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New Music: The Romp, Lu1 and a Standout Release from One of the Higher Brothers

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New Music, formerly Yin (音, “music”), is a monthly RADII column that looks at Chinese songs spanning hip hop to folk to modern experimental, and everything in between.

We are well and truly in the midst of summer here in Shanghai. The sun is simmering, and the air is heavy with humidity. As a remedy for this stiflingly warm day, we bring you Psy.P’s new album, Chengdu Hot, among other things.

Additionally, over on SoundCheck, our podcast featuring Wes Chen, host of hip hop podcast thePark, and Bryan Grogan, culture editor at RADII, we talk about some of our favorite releases of the month, as well as the controversy surrounding Mandopop star Kris Wu.

ROMO — “Opening Track”

ROMO are one of the most exciting young bands to have come out of Wuhan in recent years. Their thrilling post punk music has crystallized into something exceedingly special. 

“Opening Track” and “Moonrise” are their first two tracks released on legendary Beijing indie music label Maybe Mars.

The 尺口MP — It’s OK

Purveyors of casual rock, Fuzhou-based band The 尺口MP have garnered a rather large following because of their laid-back, casual sound. They are among a group of bands from Fujian province who have established themselves a very distinctive provincial sound.

The Chinese name of the album is Mo Dai Ye (抹待也), a slang phrase in Fujian dialect that means ‘it’s okay,’ but which directly translates as ‘wipe out.’ This summer, the group heads out on tour, hitting up eight cities in China through August and September.

Psy.P — Chengdu Hot

Potentially the most underrated member of Chengdu rap group Higher Brothers, Psy P returns with another solo album that helps to solidify himself as not only one of the best rappers in Higher Brothers but one of the best rappers in China at large.

The new album features some of the country’s best rappers alongside Psy.P, including fellow Chengdu musicians Wang Yitai and Xie Di.

MIA AIM — “Coco”

MIA AIM, who also goes by Li Dingding, has risen to prominence after releasing her mixtape Cool Acid Soul in 2019. Prior to that release, she was better known for her vocal appearances on tracks by the likes of fellow Mintone members Lu 1, Cee and others.

Here she exudes calm, funk and summer freshness, with a track that is due to be released by Chengdu label Mintone Records on a compilation of summer tracks.

Gigi Lee — “Isolation” 

Shanghai DJ and producer Gigi Lee returns with her latest single, “Isolation,” based on her experiences while being cooped up inside during the Covid-19 pandemic. She’s now part of Whet Records, a label launched by Warner Music, comprised of musicians based all over Asia.

Limbo Limbs — It’s a Fact.No!

A new release from Shanghai-based hip hop label Eating Music, this one from Limbo Limbs follows a similar pattern to what we saw from Cocoonics a few months back. It’s a four-track, exploratory release with style points like breakbeats and drum and bass that establish a pretty hectic atmosphere.

The breakbeats manage to create a fantastic cinematic atmosphere with plenty of chase scenes and journeying melodies, as Limbo Limbs establishes the story of a poor detective called ‘Y.’

Lu1 — “Conveni”

Based out of Los Angeles, Lu1, like MIA AIM, is signed with Chengdu label Mintone Records and is one of their most popular artists. This release is part of a compilation album that Mintone Records will put out this summer.

On “Conveni,” Lu1 creates an ode to convenience stores and all the joy that they provide us.

Bryan Grogan
Bryan is RADII's former culture editor. He is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with an interest in culture stories with a social bent. He once correctly guessed all 151 original Pokemon in seven minutes for an online quiz. He also correctly guessed all 100 second generation Pokemon in eight minutes for an online quiz.