*** [ dub / reggae / HK underground ] *** Hong Kong's Premiere Music Blog *** [ exclusive DJ mixes ] ***
Demanding a full embrace, both visually and aurally, Golden Dawn Arkestra is not an EP for the faintly funky. Yes, Sun Ra is a clear influence, but this is its own cosmic trip. Opener “Afropocalpyse” allows cascading keys, half dirge and half call to prayer, to set the tone before the well-delivered groove arrives. Layered, with an appropriate focus placed on the brass, until the vintage vocal, tinged gracefully yet slick, takes the lead. Showcasing Golden Dawn Arkestra’s engaging ability to mix eras, sounds, and influences, the track only concludes once a soaring guitar lead is given its due.
 
“Oasis (The Legend of Nathaniel Horne)” eases into its theme slowly: spaghetti-Western bass and whistle alternating with horns and guitar for an entrancing desert odyssey, doors of perception open wide. “Dimensions” goes further into the psychic groove-lands, requesting the listener to ‘sing and dance’ and ‘come and join us now,’ as though psych-funk had fueled Random Access Memories rather than disco.
 
The vocal chant, heavy groove, and prominent horn melodies of afrobeat make “Masakayli” a standout, which nicely sets up the ambling future/past caravan music of “Saharan Knights.” Instruments pop, creating an appropriately massive atmosphere, before striding surf-rock takes the tune into sonic dervishes not often whirled. Dancing off with “Selemat,” equally influenced by snake and Moog charmers, this too-short blast of timeless creativity is delightfully dusty despite its polished elements.
 
“Afropocalypse” is available as a free download, while the whole album is stream-only until the August 19th release date:
 


 
As a bonus, in case you’re at all questioning how wild and funky things would get live, here’s a rendition of Mulatu Astatke’s “Kasalèfkut Hulu:”
 

 
Demanding a full embrace, both visually and aurally, Golden Dawn Arkestra is not an EP for the faintly funky. Yes, Sun Ra is a clear influence, but this is its own cosmic trip. Opener “Afropocalpyse” allows cascading keys, half dirge and half call to prayer, to set the tone before the well-delivered groove arrives. Layered, with an appropriate focus placed on the brass, until the vintage vocal, tinged gracefully yet slick, takes the lead. Showcasing Golden Dawn Arkestra’s engaging ability to mix eras, sounds, and influences, the track only concludes once a soaring guitar lead is given its due.

 

“Oasis (The Legend of Nathaniel Horne)” eases into its theme slowly: spaghetti-Western bass and whistle alternating with horns and guitar for an entrancing desert odyssey, doors of perception open wide. “Dimensions” goes further into the psychic groove-lands, requesting the listener to ‘sing and dance’ and ‘come and join us now,’ as though psych-funk had fueled Random Access Memories rather than disco.

 

The vocal chant, heavy groove, and prominent horn melodies of afrobeat make “Masakayli” a standout, which nicely sets up the ambling future/past caravan music of “Saharan Knights.” Instruments pop, creating an appropriately massive atmosphere, before striding surf-rock takes the tune into sonic dervishes not often whirled. Dancing off with “Selemat,” equally influenced by snake and Moog charmers, this too-short blast of timeless creativity is delightfully dusty despite its polished elements.

 

“Afropocalypse” is available as a free download, while the whole album is stream-only until the August 19th release date:

 

 

As a bonus, in case you’re at all questioning how wild and funky things would get live, here’s a rendition of Mulatu Astatke’s “Kasalèfkut Hulu:”

 

 

Squeezing in a quick #HKMU before the Easter holiday, so any accidentally-overlooked Hong Kong music will appear next edition! Given that Pomegranate #2 is happening this very evening at oma, logic entails that Selekta Sev's [Paragon Sound System] previous Pomegranate mix - full of eclectic funky vibes - ought to get our journey started:
 

 
Cantonese reggae band Sensi Lion's recent collaboration with MC Heyo was fortunately recorded, albeit in two parts:
 


 
A Sensi Lion cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are,” entitled “Dub As You Jah” is also well-worth watching:
 

 
Nude_isco is venturing into the label game, so check out the new EP from Funk Hunk, along with an exclusive mix to mark the occasion:
 


