Yin: Writhing Club Track “Invertebrate” by Hangzhou’s GUAN


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

It’s October, so it seems like a cool time to freak out to some creepy, slightly inhuman dungeon dance music, right? You good with that? Perfect. So here’s the latest acid synth, crushing percussion, experimental club track from Hangzhou producer GUAN, the first sample of a new EP he has coming out later this month that promises to provide “a taste of the fierce new blood of mixed-media creators in this prolific city.”

This one’s especially thick on the low-end so do kick those subs beneath your desk on:


GUAN is one of the founders of FunctionLab, a fresh collective of avant club producers that’s been going for a bit over a year now, and has two solid compilations (Functory01 & Functory02) and a handful of solid singles under the belt so far. We featured GUAN along with label mates GG Lobster and YUNG MIN in our recent Hangzhou City Mix, so feel free to catch up there.

Following a string of self-released EPs and the prolific nightlife output of FunctionLab — both at the Loopy venue in their home base of Hangzhou, and at nearby Shanghai’s ALL club, the Mecca for this kind of music in China at the moment — GUAN has caught the attention of Beijing-based label D Force, who will be releasing his new EP, Unconstrained. Above is the first taste, and we can look forward to more weirdness where that came from if the presser is anything to judge by:

With teenagers across the country continuing to rush headlong into the internet era, becoming members of a new “Beat Generation” in the process, the underground club scene is no longer the exclusive domain of the raver. Forward-thinking media artists and underground subcultures are blending and being reborn from fresh collisions in Hangzhou, which have given birth to a new idiom of deconstructed club music exemplified by artists like GUAN.


CITY MIX: Something in the Hangzhou Water

Keep an eye peeled for the rest of Unconstrained to drop on D Force’s Bandcamp/Xiami/etc on Halloween (appropriate!).

In fact there’s a major payload of incredible new music from China coming out over the next several weeks, and I’ll be rolling a bunch of it up into an autumnal mix here on RADII, so stay tuned for that too while you’re at it.

You might also like:

Bugged Out: The Humanoid Machine Music of Shanghai Artists Han Han and 33EMYBW

A Multi-Stream Radio Station for 21st-Century Shanghai

Josh Feola
Josh Feola is a US-based writer and musician, and RADII's former Culture Editor. His coverage of Chinese music and art has appeared in The Wire, Dazed, MIT Technology Review, Artsy, Bandcamp Daily and more. He's been active in China's underground music scene since 2010 via his booking platform pangbianr.com, and is a former member of Beijing bands Chui Wan, SUBS, and Vagus Nerve.
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