I tend to throw the word “cyberpunk” around a little too freely, but alas, here I am about to do it again. Not sure of a better word for the carbon-fiber-sharp assault of retro toms and blaring synthetic airhorns that greet you in the opening moments of “I’m Lost”, a recent track from Beijing producer Joy Ginger.
“I’m Lost” kicks off a killer six-song EP called Love Is Medicine, which the artist released in May, but has just now gotten a music video. It is… pretty cyberpunk:
Dropped into the POV of some futurish, faceless metal automaton, “I’m Lost” sets you wandering blindly through an eerily depopulated gray-and-pink cityscape like some kind of android archaeologist seeking clues about its long-gone creator race. There are no hard-coded “Beijing” signifiers there per se, but the wide streets and garish superblock architecture feel pretty spot on.
Sound-wise, the hard-edged, low-end-heavy palette used here betrays Joy Ginger’s pedigree of involvement with some of the most progressive names in Beijing club music: Do Hits, to whom he submitted a guqin-laced beat a few years back, and now Babel Records, who’ve picked up the baton of wobbly Sinofuturist bass music since Do Hits went dark a year ago.
The flickering, fogged-out video for “I’m Lost” doubles down on that whole vibe. It’s an impressive piece of work by Immosa, a visual artist who’s created a unifying aesthetic for several Babel releases via 3D-animated cover art.
If you happen to be in Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou or Shanghai, you can catch the edgier end of the Beijing club sound next month on a four-city tour behind this release. The Love Is Medicine mini-tour sees Joy Ginger sharing booths with fellow Do Hits/Babel Record affiliates Dokedo and ZHI16, also recommended.
If not, take your time with the Babel Records back catalog, which includes 18 releases to date, over at the label’s Bandcamp.
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