Producer: Ma Haiping (MHP)
Release date: April 2016
Record label: D Force Records (大福唱片)
For many people, “techno” is a distant, complicated, rigid Western form. The work of Ma Haiping (MHP) does not fit this description. MHP has a special connection with techno’s birthplace, Detroit, and has earned the title of Shanghai’s Techno Son with his emotional brand of electronic music fusing force, elegance and grace, a sort of high-tech fluorescent dreamscape. On April 13th 2016, MHP will release his new album, Folding Traces, on Beijing independent record label D Force. In addition to the material from his widely acclaimed Crepuscular Rays EP, this full length album also includes several additional tracks.
Folding Traces is an album about the city and the future. From “Motor City Remix” to “Tonal of The Rainy Season”, culminating in “Melbourne Sunlight”, fast-moving, mechanic rhythms and shimmering synth stabs construct magnificent scenes of the Future City: flowing, evolving, complex, boundless, filled with potential and vitality. “Manifesto of Futurism”, like the work of the great master Vangelis, creates a sublime, cinematic atmosphere, uniting science fiction and our present reality. MHP invited science fiction host Yang Xiaojun to read an excerpt from Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s century-old poem of the same name. His slightly joking expression points out the album’s spiritual theme.
Folding Traces is an album about illumination. MHP has a deep background in the arts. The name “folding traces” refers to the brightly colored traces seen after a ray of light is refracted, as well as the Futurist/Cubist perspective folding technique. Even though it exists within the context of techno’s beat and cadence, MHP also weaves graceful melodies and delicate timbers into his compositions, creating an extraordinary sense of pictorial space. Especially on “Crepuscular Rays” and “Anticrepuscular Rays”, the album’s echoing bookend tracks, it’s almost as if you can hear intersecting lines of light and shadow and the flow of color.
Folding Traces is also an album about emotion and memory. “Folding” obliquely references the plot of cult science fiction film Blade Runner: in the movie, folded origami animals serve as an indirect metaphor for human nature. The entire album is a careful selection of tones, setting a mood that recalls ‘80s and ‘90s science fiction soundtracks: vast and deep, yet at the same time evoking the familiarity of nostalgia. As opposed to the majority of techno albums with their all-electronic aesthetic, Folding Traces is deeply enriched by its selective inclusion of acoustic instruments. Opening track “Entrance to My Emotions” features guest musicians Xia Bao and Li Haoran, and closing track “Melbourne Sunlight” features former Gorillaz collaborator Wang Meng’s stirring guzheng performance. All of these guest performances add to the album’s depth and warmth.
Folding Traces is the first full-length album that MHP has released within China. Previously, he has released vinyl records on Detroit label Cratesavers International and Dutch label Nightvision Records. For the past few years, he has also regularly worked with artists of different media on cross-disciplinary collaborations, giving improvised, experimental performances in theaters and art galleries. These experiments are reflected in this album, as they are all distinct but related aspects of MHP’s particular charm.
About Ma Haiping (MHP):
Douban artist site: http://site.douban.com/mhpmhp/
About D Force Records:
Douban artist site: https://site.douban.com/dforcerecords/
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