Behringer responds to reports, defends reverse engineering

MUSIC TRIBE and Behringer responded early today to CDM’s request for comment, following revelations that company had targeted a Chinese website and Dave Smith Instruments with threatened or real legal action over criticism of the company’s business practices.

Uli Behringer, company CEO and founder of holding company MUSIC TRIBE, shared the following, which I’ve included in its entirety. (He also shared the same message to their Facebook group.)

In the message, Behringer doubles down on the claim that comments posted by a Dave Smith Instruments employee to the Gearslutz forum, as well as by Chinese news site Midifan, are false and constitute illegal defamation. He also defends the practice of what he describes as “reverse engineering” in their product development process.

Here’s their side of the story, as represented to us:

Hi Peter,

Thank you for reaching out and giving us an opportunity to respond in detail which we appreciate.

This is actually a first in our history with CDM and we welcome the change. As usual there are always two sides to any story and in the spirit of transparency and fairness we believe both sides should be heard. Since much revolves around “Defamation,” please find a quick Wiki link.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation

Chinese Media Case
Allow me to first comment on the previous story related to the Chinese Media case. While you had claimed to have reached out to us for comments, there is no such record in any of our systems. You only contacted me and Michael Lapke last weekend after the news was already a week old.

Let me start by saying that we don’t have any problem with people criticizing us. In fact we appreciate constructive criticism as that’s the only way to learn. What we have a problem with is when our employees are being called highly offensive and insulting names by media outlets. Unfortunately your article did not properly reflect the full content and background of the language used, which in the Chinese culture has a highly different sensitivity and legality.

This was not only raised by our Chinese colleagues but also customers of this media site who felt compelled to contact us. Also publishing pictures of a cancer-fighting colleague in a hospital bed has caused deep concerns among our people.

We sent the owner of the publishing site a Cease-and-Desist letter, but he was never sued as wrongly reported. We have since spoken with the publisher and they have promised to remove the offensive language and refrain from posting such slur in the future. We consider this case to be resolved and he also has standing invitation to visit us.

Since our employee welfare and integrity has been severely questioned by this Chinese magazine and whose accusations have later been repeated by CDM and other publishers without fact checking, I like to post a link to a local job portal that may give you a different impression. We also invited you Peter (and everyone else) to visit us, both in Manchester and Zhongshan.

We are very proud that we have been ranked Zhongshan’s No. 1 employer by the leading and independent job site (http://www.jobui.com/company/35895/)

Our factory MUSIC Tribe City is ranked:

· No 1 most popular electronics company
· No 1 most popular recruiting company
· No 1 most employee caring company

I am very proud of our local leaders who go out of their way to make a difference for our employees. If you like to learn more about our MUSIC Tribe City here is a video.

DSI Case

Some time ago an employee of DSI had posted incorrect and slanderous statements about our company on multiple forums. We put both the employee as well as DSI on notice and received a signed Cease-and-Desist letter from the employee where he assured us that he would refrain from such future comments. I have attached a copy of the undertaking of the employee to stop making such comments. In the reply of DSI, the company stated that it has instructed all employees to stop making any false or derogatory statements against us.

It is important to understand that this is not a legal action against a mere individual but a representative of a competitor. Any such false and disparaging comments made by DSI’s employee, are damaging and inappropriate in a highly competitive market such as ours. Unfortunately and despite the signed declaration, the individual working for DSI chose to continue to make such claims and hence we were forced to take legal action. If the employee had stopped his actions as agreed, the case would have never been field. While I am not a lawyer, I can only assume that including 20 “John Does” is part of a standard legal procedure to include other potential individuals related to the company. For clarity purposes, this case has nothing to with any particular forum or individuals other than those related to DSI.

Misconception around IP

Allow me to post an article about IP (Intellectual Property) as this is an important one to us. Especially because we have been accused of not honoring the IP of other manufacturers. I have heard and read over the years many accounts of lawsuits, judgments and sanctions against our company that are frankly based in fiction and not fact.

Technology is free for anyone to use unless it is protected

This is the fundamental principle of every industry and how we as a society progress and evolve. Imagine there was only one car or guitar manufacturer. I welcome this opportunity to set the record straight not only on past cases but to also clarify our view on IP and what constitutes fair competition as well.

About 30 years ago, as a small garage operation, we became involved in a patent dispute with Aphex over a processor we were building. At that time there were several companies who produced those exciters, such Akai, SPL, D&R, etc. Our patent attorney advised us that the Aphex patent was invalid and I also applied for my own patent (DE3904425), with sponsorship from the acclaimed Fraunhofer Institute, the inventors of MP3. Despite assurances and our own beliefs, we ended up in court where the judge ruled in Aphex’s favor and we lost the case. We paid damages and moved on.

This case illustrates very clearly what I came to understand over the ensuing nearly 30 years about patents and IP. Disputes over intellectual property are commonplace in many industries and especially so in the technology industry. IP is a grey area, as it deals with patents, trade dress, copyrights, designs etc. where not much is black and white.

