Yin (, “music”) is a weekly Radii feature that looks at Chinese songs spanning classical to folk to modern experimental, and everything in between. Drop us a line if you have a suggestion.

The Silk Road was instrumental in developing trade and collaboration between distant empires in the ancient world. Today, Silk Road Sounds is instrumental in developing collaboration between powerhouse producers and some of the most fire vocal talent in Asia.

Silk Road Sounds Vol. I is the work of Yeti Out, a collective from London, now based in Shanghai. That contrast between their musical upbringing in the UK and the artists they collaborate with across Asia imbues their work with a completely unique sound – the album’s dynamic international flows are impossible to ignore. You have jazzy progressive trap, pulsating techno, Japanese grime music, and wavy future bass ballads, all in the same place.

Some standouts worth listening to:

  • Bohan Phoenix layers soulful bilingual melodies on SOLOW (it’s a wop)
  • Delf breathes new life into an often-sampled Duke Ellington classic on Sentimental Mood ii
  • Soundcloud-generation trap channeled through the lens of young disillusioned Hong Kong on YAT PIT

The album is leveled up by art direction and photography from Derick van Wijk and Alex Maeland respectively. The whole thing comes together for a clashing future-nostalgia vibe that hurts us in all the right places.

Listen to Silk Road Sounds Vol. I on Bandcamp.