 
Basil Tam is back in the mix game, with the groove-laden tech-house “Incarnation:”
 

 
Kendy Lam presents “My Life of Trance Vol. 4,” which may be the first true trance mix featured in the #HKMU. Uplifting with euphoric buildups:
 

 
Another genre debut comes from Sert's alter-ego PsySert, selecting a full-on uptempo psychedelic experience:
 

 
Deep in a far different sense, Kid Gweilo explores “Deep Fried House” in the fourth volume of his mixtape series
 

 
Composer Liam Gersh Nobu Tse has a new production, featuring a full primary school choir, called “Listening To The Rain:”
 

 
Also from Paragon Sound System, LëKSs has released a two-part ‘hypnotic African trip’ entitled “PataWahdaa:”
 


 
Ocean Lam has been featured by FRISKY Radio, in a segment called FRISKY Loves China. Check out the interview now, and her mix, along with one from Jeremy Cheung, will be airing April 26 and available for download shortly thereafter. 
 
The Italian party vibes continue (remember JayMe’s mix from last #HKMU?) as Roy Malig’s “Mello-Italo” mix from the same night has also emerged:
 

 
Finally, the ever-prolific Eazybeatz has a new video out for “Pinoy Wit Attitude:”
 

 
Well there we have it folks! Turn the bass up and enjoy all the fine efforts from the Hong Kong underground… as always, remember you can check out The Groove Thief over on Facebook for more regular music posts… and if you haven’t listed already, make sure to check out my latest effort, a previously-unreleased radio mix for the sadly-now-defunct reggae/ska show “The Saturday Skank" on RTHK Radio 3:
 

 
Squeezing in a quick #HKMU before the Easter holiday, so any accidentally-overlooked Hong Kong music will appear next edition! Given that Pomegranate #2 is happening this very evening at oma, logic entails that Selekta Sev's [Paragon Sound System] previous Pomegranate mix - full of eclectic funky vibes - ought to get our journey started:

 

 

Cantonese reggae band Sensi Lion's recent collaboration with MC Heyo was fortunately recorded, albeit in two parts:

 

 

A Sensi Lion cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are,” entitled “Dub As You Jah” is also well-worth watching:

 

 

Nude_isco is venturing into the label game, so check out the new EP from Funk Hunk, along with an exclusive mix to mark the occasion:

 

 

Basil Tam is back in the mix game, with the groove-laden tech-house “Incarnation:”

 

 

Kendy Lam presents “My Life of Trance Vol. 4,” which may be the first true trance mix featured in the #HKMU. Uplifting with euphoric buildups:

 

 

Another genre debut comes from Sert's alter-ego PsySert, selecting a full-on uptempo psychedelic experience:

 

 

Deep in a far different sense, Kid Gweilo explores “Deep Fried House” in the fourth volume of his mixtape series

 

 

Composer Liam Gersh Nobu Tse has a new production, featuring a full primary school choir, called “Listening To The Rain:”

 

 

Also from Paragon Sound System, LëKSs has released a two-part ‘hypnotic African trip’ entitled “PataWahdaa:”

 

 

Ocean Lam has been featured by FRISKY Radio, in a segment called FRISKY Loves China. Check out the interview now, and her mix, along with one from Jeremy Cheung, will be airing April 26 and available for download shortly thereafter.

 

The Italian party vibes continue (remember JayMe’s mix from last #HKMU?) as Roy Malig’s “Mello-Italo” mix from the same night has also emerged:

 

 

Finally, the ever-prolific Eazybeatz has a new video out for “Pinoy Wit Attitude:”

 

 

Well there we have it folks! Turn the bass up and enjoy all the fine efforts from the Hong Kong underground… as always, remember you can check out The Groove Thief over on Facebook for more regular music posts… and if you haven’t listed already, make sure to check out my latest effort, a previously-unreleased radio mix for the sadly-now-defunct reggae/ska show “The Saturday Skank" on RTHK Radio 3:

 

 

