shanghai lounge divas

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Byungki Hwang: The Best of Korean Gayageum Music (Arc/Elite)

Byungki Hwang: The Best of Korean Gayageum Music (Arc/Elite)

At the Auckland Arts Festival AK '07 one of the most fascinating (if least attended) events was an afternoon concert of tea music by a Korean ensemble -- essentially traditional music about the qualities of tea, and performed while tea was being prepared. While you might have come away thinking it takes a helluva long time to get a cup of...

The Silk String Quartet: Contemporary and Traditional Chinese Music (Arc/Elite)

The Silk String Quartet: Contemporary and Traditional Chinese Music (Arc/Elite)

This London-based group includes Cheng Yu, who previously featured on Elsewhere with her lovely solo album of pipa (lute) and qin (zither) music. She has a command of both instruments and here (playing pipa) with Sun Zhao on zither, Hu Bin (erhu/fiddle) and Zhou Jinyan (Chinese dulcimer) she delivers lively traditional tunes alongside...

Sa Dingding: Alive (Universal)

Sa Dingding: Alive (Universal)

Elsewhere has frequently posted Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan music recorded in the field and of earthy authenticity (or soaring spirituality). But we aren't averse to a bit of Cantonese pop, ambient Sino-fusion or wallpaper world music which nods to the Middle Kingdom. These days only a fool or an academic would be snooty about world music...

SHANGHAI LOUNGE DIVAS: The old world into the new

SHANGHAI LOUNGE DIVAS: The old world into the new

Shanghai has always been China's hotspot, the most cosmopolitan of cities in that vast and diverse country. In the Twenties and Thirties the place was awash with jazz, blues and international pop thanks to the international community, and that rubbed alongside the local folk, Mandarin pop and opera. At one time there were 30 radio stations...

Sa Dingding: Harmony (Go East)

Sa Dingding: Harmony (Go East)

The debut album Alive of two years ago by this photogenic Chinese singer was a mish-mash of electro-pop, slightly twee vocals, Chinese folk, new age blandness and deadening over-production. This new album however -- while still mining electro-pop and again putting traditional instruments alongside synths -- is a much more interesting item....

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