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[Music Monday]: Push Don't Pull

Music Monday highlights Shanghai’s only grime–centric party crew Push and Pull with tracks from Spooky, Limit’less, Princess Nyah, Jess Glynne, and more.
Apr 20, 2015 | 17:26 Mon
Music Monday is a weekly SmartShanghai column, serving up songs from bands living and making music in China (or coming to China, or thinking about coming to China, or whatever). Copyright holders: if you would like your song removed, please contact us here, and we'll honor your request promptly.

Alta and Naaah of Push & Pull

After four months of belly aching about how live music is doomed forever in Shanghai, it looks like everything is pretty much back to normal. Live houses Yuyingtang, Mao Livehouse, On-Stage, QSW, and Inferno are all seeing regular shows without cancellations.

Much to everyone’s surprise nearly all of Shanghai’s May holiday music festivals have been reinstated at the last minute. You have Dinosaur Jr and the Hives backing up Carly Rae Jespen -- classic. Even infamous noise / performance art band Torturing Nurse are slated to play Yuyintang in a couple weeks, despite being previously banned from the venue (and nearly every venue in Shanghai).

This week Music Monday highlights a music crew that who might not get the most press, but have consistently thrown solid parties for two years now. I'm talking about Push & Pull, the monthly night for grime, UK bass, gar-age, dubstep, and "club trax". They're celebrating their 2nd birthday this Saturday at Shelter. Do club nights really need deserve ‘Birthday’ parties? Probably not, but nonetheless resident DJs Naaah and Alta have been providing an alternative bass outlet for Shanghai’s hungry ears for a minute, so let’s take a stroll down the streets of London via Shanghai endz.

Growing up on the mean streets of California, Grime and UK Bass music didn’t really have the same effect on my life as my mates across the pond. However while working at a pirate radio station in San Francisco during the mid 2000’s I ran the sound board for a Grime / UK Garage weekly radio show called Grimewave FM and was exposed to murk’ing culture in her rawest form. I remember specifically DJs and MCs coming through with fresh white t-shirts and gold chains smoking endless spliffs. Grime has had her ups and downs over these past fifteen years but it’s nice to see kids like Naaah and Alta keeping the dream alive in Shanghai along with their classic club trax and jacking' house or garage bangers. Let’s get things going with a Spooky x Rihanna banger.

Spooky x Rihanna – "Electric RiRi"


Push and Pull got their start at the Xingfu lu LOgO bar playing to 10s if not 20s of people on a monthly basis. For over a year now they have been down on Yongfu at Shelter with a solid sound system that fits better with Push and Pull's bass-heavy sets. Playing classics like Wiley white labels to Lorenzo, resident DJs Alta and Naaah parties have focused mainly on booking local DJs instead of importing acts once a month. However they did team up with local Chinese website Wooozy last fall to bring over Mumdance, who is part of the second generation of grime artists pushing the limits of the genre.

Mumdance feat Novelist – "Take Time"

Cause & Affect – "The Inforcer"

Let’s take a minute to go over that ever elusive Grime slang, If you’re a punter like me then this dictionary will be invaluable to navigating your favorite songs, referenced from

Endz: "Can refer to the specific estate or neighborhood you’re from (“What endz you reppin’?”) or just “the hood” in general. So when The Endz ask, “Are you really from the endz?” your reply might be, “'My village in Oxfordshire had some council housing -- does that count?'"

Gash: "What MCs call the fairer sex. They also like to talk about how good they are at “drawing gash” (pulling girls). If you were to use another slang definition of “gash”, and wanted to be particularly misogynistic, you could say to someone, in reference to their girlfriend, “Your gash is gash” – although they would probably look at you like you’re completely mental."

Par: "Used to describe the outcome of any unfortunate situation. Examples of “a par”: running for the bus, only to have the driver shut the doors in your face; being pooed on by a bird; waking up to find your cat has puked all over your bed. Somewhat paradoxically, to “par with your friends” means to hang out."

Slippin’: "Going about your business with reckless abandon, resulting in negative consequences. It is often used in reference to being robbed – “caught slippin’ out of your endz” – or nabbed by the police. But it can also be used, for example, when using the loo in the nude on a hot summer’s day and forgetting to lock the door, resulting in embarrassment when your flatmate walks in on you."

Wasteman: "A term for someone you particularly dislike – someone with few or no redeeming features. In the video for DPM feat. Bruza, Napper & Shizzle’s ’Ave Some of That, a wasteman is vividly portrayed as a rat-faced weasel in a cheap leather jacket and flat cap drinking a bottle of Newkie Brown. Examples of famous wastemen include Noel Edmonds, Chris Moyles, David Cameron, Peter Andre, Judge Jules, John Terry, Ian Beale from EastEnders and Barney the Dinosaur."

NRKY feat Lenzez – "Old Skool Skank"


We leave you today with a DJ Alta mix that came out earlier this month. I had a chance to catch Alta recently and was impressed on his track selections. Saturday’s Push and Pull anniversary is only 30rmb and features guests Zean, Sleepless, Howell, and Robjamdj. Not to be missed innit. 

DJ Alta Mix


This column is written by DJ Sacco, who runs Uptown Records, Shanghai's dedicated vinyl shop. Ironically, they don't sell Mp3s or dabble in anything digital, instead they have 7" and 12", EPs and LPs from rock to electronic, rare pressings, DJ equipment and band merchandise. Find them in an old bomb shelter at 115 Pingwu Lu.