3rd installment of a (hopefully) monthly playlist of East Asian music, curated by me

Islands by +2dB
Chinese Palace by Meng Qi (also check out the synths that meng qi has designed `o`)
Shell Buttons by Milkmustache
守门员 by Chinese Football
G.N.S. by Tricot
Insomnia by The Ephemera
Sex Drugs Internet by New Pants
來世不存在 (next life) by OCD Girl
白 – whitE by White+
days of daze by tfvsjs
Crisis de Identidad by Duda Deportiva

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Here is side B of the mostly Mandarin mix tape I made a while back. Enjoy

P.S. last post I was unable to locate a link for Don’t You Move by Pet Conspiracy ft Helen Feng, but I found one now!

Chernobyl! Soultiger’s Occupation by Booji
TV Show (Hang the Police) by Re-Tros (Restoring The Rights Of Statues)
Guai Li by Guai Li
Finger by 大象體操 Elephant Gym (this live version isn’t as good of sound quality, but I love watching their bass player ^_^)
Shanghai by Hang On The Box
Sand by SKIP SKIP BEN BEN
Ge Zhong Ren by AM444
City by Nipples (I stumbled upon this band on rdio, and I’m so glad I was able to find this album somewhere else because it’s a bit tough to find what the music you’re searching for when you type the words”Nipples” and “City”)
Kiss Your Eyes by The White Eyes
The Mutterer by Lonely China Day
Untaian Kosmik by remedmatika (not Mandarin, beautiful chiptune from Indonesia)

 

It’s been a personal project of mine to try and find more Chinese artists to listen to, specifically artists and bands that often sing in Mandarin. So I made this mixtape a while ago and this is the first side. I’ll be sharing the other side soon. Enjoy

溼濡城市 by Papergirl
Castle by Dear Eloise
Don’t You Move by PET CONSPIRACY ft Helen Feng*
15 Minutes Older by Carsick Cars
Glass Walls by Duck Fight Goose
Hate Me? You Old! by Birdstriking
be my friend by Boyz & Girl
Holy Comment by Snapline
Mind Shop Is On Sale by Muscle Snog
Silent Robot by The Eat
Sunday Girl by Ourself Beside Me

*I originally heard this track on rdio, but can’t find a link to it that isn’t from a subscription based streaming service

I got a lovely feature on Weird Canada’s New Canadiana page. Thanks to Marie Leblanc Flanagan for the beautiful words and to Emily Traichel for the translation

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https://weirdcanada.com/2016/06/new-canadiana-respectfulchild-demos/

Been dreaming underground, been breathing under while soft bones feed the green. Saskatoon’s respectfulchild pulls strings through and up, looping you to the golden haze. All good things end in death, all good things come from death. A voice warming distant like prairie sundogs, trickle beats like footsteps rippling around grasping holes. Not all loops return to where they began, some pull upward.

Par les mains pulsantes de Marie LeBlanc Flanagan:
(Traduit par les rêves germinants d’ Émily Traichel)

Ses rêves germinent sous terre, sa respiration sous la surface tandis que de tendres os nourrissent le vert. Respectfulchild de Saskatoon fait traverser les cordes et les faitt monter, vous bouclant à la brume dorée. Toutes bonnes choses prennent fin dans la mort, toutes bonnes choses viennent de la mort. Une voix qui s’échauffe, lointaine comme des parhélies de la prairie; des rythmes ruisselants comme des bruits de pas qui ondulent autour des trous agrippants. Ce n’est pas toutes les boucles qui retournent où elles ont commencé, certaines se relèvent vers le haut.

 

 

saskatoon-sask-march-26-2016-9999-beg-music-melissa-ganI got a feature article in the Star Phoenix written by Sean Trembath on April 9th, 2016. I have a few extra edits of my own I’d particularly like people to note:

– Let’s stop using the word “caucasian” to mean “white” because the two are not the same. We live in a world of white supremacy, white privilege, white guilt, and white violence. You don’t get to use the word “caucasian” to deflect away from that politically privileged position. People of the Caucasus region do not benefit from white privilege the way white people do.

– I want to reiterate this quote from the article because it’s especially on my mind these days: “What can the [men] be doing to look at themselves and figure out what’s implicit in their culture that’s leaving other people out?”

– Dear white straight cis man friends, this is my question to you, because I know that the fellow trans and cis women in my life are doing lots of work to address this issue, to make space for themselves and for future generations, and I want you to know that this work can’t be done just from one side. We need you to figure out change too.

– Lastly, just a reminder that the music scene is just a smaller version of society. And society is messed up with misogyny, colonial violence, white supremacy, transmisogyny, racism, A LOT OF THINGS. Trying to deal with them on a massive societal scale is really overwhelming. But starting smaller within our own communities is likely more conceivable within our brains and our own capacities. Let’s figure some stuff out.

