Talking with Cantonese hip hop beatmaker / designer PETECHEN about his beats ahead of his show at Arcade on Thursday night.
Mixtape is asking DJs, producers, and musicians coming to town, in their opinions, what are the five best songs ever and forever and ever. Or just five songs that are somewhat interesting for some reason. Or six songs. We're easy…
The Mix Maker
: If Shanghai is the land of house / electronic music, and Beijing is the city for rock, Guangdong is becoming the place for hip hop in China, with lots of young artists all over the province, like Chillgun
, and Chee Production
. Some Chinese hip hop DJs I know said that's because of the way Cantonese sounds -- it's just easier to rap in than Mandarin.
, a young Guangzhou hip hop producer who's on Endy Chen's Groove Bunny Sound Machine
label out of Jinhua City in Zhejiang. He makes raw, lo-fi, head-nod beats in the vein of SAMIYAM, J-Dilla, or Pete Rock, both for himself and for rappers like WOOTAC, who released one of 2014's best albums, Maiden Voyage
. PETECHEN produced the whole thing, and even raps on a few songs. Here's some examples of his sound:
I first saw Pete when he dropped an impressive live set on a Roland SP-404 sampler at the Daily Vinyl Sunday party last December. Turns out he also made the flyer for that event, and all of the art for the Groove Bunny label and several parties in Guangzhou, like this:
Then I ran into Pete last Sunday, after he rode the new high-speed train up from Guangzhou for a wedding that brought together a lot of the hip hop community. He made some beats on the train, naturally. Turns out he's playing this Thursday night at Arcade
with Shanghai producers Damacha
and Pantoo, plus Australian beatmaker Nuck Fames
. Ahead of that, I asked him about his favorite Chinese hip hop tracks ever.
1. "羊城叹" by deearna
PETECHEN says: "Favorite local Guangzhou hip hop track ever, first heard this at my age 17, back in 2003 this beat was amazing and of course smart and hilarious lyrics."
2. "川保久玲大战山本耀司" by 软硬天师
PETECHEN says: "tag: canto-newjack-rap"
3. "卡拉ok" by 柠檬精
PETECHEN says: "One of my favorite emcees on a random lo-fi track that someone looped from a '70s movie"
4. "E=MC2" by Nuck Fames"
PETECHEN says: "Wow"
PETECHEN plays live at Arcade this Thursday night, along with Nuck Fames, Damacha, and Pantoo. Details. Stay tuned to Groove Bunny Sound Machine for more good Chinese hip hop.