Full disclosure: Author has the name of the artist tattooed on her butt. Everything she says may be biased.
In 1997 Sun Dawei began to play guitar and subsequently joined a band called ‘Underground Baby’ performing live with them. In the year 2000 he began to create electronic music, often as the inspiration and key member of ‘Panda Twin’. From the early darker sounds, Sun Dawei then moved into 8-bit music. (8-bit, for those who have not had the pleasure, is electronic sounds taken from electronic entertainment systems.) In 2002 he began by releasing his first album on Modern Sky’s label and subsequently he started his own record label, Shanshui Records. Based in Beijing, the label was first a home to many recording artists throughout Asia and has in recent times expanded more globally. Although Sun Dawei may not be a household name, perhaps you do know him by his pseudonym, Sulumi.
Sulumi is made a name for himself as a “Game Boy DJ”, using the systems to put together bleeps and blips to create loud, happy, hardcore, and totally danceable music. Other than providing tracks on recent compilation albums for both Shanshui and Kill Club, Sulumi released his fourth full-length album, “Chaotic Dances the Function”, late in 2008 on his own Shanshui Records label.
“Chaotic Dances the Function” is packed with Game Boy laden songs, including a few old gems, namely ‘City’ from his most recent EP ‘What has happened to me in this world’, a song that has high energy and never fails to get the crowd moving. The album opens with ‘Sweetly’, a nice slow intro to what quickly becomes a high-energy dance party, not without the countdown, of course. It also includes a remix of a USK, another 8-bit artist from Japan who has also been released on Shanshui Records, a track titled ‘Kill Me Sweetly (Love Me Sweetly)’.
Sulumi brings you on a journey through the wonders of 8-bit. There is the light, poppy, bubbly sound reminiscent of capturing princesses from the castles; he in turn gives you the dark, heavy rhythmic sounds of hunting out and shooting aliens. Although short at nine tracks, the sound stays fresh, upbeat and, before you know it, you will be bobbing your head in public to the digital sounds and rhythm of the metro under your feet. Even though the album is great, seeing him live is a special experience that everyone in the greater China area should have.
The best track on the album is the last track, featuring a live show that Sulumi performed at LOgO in May of 2007 for the Shanshui China Tour. For any Sulumi fan, it is an excellent trip down memory lane. If you listen closely, you can hear your friends shouting Sulumi’s name before he begins. You can hear the happiness and pogo dancing of everyone in the crowd. If you listen close enough, I think you can even remember what most of the high-energy crowd was wearing. In fact, by listening, I myself remember stealing Sulumi’s hat and running out to the street to refuel from the BBQ man outside, although that might have just been me and a few select others.
The second best part about this album is that it’s free! You can download the zip file from Neocha.
Please enjoy these wonderful electronic sounds yourself.
Postnote: Get yourself to LoGo on Friday, December 11, 2009 to hear for yourself the joy of Sulumi. Pray he brings his Game Boys! In fact, myspace his ass and make sure he does.