Here’s the full text from the article:

As a child taking piano and violin lessons, Melissa Gan was surrounded by plenty of girls and a wide array of ethnicities. Now, as a member of Saskatoon’s music scene, she wonders where they have all gone.

“That’s who I want to find in our city. I’m sure they exist and we should be welcoming them,” she says.

When Gan goes to a show, she knows it will be mostly men and mostly Caucasians.

“Even if a few more come, and say I’m not the only Asian girl there, you can still count us on your hand. I want to get to the point where we don’t need to count things,” she says.

She used to struggle with how to represent her political views in her music. Her solo project, respectfulchild, is mostly instrumental. She can’t spit political rhetoric like a hip hop artist.

Only recently did she realize just doing it was important.

“Me just being here, I’m making space,” Gan says.

No one could argue she belongs. By the end of high school she had earned Grade 10 certification for both violin and piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She played in competitions, performed classically and was in a jazz combo as a teen before making her way through the indie rock scene once she hit university. She has appeared on stage with and on recordings by multiple local groups, most notably Little Criminals.

Her early attempts at solo work were difficult. She wasn’t attracted to writing lyrics and found the sound of just her violin wasn’t working for her. Once she decided to explore what kind of sound environments she could create, things started falling into place.

“I bought all my friends’ old pedals and I just started experimenting,” Gan says.

The results are ambient, ethereal and sometimes hypnotic. She says people have described her tracks as “underwater music” or “fairie music.” These descriptors might confuse you, but only until you hear the songs.

She recalls her first show, played in a local basement. After she finished her first track, she looked up to see people had lied down and were fully tuned in to what she was doing. She has played one or two shows a month ever since.

As she participated more and more in the scene, she found herself better understanding the feelings of otherness that have always lingered at the outskirts or her experience. She has become very concerned with representation in the music scene.

“If there’s a show that’s all women, or just not cis-men, you take notice of that,” she says.

“On the one hand that makes me excited, but at the same time, we don’t say, ‘Ooh, an all-male lineup.’ “

A big part of the responsibility falls on the males who make up such a dominant chunk of the scene, according to Gan.

“What can the guys be doing to look at themselves and figure out what’s implicit in their culture that’s leaving other people out?” she says.

The problem isn’t only on the stage. The crowds are usually just as white and often just as male. Gan says there needs to be a focus on creating an environment where the less-represented music fans — and she is positive they exist — are comfortable participating in local culture.

“I don’t want to fill quotas. It’s not about those numbers. It’s the type of values that are being understood and demonstrated, both for audience members and people on stage,” she says.

She admits she doesn’t have all the answers, but says it is important for everyone involved to at least consider how they might be contributing to the problem.

“If we’re not trying then obviously it’s going to stay the same.”

strembath@postmedia.com

twitter.com/strembath

 

[published in Issue 6 of Silence]

Artwork by Emily M. Kohlert x Dandy Lion

Melissa-IAMWHOIAM_finalJPG

I have a difficult relationship with my body. There’s this disconnect between what I think I should be, and what I actually am. I used to only think of my body image issues from the perspective of being a woman because society’s beauty standard is misogynistic, it’s against women. It exists to tell women that we should be beautiful, but that we aren’t.

More recently, I’ve realized that there’s more to my story than just being a woman. I’m realizing that the beauty standard isn’t just misogynistic. It’s white supremacist, it shows us that white ideals are what is beautiful. It’s cissexist. It shows us that beautiful people only exist in a binary of being either men or women. People in that in between space don’t exist. It’s fatphobic, it’s transmisogynistic, it excludes everything that is beautiful in us.

I am neither white nor am I binary. I’ve been trying to fit my body into an image that was never made to reflect me in the first place.

All of this serves to tell me that my body is wrong. That I am wrong. And that I need to change.

I often feel guilty for being a “bad feminist” because I don’t love my body which by extension means I don’t love myself. It feels like I’m a sell-out to the beauty industry, that I’m letting them get to me, and they’re winning.

I think people will look at me and see that I don’t wear make-up, that I don’t comb my hair, and think that I don’t buy into these beauty standards or care about the way I look. And I really wish that was true. I think it’s why I try not to participate in these body grooming rituals. It’s why I put myself in photoshoots while simultaneously feeling terrified of how my picture will turn out. It’s why I wear outrageously ill-fitting clothes. These are acts to convince myself that I don’t care about my appearance by actively doing the opposite. But not all insecurity looks the same, and not everyone handles it the same way.

I don’t want anyone to read this and tell me, “Oh but don’t worry, you are beautiful!” because that’s not the point. This isn’t about me. This is much bigger than me. I don’t want to be comforted as fitting into this standard. I don’t want a beauty standard to even exist. I know that’s a difficult thing to conceptualize because it’s something that has surrounded us for so long in such a normalized way. But I think we’d really be selling our imaginations short if we don’t think that something else is possible.

I want to love myself, whether I am beautiful or not. I want the same for you.