Just look at cases with Roland versus InMusic, Gibson versus PRS, Peavey versus QSC, Microsoft, Blackberry, Yahoo, Google, Samsung, Apple etc. Lawsuits are often used as “guerilla tactics” and especially common in the US where legal fees are sky high and each party has to pay its own fees regardless of the outcome of the case. This, along with the fact that IP litigation is often used as a tool to push a competitor out of business, are reasons why there are so many cases in this area of law.

Misconceptions around IP

One needs to be clear about the distinction between blatantly copying someone else’s product and the principle of reverse engineering. Copying a product 1:1 is clearly illegal, however reverse engineering is something that takes place every day and is accepted as part of a product development process known as benchmarking.

Often one company will establish a new market opportunity for a unique product and others will follow with their versions of that pioneering product. Think iPhone followed by Samsung Galaxy. This is the principle of competition.

The Article from Berkeley Law School gives a great read and provides valuable background information. A quick excerpt demonstrates why public opinion often differs from the law.

“Reverse engineering has a long history as an accepted practice. Lawyers and economists have endorsed reverse engineering as an appropriate way for firms to obtain information about another firm’s product, even if the intended result is to make a directly competing product that will draw away customers from the maker of the first product.”

One of the cases that endures in people’s memories is when we were sued by Mackie over alleged infringement of their IP. After a series of very costly and bitter court cases which we all won, Mackie reached out to us for a settlement which did not involve any money. It was proven in court that we had not copied their schematics or PCB layouts, nor had we infringed on any patents as there were none. Nor had there ever been any legal cases brought by BBE, dbx or Drawmer as claimed by Mackie as part of their marketing campaign against us and which was later erroneously reported by Wikipedia and even CDM.

In our first two decades, most of our products were designed to follow market leaders with similar features and appearance, at a lower cost. This value proposition upset many of our competitors while at the same time earning us a huge fan base among customers. I fully understand that many of those competitors would be frustrated by our ability to deliver equivalent or better products at significantly lower prices and that is the source of much of the anger directed at us by them.

Since the Aphex case we have been sued several times and we equally had to sue competitors over infringement of our IP. This happens in every industry and is part of a fierce and competitive landscape.

However, to be clear, we have not lost any substantial IP case since the Aphex case 30 years ago and legal cases are a matter of public record.

We are committed to never engage in any activity that willfully infringes on the intellectual property rights of any company or individual. However, we are also aware that legal wrangling will continue as we press on with our philosophy of delivering the best products at the lowest possible cost.

We welcome criticism

I am a big believer in free speech and welcome any form of constructive criticism, as this is the only way for us to learn and improve. We also don’t mind any comments made or language used by individuals as this is a matter of personal choice.

It becomes sensitive when incorrect or defamatory statements are made by competitors and the media. While there is free speech, words do have consequences and since we are all bound by the law, the rules should be applied equally to everyone.
Once again, I understand that people have their opinions and preferences and I fully respect that. I also understand that some people don’t like me or our company, and chose not to buy our products which I respect, too.

Since we started our company 30 years ago, we have always carefully listened to our customers and built what they wanted us to build. Sometimes people would request us to improve an existing product in the market, sometimes they would come up with a complete new idea. In fact many of the ideas for our most successful products have actually come from our customers and for that we are immensely grateful.

However, we are also aware that legal wrangling will continue as we press on with our philosophy of delivering the best products at the lowest possible cost.

This is the philosophy I started the company on 30 years ago, and this is the philosophy that will carry us into the future.

Thanks for listening.

Uli

Pictured: a mock-up of Music Tribe City.

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Behringer threatens legal action against a site that called it a copycat

Midifan, a top music portal and online magazine in China, has received notice from Behringer, threatening legal action over stories by Musicfan that called Behringer a “copycat.”

Midifan is a Chinese-language site, but evidently a significant one for that market. And Nan Tang, CEO and founder of the site, is also co-founder of 2nd Sense Audio, the software developer behind the WIGGLE synth and ReSample software. Nan, also known at musiXboy, contacted CDM with the news.

Nan has provided CDM with Midifan’s own English translation of the legal letter, as well as a statement in English. Translation is an important factor here, given we’re talking about libel, but Midifan’s English translations here for what they wrote are “shameless” and “copycat.”

Here’s the statement from Midifan:

Behringer sued Chinese media Midifan for saying them COPYCAT and shameless

Chinese portal website Midifan has received a lawyer’s letter from Behringer last week. Behringer claimed the fact that Midifan repeatedly reporting news about Behringer without any factual basis and using insulting words such as “copycat”, “shameless” has caused the reputation of the four clients (Uli Behringer, MUSIC Tribe Global Brands Ltd, Zhongshan Behringer Electronic Co., Ltd and Zhongshan Ouke Electronic Co., Ltd) to be seriously damaged.

The law firm worked for Behringer also claimed that they have reported to its local public security agency and plans to pursue legal responsibilities through criminal way.

