The Shanghai Restoration Project
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Why It's Different
Dave Liang's "Shanghai Restoration Project" proves a potent offering from a new up-and-coming star in the electronica genre. The Project is an inventive marriage between traditional Chinese instruments and modern electronic production but is set apart from the pack in its Hip Hop rhythms and commercial approach. Employing an onslaught of cultural instrumentals, angelic choirs, mixed-tempo beats and pop-drop refrains, Liang never loses sight of each song's essence: explorative, reflective, and overall approachable music. The seducing "Miss Shanghai" is an immediate favorite. Permeated by fluid Chinese strings and shrewd beats, it features an infectious refrain accompanied by a bevy of harmonious melodies that pop 'n lock the track into a self-contained hit. "Shanghai Restoration" is as easily enjoyed on headphones in isolation as it is in a crowded lounge. Some tracks' quiet build and swelling tones draw attention to the fine-tuned detail Liang teases into each track. Others compliment a more subconscious listening experience, fading in and out behind conversation. The only trouble with listening to it in public is that it soon becomes difficult to avoid humming along. Liang successfully resists the more generic drum-machine lines and cookie cutter delay spools that have recently defined the 'Outernational' genre. Populating his tracks with cultural sensibilities mixed with commercial melodies he creates a record one can lose themselves in, regardless of location of mood.
The whole Asian production thing has been done before in the world of Hip Hop and R&B (Christina Milian), but never like this. This album manages to successfully mix Hip Hop inspired beats not just with Asian sounds, but Asian music sensibility into a modern context that is refreshing. Too many times attempts at this kind of thing come off as too cheesy to really enjoy beyond novelty. The Shanghai Restoration Project is a shining exception to this cliched "East meets West" pitfall. It is a great collection of songs and is particularly good driving music.
Music to do work to.
This type of album can easily fade into the background while you're having a conversation or if you're deep in thought while doing work or you can just as easily find yourself singing or humming along with every track. It's genius!
Top Albums and Songs by The Shanghai Restoration Project
||Babylon of the Orient||The Shanghai Restoration Project||3:53||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Babylon of the Occident (Instrumental)||Day - Night (Instrumentals)||3:54||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Miss Shanghai||The Shanghai Restoration Project||3:21||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Babylon of the Orient (Instrumental)||Day - Night (Instrumentals)||3:53||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Dark Horse (feat. Hooshere)||Zodiac||4:24||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Jade Buddha Temple||The Shanghai Restoration Project||3:42||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Last Night of the Dynasty||Story of a City||3:53||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||The Bund||The Shanghai Restoration Project||6:31||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||The Bund (Instrumental)||Day - Night (Instrumentals)||6:31||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Lu Xun (Watch Me Dance)||The Shanghai Restoration Project||3:16||$0.99||View In iTunes|