Perhaps the artwork for Stone By Stone, the new album from tight eclectic instrumental funksters Ikebe Shakedown, sums things up appropriately: between the vintage overlay and the barren-yet-inspiring desert-scape, these stones clearly have soul. Opener “The Offering” sets the tone, as horns - led by the sax - ride a groove controlled by the strong rhythm section and slightly skanking guitar. A live video has just been released as well:
 

 
The title track takes thing into deeper and more melancholic territory, with the blasting brass reigned in before hitting free jazz territory. “The Beast” takes a steady afrobeat groove, led by the drums but empowered by the bass, and inspires dancing feet courtesy of an entrancing melody. Often called cinematic soul, ultimately this is beyond genre, a subtle display of impressive musicianship that is aware of the pillars of the past and the potential of the future.
 
“By Hook Or By Crook” may soar, but “Rio Grande” seems to have most directly inspired the album art, recalling Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass in all the best ways. “Last Stand” pushes the tempo back up, then rides off into the sunset; “Cover Your Tracks” then, is perhaps the most poignant track of all, as the seven-piece slip into a smoky late-night vibe before disappearing whence they came. “Chosen Path” follows a similar formula - not in a derivative way, just in the sense of an evolving band digging deeper into their own sound. The closing pair of tracks, “The Illusion,” and “Dram,” begin hauntingly and invitingly, respectively, as the former is driven by a powerful walking bass-line and the latter, while slightly more reserved, is opened up to allow the reverberating guitar to end things in psychedelic style. Ten strong tracks, definitely intended to be listened to in succession:
 
Stone By Stone by Ikebe Shakedown
 
A timely remix comes from Beat Gates, who takes on “No Name Bar” from Ikebe Shakedown’s self-titled album. Emphasizing the low-end via a slightly thunderous clap, the original’s spirit shines through as it confidently enters beat-tape territory. Free download: 
 

 
In need of more Ikebe Shakedown? Fair enough. Their stellar debut EP Hard Steppin’ is available here:
 
Ikebe Shakedown - Hard Steppin’ EP (Debut) by Ikebe Shakedown
 
And “Dead Wrong” is a cool mashup with the Notorious BIG:
 

 
Perhaps the artwork for Stone By Stone, the new album from tight eclectic instrumental funksters Ikebe Shakedown, sums things up appropriately: between the vintage overlay and the barren-yet-inspiring desert-scape, these stones clearly have soul. Opener “The Offering” sets the tone, as horns - led by the sax - ride a groove controlled by the strong rhythm section and slightly skanking guitar. A live video has just been released as well:

 

 

The title track takes thing into deeper and more melancholic territory, with the blasting brass reigned in before hitting free jazz territory. “The Beast” takes a steady afrobeat groove, led by the drums but empowered by the bass, and inspires dancing feet courtesy of an entrancing melody. Often called cinematic soul, ultimately this is beyond genre, a subtle display of impressive musicianship that is aware of the pillars of the past and the potential of the future.

 

“By Hook Or By Crook” may soar, but “Rio Grande” seems to have most directly inspired the album art, recalling Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass in all the best ways. “Last Stand” pushes the tempo back up, then rides off into the sunset; “Cover Your Tracks” then, is perhaps the most poignant track of all, as the seven-piece slip into a smoky late-night vibe before disappearing whence they came. “Chosen Path” follows a similar formula - not in a derivative way, just in the sense of an evolving band digging deeper into their own sound. The closing pair of tracks, “The Illusion,” and “Dram,” begin hauntingly and invitingly, respectively, as the former is driven by a powerful walking bass-line and the latter, while slightly more reserved, is opened up to allow the reverberating guitar to end things in psychedelic style. Ten strong tracks, definitely intended to be listened to in succession:

 

 

A timely remix comes from Beat Gates, who takes on “No Name Bar” from Ikebe Shakedown’s self-titled album. Emphasizing the low-end via a slightly thunderous clap, the original’s spirit shines through as it confidently enters beat-tape territory. Free download:

 

 

In need of more Ikebe Shakedown? Fair enough. Their stellar debut EP Hard Steppin’ is available here:

 

Ikebe Shakedown - Hard Steppin’ EP (Debut) by Ikebe Shakedown

 

And “Dead Wrong” is a cool mashup with the Notorious BIG: