*** [ dub / reggae / HK underground ] *** Hong Kong's Premiere Music Blog *** [ exclusive DJ mixes ] ***
With some massive sunshine at the moment - of course with further rain en route - it seems an appropriate time to drop a fully-loaded edition of the #HKMU. As always, this is the best (and only) place to get the low-down on what Hong Kong’s musical underground is up to. Mixtapes, productions, live videos…
 
Up first - since it was just released last night - is my own live compilation “Strike of 12: Live @ Midnight & Co. (ft. MC Loki Dolo).” Featuring highlights taken from several shows during our 2012-2013 “Digital Dub” club night, which proudly marches on as “Pomegranate” at Oma (in collaboration with Paragon Sound System), this is proper underground dub & reggae, with influences of hiphop and DUBstep as well:
 

 
Directly related, Loki Dolo's got a fresh video out, with audio clipped from the above compilation. It's called “Beats Out Da Ying Yang:”
 

 
Reasonably related, and literally hours old, Midnight & Co. (né Yumla) boss man Dan F has just remastered his 2002-era track “Morocco” for a fresh (and free) digital release. Glitch-free, break-laden, with swirling effects:
 

 
Big week for the underground in the radio world!
Steve Hui (aka Nerve) and members of Gravity Alterstra all appeared on RTHK’s “Morning Brew” this week to discuss their show Hong Kong Blender happening this evening. Then, DJs Cookie and 108 did as well for their show this Saturday with Magnetic Soul.
 
Which logically connects to this… Garage night Hummingbird has two groovy mixes out; first, a live set by Cookie at Botellon #8, and second, a special mix from Kenji Hidaka:
 


 
K-Melo’s back with a wide-ranging funky live mix, from the July 12th edition of The Getup! Disco, house, afrobeat, and plenty of other tasteful grooves await:
 

 
If you believe in Hong Kong’s indie scene, there’s a rather cool Indie Gogo campaign called GililGulu, which looks to forge together several aspects of the local culture: indie music, art, and dim sum.
 

 
Heavy Hongkong’s Blood Dunza returns as a producer, with additional voicing from Tippa Irie on this jungle dubplate of Johnny Clarke’s “None Shall Escape.”
 

 
EazyBeatz - calling out those maternally-incestuous folks - is back to the beats for Aero’s “Music With A.K” as well as the slow-rolling instrumental “I Got S.W.A.G”
 


 
If your soul is hurting, Sert has another choice selection of liquid drum ‘n’ bass to heal your ills with the July 2014 edition of his “Soul Healing Session” series:
 

 
With some equally soul-healing irie vibes, blog newbie Neptune has dropped a pair of live mixes from beach bar Mavericks HK, criss-crossing the dub/reggae spectrum:
 


 
Tokyo Matt's got a few new things out, including a mix that is apparently upsetting Soundcloud (“Hong Kong Balearique - Final Call”), “Contemporary Movements,” as well as a Latvian funk edit:
 



 
The Anello, a vocal-driven funky band, recently got in touch… they’ve released a few tracks this past week, featuring layered horns, grooves, and more:
 



 
The title says it all for the “Fun Key Boom Magazine Mixtape.” ‘From House to Disco,’ to quote the artist:
 

 
Also for Boom, Kazoku's track “LanKwai” reps the 852 life - making it clear where you can find them - while a recent cypher with JaeRich drops some hints about what they were doing prior to recording:
 


 
Muggsy has a liquid drum ‘n’ bass track, “With You” feat. Alysha Antonio, on the Soul Flex Digital Vintage LP compilation. A smooth roller, with classy-yet-wordless vocals:
 

 
Sensi Lion have a few videos posted from their show this past Sunday @ 粵協合 You Hip Hop 2014, including this one for “錫安 Zion” and another that I actually shot for “Band Introductions & Lion Rock Steady.”
 


 
Another video I’ve posted is from Botellón #9 in the Lan Kwai Fong Amphitheater. Paragon Sound System with the selections, and MC Loki Dolo on the microphone:
 

 
Fresh Funky S's latest is a house journey in the form of a podcast for Love.Play:
 

 
J. Smythe's #HKMU debut is “Seventh Sesh,” a 'quick minimix before the weekend' of smooth drum 'n' bass:
 

 
From Macau comes dancehall riddim-rider Youth Samoan's “Summer Vybz Mixtape 2014.” Versions aplenty:
 

 
And finally - hope your ears have enjoyed the ride - also from Macau comes #HKMU newcomer DJ Cross Cutz with an appropriately-titled “Old School Hip Hop Mini-Mix,” fueled by the likes of the Sugarhill Gang, RUN-DMC, and other early East Coast legends:
 

 
And there’s another diverse and deep #HKMU. Respect to all in the underground, keep doing what you do. If you’re an HK artist (or in nearby surrounds), please hit me up on Facebook or use the convenient comment box up above to link up and get your recent efforts into the next installment.
 
Peace,
TGT
 
With some massive sunshine at the moment - of course with further rain en route - it seems an appropriate time to drop a fully-loaded edition of the #HKMU. As always, this is the best (and only) place to get the low-down on what Hong Kong’s musical underground is up to. Mixtapes, productions, live videos…

 

Up first - since it was just released last night - is my own live compilation “Strike of 12: Live @ Midnight & Co. (ft. MC Loki Dolo).” Featuring highlights taken from several shows during our 2012-2013 “Digital Dub” club night, which proudly marches on as “Pomegranate” at Oma (in collaboration with Paragon Sound System), this is proper underground dub & reggae, with influences of hiphop and DUBstep as well:

 

 

Directly related, Loki Dolo's got a fresh video out, with audio clipped from the above compilation. It's called “Beats Out Da Ying Yang:”

 

 

Reasonably related, and literally hours old, Midnight & Co. (né Yumla) boss man Dan F has just remastered his 2002-era track “Morocco” for a fresh (and free) digital release. Glitch-free, break-laden, with swirling effects:

 

 

Big week for the underground in the radio world! Steve Hui (aka Nerve) and members of Gravity Alterstra all appeared on RTHK’s “Morning Brew” this week to discuss their show Hong Kong Blender happening this evening. Then, DJs Cookie and 108 did as well for their show this Saturday with Magnetic Soul.

 

Which logically connects to this… Garage night Hummingbird has two groovy mixes out; first, a live set by Cookie at Botellon #8, and second, a special mix from Kenji Hidaka:

 

 

K-Melo’s back with a wide-ranging funky live mix, from the July 12th edition of The Getup! Disco, house, afrobeat, and plenty of other tasteful grooves await:

 

 

If you believe in Hong Kong’s indie scene, there’s a rather cool Indie Gogo campaign called GililGulu, which looks to forge together several aspects of the local culture: indie music, art, and dim sum.

 

 

Heavy Hongkong’s Blood Dunza returns as a producer, with additional voicing from Tippa Irie on this jungle dubplate of Johnny Clarke’s “None Shall Escape.”

 

 

EazyBeatz - calling out those maternally-incestuous folks - is back to the beats for Aero’s “Music With A.K” as well as the slow-rolling instrumental “I Got S.W.A.G”

 

 

If your soul is hurting, Sert has another choice selection of liquid drum ‘n’ bass to heal your ills with the July 2014 edition of his “Soul Healing Session” series:

 

 

With some equally soul-healing irie vibes, blog newbie Neptune has dropped a pair of live mixes from beach bar Mavericks HK, criss-crossing the dub/reggae spectrum:

 

 

Tokyo Matt's got a few new things out, including a mix that is apparently upsetting Soundcloud (“Hong Kong Balearique - Final Call”), “Contemporary Movements,” as well as a Latvian funk edit:

 

 

The Anello, a vocal-driven funky band, recently got in touch… they’ve released a few tracks this past week, featuring layered horns, grooves, and more:

 

 

The title says it all for the “Fun Key Boom Magazine Mixtape.” ‘From House to Disco,’ to quote the artist:

 

 

Also for Boom, Kazoku's track “LanKwai” reps the 852 life - making it clear where you can find them - while a recent cypher with JaeRich drops some hints about what they were doing prior to recording:

 

 

Muggsy has a liquid drum ‘n’ bass track, “With You” feat. Alysha Antonio, on the Soul Flex Digital Vintage LP compilation. A smooth roller, with classy-yet-wordless vocals:

 

 

Sensi Lion have a few videos posted from their show this past Sunday @ 粵協合 You Hip Hop 2014, including this one for “錫安 Zion” and another that I actually shot for “Band Introductions & Lion Rock Steady.”

 

 

Another video I’ve posted is from Botellón #9 in the Lan Kwai Fong Amphitheater. Paragon Sound System with the selections, and MC Loki Dolo on the microphone:

 

 

Fresh Funky S's latest is a house journey in the form of a podcast for Love.Play:

 

 

J. Smythe's #HKMU debut is “Seventh Sesh,” a 'quick minimix before the weekend' of smooth drum 'n' bass:

 

 

From Macau comes dancehall riddim-rider Youth Samoan's “Summer Vybz Mixtape 2014.” Versions aplenty:

 

 

And finally - hope your ears have enjoyed the ride - also from Macau comes #HKMU newcomer DJ Cross Cutz with an appropriately-titled “Old School Hip Hop Mini-Mix,” fueled by the likes of the Sugarhill Gang, RUN-DMC, and other early East Coast legends:

 

 

And there’s another diverse and deep #HKMU. Respect to all in the underground, keep doing what you do. If you’re an HK artist (or in nearby surrounds), please hit me up on Facebook or use the convenient comment box up above to link up and get your recent efforts into the next installment.

 

Peace, TGT

 

July 1st is always an important day of protest in Hong Kong, though according to the government nothing unusual happened this year. Nonetheless, a few artists have released tracks to mark the occasion, including Masta Mic's rightfully aggressive “Rhyme #6” and Kay Tse's much more melodic “egg and lamb” (via MICROS 明記).
 


 
In somewhat related pseudo-political news, JFung has entertainingly remixed Regina Tong Ching-Yi’s recent outburst over the media’s response to her daughter’s rather public battle with depression:
 

 
Famed underground techno club oma - which kindly hosts Pomegranate, my funky collaborative Thursday-evening extravaganza with Paragon Sound System & MC Loki Dolo - has finally ventured into the clouds of sound, starting with a live recording from music director and resident DJ Taku Hirayama's recent tech-house set:
 

 
This next entry’s a bit different from most: “Hire A Boat,” an Australian-based community radio show, has a special Hong Kong-themed show airing this Monday (July 14th) at 11pm Hong Kong time! Featuring artists from past #HKMUs, tracks come from Ocean Lam, Yao, Loki Dolo, Wiso, DJ P.Vibe, Casey Anderson & Fresh Funky S, Sert, Kazoku, and ▶▶△ (Tree-Angles), and then the 2-hour program concludes with Ocean Lam’s “Hypnotic #13” mix. If your ears are available, make sure to tune in to “STAR FERRY :: Cable car it to Kowloon and sample the wares of Hong Kong’s cooler-than-thou underground dance music scene…”
 
SETLIST
  +++++  
SITE w/ live stream link
 
A big drum-n-bass mix comes from DJ Saiyan, for the Outlook Festival’s “Friends & Family” mix series. Over 1,000 plays on this already:
 

 
Visa's ongoing “40 Minutes Before Departure” series has now taken him to Bali, loaded up with dark & deep house vibes, while his Cliché Records Podcast “Le Mix Cliché Vol. 12” is more disco-infused:
 


 
Ska act The Red Stripes have a live video out for “One Step Beyond” from a recent show at Backstage. Full skankin’ awaits:
 

 
廿四味 24Herbs have a new tune out, “Work It,” with rapid-fire Cantonese lyrics (although some entertaining English phrases appear as well) atop an EDM-influenced club beat:
 

 
DJ 108, in anticipation of an upcoming show with Magnetic Soul, has dropped both a Hong Kong Underground glitchy beat as well as a proper mixtape for Bass Music China:
 


 
The man of many monikers, DJ Redman, tests out The Mean La Kweefa on the groovy “Sounds Of The Beach" - full of his own remixes as SinistaSounds - for a Corona contest (voting ends tomorrow).
 
DJ Darka, in the 11th edition of his “Addiction” mix series, eases into some banging tech-house, slowly and darkly:
 

 
You’ll need to wade through a few commercials, but then Kendy Lam's “Worldcup EDM Music Special” mix for Dance Music I Generation awaits:
 

 
From Emmanuel Diaz comes his monthly live Zuma mix, showcasing chill yet diverse house music:
 

 
EKORB's Reality Webisodes series continues, “Enter Dolo” with Loki Dolo is a recent edition, plus there’s the full archive.
 

 
LëKSs, of Paragon Sound System, has an ongoing (mostly) instrumental hiphop series, “Hipoperies - GoNaRaP,” which is now up to its third volume. Even includes an HK-produced track from beatsmith Hope One:
 

 
Fellow Paragoner Finnalicious brings the disco and the funk on her recent “Different Forms Of Dance” mix:
 

 
Psysert, Strategic Sounds' Sert's psy side-project (now there's some sibilance for ya!), has released the meditative and atmospheric mix “Think Nothing.”
 

 
J-Hoon casually yet unembedably spit a Facebook freestyle over a “Budamunk Funk” tune…
 
HK label Nude Disco is set to release Jay Ru's “The LUCA EP” - funky nu-disco (no surprise there) - exclusively via JunoDownload on Monday:
 
 
 
The label has also interviewed tropicalist Barnaby Bruce, to discuss his new label Palms & Charms (which was the lead entry in the last #HKMU).
 
Macau’s Burnie has a new funky bass-laden EP, Deeper Reality, also available for purchase via JunoDownload once the weekend has ended; preview awaiting your ears now:
 

 
Also from Macau, dancehall specialist Youth Somoan has taken on the “Skin To Skin” riddim:
 

 
Sean Hocking, of local label Metal Postcard Records, has compiled a Top Ten list of the best Indian bands. Some great selections highlighting the underground scene, particularly Ti Tritha’s “Fish Market (Marcher Bajaar),” which I’ve included here:
 

 
And what’s TGT up to, you ask? Celebrating my birthday in digital stylee with a new reggae mixtape, plus going deeper into my Country Dub series with an Alison Krauss x Phil Pratt mashup, “Down To The River To Stay Loose:”
 


 
I’m also having my reggae/dub reviews regularly published over at NiceUp, and have been featured this summer as a ‘Clubbing’ writer for Time Out Hong Kong as well… feel free to just check out the WRITINGS link up at the top ;-)
 
Keep keeping it creative Hong Kong, and enjoy the full moon tonight!
 
July 1st is always an important day of protest in Hong Kong, though according to the government nothing unusual happened this year. Nonetheless, a few artists have released tracks to mark the occasion, including Masta Mic's rightfully aggressive “Rhyme #6” and Kay Tse's much more melodic “egg and lamb” (via MICROS 明記).

 

 

In somewhat related pseudo-political news, JFung has entertainingly remixed Regina Tong Ching-Yi’s recent outburst over the media’s response to her daughter’s rather public battle with depression:

 

 

Famed underground techno club oma - which kindly hosts Pomegranate, my funky collaborative Thursday-evening extravaganza with Paragon Sound System & MC Loki Dolo - has finally ventured into the clouds of sound, starting with a live recording from music director and resident DJ Taku Hirayama's recent tech-house set:

 

 

This next entry’s a bit different from most: “Hire A Boat,” an Australian-based community radio show, has a special Hong Kong-themed show airing this Monday (July 14th) at 11pm Hong Kong time! Featuring artists from past #HKMUs, tracks come from Ocean Lam, Yao, Loki Dolo, Wiso, DJ P.Vibe, Casey Anderson & Fresh Funky S, Sert, Kazoku, and ▶▶△ (Tree-Angles), and then the 2-hour program concludes with Ocean Lam’s “Hypnotic #13” mix. If your ears are available, make sure to tune in to “STAR FERRY :: Cable car it to Kowloon and sample the wares of Hong Kong’s cooler-than-thou underground dance music scene…”

 

SETLIST +++++ SITE w/ live stream link

 

A big drum-n-bass mix comes from DJ Saiyan, for the Outlook Festival’s “Friends & Family” mix series. Over 1,000 plays on this already:

 

 

Visa's ongoing “40 Minutes Before Departure” series has now taken him to Bali, loaded up with dark & deep house vibes, while his Cliché Records Podcast “Le Mix Cliché Vol. 12” is more disco-infused:

 

 

Ska act The Red Stripes have a live video out for “One Step Beyond” from a recent show at Backstage. Full skankin’ awaits:

 

 

廿四味 24Herbs have a new tune out, “Work It,” with rapid-fire Cantonese lyrics (although some entertaining English phrases appear as well) atop an EDM-influenced club beat:

 

 

DJ 108, in anticipation of an upcoming show with Magnetic Soul, has dropped both a Hong Kong Underground glitchy beat as well as a proper mixtape for Bass Music China:

 

 

The man of many monikers, DJ Redman, tests out The Mean La Kweefa on the groovy “Sounds Of The Beach" - full of his own remixes as SinistaSounds - for a Corona contest (voting ends tomorrow).

 

DJ Darka, in the 11th edition of his “Addiction” mix series, eases into some banging tech-house, slowly and darkly:

 

 

You’ll need to wade through a few commercials, but then Kendy Lam's “Worldcup EDM Music Special” mix for Dance Music I Generation awaits:

 

 

From Emmanuel Diaz comes his monthly live Zuma mix, showcasing chill yet diverse house music:

 

 

EKORB's Reality Webisodes series continues, “Enter Dolo” with Loki Dolo is a recent edition, plus there’s the full archive.

 

 

LëKSs, of Paragon Sound System, has an ongoing (mostly) instrumental hiphop series, “Hipoperies - GoNaRaP,” which is now up to its third volume. Even includes an HK-produced track from beatsmith Hope One:

 

 

Fellow Paragoner Finnalicious brings the disco and the funk on her recent “Different Forms Of Dance” mix:

 

 

Psysert, Strategic Sounds' Sert's psy side-project (now there's some sibilance for ya!), has released the meditative and atmospheric mix “Think Nothing.”

 

 

J-Hoon casually yet unembedably spit a Facebook freestyle over a “Budamunk Funk” tune

 

HK label Nude Disco is set to release Jay Ru's “The LUCA EP” - funky nu-disco (no surprise there) - exclusively via JunoDownload on Monday:

 

 

The label has also interviewed tropicalist Barnaby Bruce, to discuss his new label Palms & Charms (which was the lead entry in the last #HKMU).

 

Macau’s Burnie has a new funky bass-laden EP, Deeper Reality, also available for purchase via JunoDownload once the weekend has ended; preview awaiting your ears now:

 

 

Also from Macau, dancehall specialist Youth Somoan has taken on the “Skin To Skin” riddim:

 

 

Sean Hocking, of local label Metal Postcard Records, has compiled a Top Ten list of the best Indian bands. Some great selections highlighting the underground scene, particularly Ti Tritha’s “Fish Market (Marcher Bajaar),” which I’ve included here:

 

 

And what’s TGT up to, you ask? Celebrating my birthday in digital stylee with a new reggae mixtape, plus going deeper into my Country Dub series with an Alison Krauss x Phil Pratt mashup, “Down To The River To Stay Loose:”

 

 

I’m also having my reggae/dub reviews regularly published over at NiceUp, and have been featured this summer as a ‘Clubbing’ writer for Time Out Hong Kong as well… feel free to just check out the WRITINGS link up at the top ;-)

 

Keep keeping it creative Hong Kong, and enjoy the full moon tonight!

 

The Giants, it seems, are actually trying to be humble. With Reel 1 & 2 - Adapted Chapter, they’ve successfully taken on many of reggae’s most famous riddims, dubbing them not into spatial oblivion, but rather as funky instrumentals primed for the dance. Consistent in quality, and with several standout tracks: this is an impressive album. What about naming the originals you ask? Well, we all need homework from time to time! (EDIT: or you can check out this Spotify playlist direct from The Giants!)
 
“Adapted Chapter Dub” features a warm skanking guitar, before allowing a sample to make The Giants’ mission clear: ‘strictly rub a dub.’ Bringing the groove to the front, “Crafty Dub” is at times sparse and at times swirling and busy, with cascading keys nicely reappearing throughout. The short “Honey Dub” pushes the bpm up just a bit, before “Brixton Prison Dub” takes a darker percussion-laden approach to a familiar tune, which makes the bursting horns a mid-way surprise.
 
“Earth Dub” allows its riddim to slowly assemble, teasing with pieces until the melody-line finally - though temporarily - emerges from the shadowy haze, at times almost hinting at industrial mechanization. “Old Time Dub” gives away its origins immediately via a few very familiar words from Triston Palmer, yet the tune itself lets the horn move to the front-and-center, reverberating with power even as the rhythm section evaporates.
 
As a spoken ‘Irie’ echoes, “Rocking Miss D Dub” rides a short, tight groove, revealing some engaging layers along the way. Then “Drum Song Dub” - the most uptempo on the whole album - shows off a few classic tricks of dub engineering (lasers and spring reverb) while featuring a haunting theme. “House Of Parliament Dub” initially sounds formal, with calling horns, which makes the restrained breakdown and buildup even better.
 
The delicate “Rain Dub” gives way to the chaotic “Mash Dub,” where reverberation reigns supreme. The horns return, cut short and emphasizing the echo, on the appropriately-titled “Drifting Dub.” While announced as ‘strictly drum n bass,’ “Bad Boy Dub” ventures into some jazzy guitar to bring its disparate elements together smoothly. “Dedication To Flabba Dub” does feature a powerful bass-line, giving a nice nod to a legend while also leading nicely into the horn-line of “You Don’t Remember Dub.” “Night Fall Down” seems to imply that the album is winding down; in reality the slow - yet groovy - tune is merely setting up the expected ambling bass on an excellent closing statement in the form of “World Jam Dub.”
 
It’s safe to say that while most of these are going to be familiar to the average dub/reggae connoisseur, there’s far more here than just updated covers of known versions… these are modern and updated interpretations recorded in loving classic analog style. Tune in now, this 18-track is even a free lossless download:
 
Reel 1 & 2 - Adapted Chapter by The Giants
 
The Giants, it seems, are actually trying to be humble. With Reel 1 & 2 - Adapted Chapter, they’ve successfully taken on many of reggae’s most famous riddims, dubbing them not into spatial oblivion, but rather as funky instrumentals primed for the dance. Consistent in quality, and with several standout tracks: this is an impressive album. What about naming the originals you ask? Well, we all need homework from time to time! (EDIT: or you can check out this Spotify playlist direct from The Giants!)

 

“Adapted Chapter Dub” features a warm skanking guitar, before allowing a sample to make The Giants’ mission clear: ‘strictly rub a dub.’ Bringing the groove to the front, “Crafty Dub” is at times sparse and at times swirling and busy, with cascading keys nicely reappearing throughout. The short “Honey Dub” pushes the bpm up just a bit, before “Brixton Prison Dub” takes a darker percussion-laden approach to a familiar tune, which makes the bursting horns a mid-way surprise.

 

“Earth Dub” allows its riddim to slowly assemble, teasing with pieces until the melody-line finally - though temporarily - emerges from the shadowy haze, at times almost hinting at industrial mechanization. “Old Time Dub” gives away its origins immediately via a few very familiar words from Triston Palmer, yet the tune itself lets the horn move to the front-and-center, reverberating with power even as the rhythm section evaporates.

 

As a spoken ‘Irie’ echoes, “Rocking Miss D Dub” rides a short, tight groove, revealing some engaging layers along the way. Then “Drum Song Dub” - the most uptempo on the whole album - shows off a few classic tricks of dub engineering (lasers and spring reverb) while featuring a haunting theme. “House Of Parliament Dub” initially sounds formal, with calling horns, which makes the restrained breakdown and buildup even better.

 

The delicate “Rain Dub” gives way to the chaotic “Mash Dub,” where reverberation reigns supreme. The horns return, cut short and emphasizing the echo, on the appropriately-titled “Drifting Dub.” While announced as ‘strictly drum n bass,’ “Bad Boy Dub” ventures into some jazzy guitar to bring its disparate elements together smoothly. “Dedication To Flabba Dub” does feature a powerful bass-line, giving a nice nod to a legend while also leading nicely into the horn-line of “You Don’t Remember Dub.” “Night Fall Down” seems to imply that the album is winding down; in reality the slow - yet groovy - tune is merely setting up the expected ambling bass on an excellent closing statement in the form of “World Jam Dub.”

 

It’s safe to say that while most of these are going to be familiar to the average dub/reggae connoisseur, there’s far more here than just updated covers of known versions… these are modern and updated interpretations recorded in loving classic analog style. Tune in now, this 18-track is even a free lossless download: