This morning, we wake up with some grooves with Temple Rat.
Mei, who started producing and performing music under her moniker Temple Rat in 2015, grew up near the vibrant megacity of Chengdu. At the age of 9, she began to learn the traditional Chinese Erhu, a mysterious two-stringed folk instrument made from carved wood and snakeskin, played with a bow. Through her years in Chengdu Mei was inspired by her passion for the city’s hyped underground electronic music scene and eventually started to fuse traditional Chinese folk music with minimalistic techno tunes.
Today with Mei’s groovy selection, we cast away the misty, chilly air for a moment, and step inside the warm greenery that’s filled by a nostalgic sunbeam.
Temple Rat’s selection
Chromatics - In The City
Temple Rat: “Old-fashioned but simply beautiful.“
Nightfall In Camp - Cada Día
Temple Rat: “I have loved this song since I was a student. Miami Neon era of the 80s-90s style.“
Ewan Jensen - Island Life
u.r.trax: “Beautiful organic house.“
Temple Rat - Deep Inside (Ryogo Yamamori’s Drum Remix)
Ling: “This was the first track I’ve listened to from Temple Rat when I was doing some digging on Bandcamp. Blending Chinese folk music with electronic components isn’t a combo that’s foreign to me, but the track set me off on an astral trip with its sensible purity. I’m a weak man for hand drums. The slowly building drums here are undergirded by Mei’s enchanting Erhu performance, like a stream of clear water flowing through shiny pebbles. It’s all fresh and blissful.“
Ling: “Again, here we have a Chinese traditional folk instrument that meets electronic sounds. Spacey electro bleeps are joined by Li’s intricate Pipa plucking. Layers of buzzing drones, Li’s additional vocal, and collaborator Rick Parker’s eerie sound of a trombone, pushes the track into its climax. Li Daiguo is a Chinese-American multi-instrumentalist who mixes instrumentation—both Western and Eastern, traditional and contemporary—in a manner that’s uncomplicated yet thoughtful, his works always grander than their discrete elements suggest.“
Laughing Ears - Blue Dusk
Ling: “Laughing Ears is a Shanghai-based producer whom I’ve seen live for a couple of times in Shanghai. This track was the first I’ve listened to from her and remains my favorite among her stellar productions. The trance-infused, beautiful yet haunting synth line morphs like aurora, accompanied by insectile percussion and thrumming sub-bass. Truly mesmerizing.“
Kaishandao - To the East Coast
Ling: “ Yet another producer from Chengdu. Her recent work reminds me of those IDM tunes from the 90s, such as Autechre, or Boards of Canada. It’s warm and fuzzy, just right for an opener, but with enough weight from grounded grooves to keep a floor steady. Kaishandao describes her recent LP as “a therapy cassette sent through a drum machine.“
That’s it for this morning! As always, thank you so much for joining us. Much love to Temple Rat for her dreamy Sunday selections, and many thanks to Meriam Kharbat for this episode’s stunning illustration !