Brooklyn based electronic duo, Shanghai Restoration Project (SRP) release their new album on Undercover Culture Music this past December 1st 2017.
‘R.U.R.’ was recorded and self – produced in New York over the last year and features thirteen brand new tracks including ‘Spooky Party’ and the forthcoming single release ‘Alpha Go’.
Listen on Soundcloud:
A reaction to the current state of the world, the new album imagines a world in which humans have been replaced by robots who are trying to understand what led to its predecessors’ extinction. Via a time capsule, the robots learn about humanity’s most noble endeavors (art, agriculture, science) and worst attributes (narcissism, materialism, environmental degradation) and wonder if the universe will ever see the likes of these peculiar beings again.
The title R.U.R is from the 1920s Czech play Rossum’s Universal Robots where the word Robot first originated.
They have now been streamed over 20 million times to date, been featured on the BBC, NPR, The New York Times, Last Call with Carson Daly and they’ve performed over 100 live shows around the world in places such as New York City, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Moscow, and The Great Wall of China.
Originally the solo project of Dave Liang, the Shanghai Restoration Project was initially inspired by the 1930s Shanghai jazz bands. Earlier work combined Chinese instrumentation with hip-hop as Liang had done some producing within P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Label. Shanghai Restoration Project first came to the public’s attention during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing when the BBC featured tracks from their debut album as theme music during their broadcast coverage.
In 2011 Liang met Sun Yunfan, a multi-disciplinary artist who grew up in China, and they began working together – initially on album covers and music videos and later on songwriting and production. Together their influences have expanded to include the likes of Gil Gilberto, Orchestra Baobab, Erik Satie, Mahmoud Ahmed, SCSI-9, Bullion and the late Susumu Yokota. Last year they co-wrote and produced the album ‘Life Elsewhere’ with Chinese jazz singer Zhang Le, which was well received in China and nominated for several national awards. The forthcoming R.U.R. album is the first record the two have officially released together as Shanghai Restoration Project.
‘R.U.R. by Shanghai Restoration Project is both exciting and enigmatic, blending, as mentioned, Traditional and open Jazz concepts, as well as modern Electronica, while sourcing a sound that is rich within their native culture. The atonal sounds are wrapped and warped; it is both organic and digital, as in the concept, life as perceived by the A.I Electronic. It is well orchestrated music that has a free form feel and it is harmonious.
Spooky Party is one of my favorites, not because it is “Spooky” but tribal, the constant beat that drives the piece is hypnotic.
But I encourage you to listen to the entire album, it makes a complete and meaningful image when heard in its entirety, and a “pick apart” review will not do justice to this amazing piece of work.
Shanghai Restoration Project are set to announce further live shows later this year to coincide with the release of the new album. More details to follow.
You can also find their exiting release and more information and media online at:
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