical, hip hop that metamorphose into contemporary sounds of neo-psychedelia and bass. Their musical tastes are varied and diverse, as each song in an album transitions into a tune that can catch the listener completely off-guard, in a good way. Their albums therefore are best experienced entirely at a time, because their ever altering sounds make them engaging listens. And because of their diverse influences, they’re as much a world music act as anybody else.
They’re constantly producing innovative sounds
From beatmaker High Ku’s 10 year mix of Chinese Man’s music to Marseille Zé Mateo’s remixes uploaded to their mixcloud and souncloud accounts, they’re a collective constantly being inventive of their music. Their last album, The Journey, featuring rapper Tumi is a definitive hip-hop piece of brilliance. Their twitter feed suggests they’re presently in a studio working up some beats in Mumbai. Here’s a band that manages to never disappoint.