Rabshaka's Shanghai Essential Playlist

Yeah we are pimping bad Friend or Foe’s gig this Saturday. It’s not that I like them a lot, but more like I’m scared of them. They do seem pretty fun and all, but during day light they are not really like that, and it’s risky to say no to them. Anyway, Rabshaka is playing nice on this one (kind of), he did this playlist with music from Shanghai, though it’s more about him not liking what people says about Shanghai, the result is cool. Sometimes I hear about Shanghai having a weak music scene. That needs to stop. Here are 10 reasons why.

1. Duck Fight Goose – “Hainan Dao”

Groovy guitar parts that seem half African. Lushious layers. Weird vocals. I’m in! And Duck Fight Goose has a new album coming out in the next month or two! YES! Buy and listen to this song on Duck Fight Goose’s

2. Sig – “Clockwork Password”

Sig released this album earlier this year and it is quality the whole way through. This track is just banging. Serious production quality. Straight ninja music.

Clockwork password by SIG

3. The Fever Machine – “Blind Faith”

This is on Fever Machine’s recent release Living in Oblivion. The Fever Machine took awhile to make this album and it is easy to hear with all the vocal harmonies and guitar parts. It is reminiscent of that early 90s rock before Limp Bizkit and Korn came along and fucked it all up. Anyway, the album rocks the whole way through but I grabbed this one on because the intro guitar, drum groove gets stuck in my head.

Blind Faith by The Fever Machine

4. Acid Pony Club – Don’t Stop the Music

This track is technically a remix and the Ponies will be mad at me for not posting one of their originals, but you know what, this is the song that I come home from the bar all drunk and dance around to in my underpants. Probably shouldn’t tell ya’ll that, but fuck it. They have a new mix out free on their website – get ready to disco on this one.

Also check their Soundcloud page.

5. ROM featuring Icenine – “My Own Special Way”

Cool beat with Tom Waits sample. And this lyric “So why not, get high on pot, come on over to my spot, and look up words like zygote.” Plus ROM is always throwing down on rad parties. Live-independent hip hop in Shanghai? Can’t say I expected it.

My Own Special Way by icenine

6. Ceezy – “Welcome to Summer Nights”

Everything I’ve heard from Ceezy has been super tight. And I feel bad, I still haven’t seen him live. So yeah, plenty of music in Shanghai, cause I go out a lot. This track is great stuff for kicking back on Saturday and eating some waffles. Listen to this track on

7. Rainbow Danger Club – “To Where Maps End”

Look, right now in Shanghai we have a band who released the best theme album of 2010. Seriously. Well, how many albums even attempt to do what Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” does. This album pulls it off. I picked one of the weirder tracks on the album because I assume you’ve already heard Neighbors on the Rooftops or Drown the Creatures. If you haven’t, stop reading! Go download the album! It’s on their Bandcamp page. It’s free for god sakes!

8. Boys Climbing Ropes – “The Whale Song”

This band took awhile to grow on me but now after seeing them kill it several times, including at MIDI last year, I’m a fan. The drummer really drives the band live. Their live energy is infectious and that comes through on this track. They are releasing a split album soon with X is Y (another great Shanghai band).

Whale Song by Boys Climbing Ropes

9. AM 444 – “神仙药” (Shen Xian Yao)

Listen to the chorus. This is what I wish pop music was like. I played this track for my Mom and she really dug it. She said, “It has a good beat.” My Mom is not a very musical person. Point being, this has universal appeal. Pick up their album Eye Wonder. A pleasure the whole way through.

神仙药 (Shen Xian Yao) by AM444

10. Pairs – “Birthday”

I love Pairs live but this song is put on with a bit of a caveat. I have to admit that I rarely listen to Pairs at home. I tend to value production and that just isn’t so high on Pairs priority list. However, Heatwolves posted this song on his blog and brought my attention to the lyrics. “I spent my Birthday with a bunch of Cunts!” I never even knew Pairs songs had actual words, but now that I do, I find myself coming back to this track for a blast of noise and a chuckle.

Pairs – Birthday by pairs

So there you are, 10 tracks of fun! I haven’t even touched the Zhu Lu He Feng label, which has a bunch of solid Chinese bands, and passed on the Jazz scene since I don’t have much in the way of CDs but there a lot of great jazz to be had. Plus tons of other independent groups are bumping around (Dragon Pizza, Top Floor Circus, Uprooted Sunshine and Death to Giants to name a few.)

Really, there is just a lot of vibrant and fun music all over the city. So if you find yourself wanting to see good music in Shanghai, get out of the house. It’s already here, just waiting for you to take a hand and come for a dance.

Photo by Squinzi

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Mache is a hippie witch that was born under Beltane's full moon. She enjoys talking to ghosts and interdimensional beings, and cooking for her friends and beasts. She has Chilean wine in her veins instead of blood,and at the moment she belongs to China.


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