This Friday sees the launch of Pause:Music’s second full release to date, following their debut from AM444 last week. SIG (originally from Qingdao, having made his way to Shanghai via Beijing) has been working on his album ‘Sad Mirror’ for a number of years now, and this CD represents a collection of his work produced for the most part between 2007-2009.
For an album produced using solely sampled and programmed elements, ‘Sad Mirror’ features fantastically diverse sounds that create a melancholy, yet soulful landscape that suits walking Shanghai’s streets down to the ground. But why did SIG come to Shanghai in the first place? ‘’I was invited down from Beijing to play Karma Koma, at The Shelter in 2008. I liked what I saw, what was going on in Shanghai, and I decided to move down here as soon as I could’’. And how did he get started with music back in Qingdao? ‘’In Qingdao there is really no music scene for electronic music. I was listening to people like DJ Shadow,Krush - guys like that – and beginning to experiment with making my own beats. I’m not a DJ, I don’t like playing other people’s records. I love to make beats, stuff that makes people go a little crazy!’’.
This album documents a difficult time personally for SIG: “The title, ‘Sad Mirror’, explains my feelings when making the album. I think when people listen to the album they will be able to relate to what I was going through at the time”. And will this sound resonate with a young Chinese audience in particular who are perhaps confused as to what their place might be in modern Chinese society? “I think that most Chinese kids like to listen to music that is happier, more up-beat. They don’t like to reflect and feel down about things. I think more foreign people will be interested in this album because they like this type of music. It would be cool if more Chinese kids did start to listen to this music, I don’t know if it will happen though!”
Across the eleven tracks on ‘Sad Mirror’ it becomes clear that SIG devours music and sound in all forms, and he has blended these sometimes extremely contrasting influences to produce an album that sounds different and more complex with every listen. The vast majority of the tracks are slo’n’lo affairs - smoker’s delight some might say – clearly referencing his heroes. But there is also a standout up-tempo offering; a cosmic/broken beat number that will get those bleary eyes wide-open again, no doubt.
‘Sad Mirror’ is a record that makes you sit-up and love something new about it every time you put it on. With so much going one and so many elements at play, I can see this record being on Heavy Rotation for some time to come. It is also beautifully presented and comes with a booklet of photos taken by SIG himself for the project. Full-size original prints of these signed by SIG will be available to buy at The Shelter this Friday when ‘Sad Mirror’ gets its official launch. SIG, Rom (live), LON (live), Drunk Monk b2b with Deville, Sickstar and for 50RMB you also get a copy of the CD!
Check out our mini-mix of tracks taken from the album below! :