While there may be hundreds of bands with the same style in America, there is only one band doing that kind of music in China, so that’s what makes all the muscians in China independent mavericks.
One of the few techno musicians in China, MHP is known as the “Techno Son of Shanghai”. As the first Chinese musician to release an EP, in 2012，his album ‘The Chinese Connection’, on Detroit label Cratesavers International, MHP’s music style tries to express traditional Chinese elements using a Western electronic music style.
MHP, real name Ma Haiping, was born in Shanghai. His background in painting, he says, is where his music career began. In the 1990s, studying art didn’t quite satiate his creative hunger, but groundbreaking electronic music totally opened his eyes to the possibilities of art at that time.
Since 2008, when MHP joined Shanghai underground techno group V/O/I/D, he has become the most active electronic musician in Shanghai, making techno, house and electronica as part of the experimental bands AITAR and Junkyard.
MHP has long been a fan of Detroits music: futuristic, simple and inspiring. Last year, he released his EP “The Chinese Connection” on the well-known Detroit techno label Cratesavers International. Before his EP was released, the roster of the label contained a number of well-established techno musicians, but for such a label to promote an unknown Chinese musician’s work was unprecedented.
MHP named his album The Chinese Connection to convey the richness of Asia and let everyone know about Chinese electronic music. The music focuses on strong melodies and creating atmosphere, with the song named “Tonal of the Rainy Season” evoking feelings of the city landscape during the rainy season in Shanghai.
The cover art for The Chinese Connection was done by artist Yang Yongliang in the artist’s usual style of landscape painting, and using modern technology for post-production. MHP believes that he and Yang Yongliang are both doing similar things: creating contemporary art based on, and infused with, traditional Chinese style.
Although techno has been around for a long time, Chinese audiences don’t know much about it. However, MHP says he is not looking forward to techno becoming mainstream in China, feeling it belongs to the underground scene. “The involvement of businesses and brands can only ruin things. Fortunately techno itself sounds good, and as long as there are people interested in techno, it will certainly continue to develop in China”. (more…)