A manufacturer taking legal action against music press for being critical or even calling it names is as far as I know fairly unprecedented. I’d almost call it shamel– actually, let’s just stick with “unprecedented.”

But it appears the letter is threatening criminal libel proceedings in China, not just civil charges. Criminal libel can carry more serious consequences; as reported in 2013 by The Guardian and Bloomberg, criminal libel in China can carry up to a three year prison sentence.

Ceci n’est pas une imitateur.
Behringer showed … uh… tributes to the Roland SH-101, , Roland VC-330, Roland TR-808, ARP Odyssey, and Sequential Prophet One in Berlin last month.

That said, in China as internationally, the law states that something is only libelous if it’s untrue. The “copycat” reference refers to Behringer gear shown at Superbooth, for instance, that literally was designed to look and sound like classic instruments (Roland TR-808, Sequential Circuits Prophet One, etc.). “Shameless” is a matter of opinion. Arguably, too, sending cease and desist letters to media outlets because they called you shameless and a copycat would presumably also not be a great way to demonstrate you possess shame.

Behringer Pro-One, 808, ARP Odyssey Clones At Superbooth 2018 [Synthtopia]

What might make Midifan different from other English-language sites that used similar language? It may be relevant that at the end of last year, Midifan reported on striking workers in a manufacturing facility Behringer owns, where labor complained about health issues. (That article has a number of photos, as well as English-language response from Behringer managers instructing workers to keep windows closed.)

For their part, Midifan have posted a response on their site (no English translation available):

https://www.midifan.com/modulenews-detailview-29955.htm

Midifan tell CDM that they have removed all references to the words “copycat” and “shameless” and replaced them with “more neutral words like “TRIBUTE and CLONE.”

Here’s the full letter from Behringer as translated by Midifan into English.

Lawyer’s Letter
In Relation to Urge You to Stop the Willful Infringement Behavior

Dear Sir or Madam,
Upon the entrustment of Zhongshan Behringer Electronic Co., Ltd (hereinafter referred to as Behringer Corporation), Zhongshan Ouke Electronic Co., Ltd (hereinafter referred to as Ouke Corporation), Uli Behringer and MUSIC Tribe Global Brands Ltd, Guangdong Baoxin Law Firm sends you the lawyer’s letter to your company on matters that urging you to stop the willful infringement behavior.

In accordance with the information and statements from four aforementioned clients, MUSIC Tribe Global Brands Ltd is the registered holder of the trademark “BEHRINGER”. On the basis of the authorization of MUSIC Tribe Global Brands Ltd, Ouke Corporation has the right to use the “BEHRINGER” trademark to engage in production and business activities within the scope of relevant authorizations. Behringer Corporation,whose English name also includes the word “Behringer”, is an affiliate enterprise of MUSIC Tribe Global Brands Ltd and Ouke Corporation.

Since 2017, you have continuously published articles such as “Exclusive breaking: Behringer’s recent crazy copycat stems from a trap of imitation chip more than a decade ago.” “, Can’t stop copycat: Behringer will make the Eurorack module next?” , “Shameless: Behinger exhibited copycat of TR-808, SH-101, Pro-One and Odyssey” on the website “https://www.midifan.com/”

and

Tencent WeChat public account “Midifan” without any factual basis, claiming that the above four principals have plagiarized the products of other companies. Beyond that, the fact that you repeatedly used insulting words such as “shameless”, “copycat” has caused the reputation of my four clients to be seriously damaged.

In view of this, Ouke Corporaiton has reported to its local public security agency and plans to pursue your legal responsibilities through criminal way. Meanwhile, the four principals entrusted me with this letter expressly:

Please be sure to remove all the insulting infringement articles four principals involved and other related information posted on the internet platform such as “https://www.midifan.com/” and Tencent WeChat public account “Midifan” , etc. within seven days of receipt of this letter, and issue a clarification announcement within the above-mentioned period to eliminate all adverse effects caused by the negative reputation of the four principals due to your inappropriate comments.

If you fail to perform the above obligations within the time limit, the four principals will continue pursuing your legal liabilities (including but not limited to
the criminal responsibility for defamation) through legal ways. All consequences and expenses resulting from this shall be borne by you.

In order to avoid inconvenience, please weigh the pros and cons and perform the above obligations in a timely manner!
Best regards.

CDM has reached out to Music Tribe / Behringer for comment via their public contact form, but has not yet received a response. Curiously, I found many of my colleagues don’t have direct, current media contacts with the company.

Oh, also – it seems Germany has criminal libel laws, too. So, naturally, let me then reiterate – what I saw at Superbooth were … meticulous recreations of famous electronic instruments of yore by a …. manufacturer of equipment that is … Behringer.

Now, please, I don’t want to go to German jail. Aber wenn ich ins Gefängnis gehe, wird sich mein Deutsch verbessern.

http://midifan.com/

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The amazing touch-controlled synth made in secret in 1978 China

At the tail end of China’s Cultural Revolution, one inventor secretly created a futuristic take on traditional instruments – and it easily still inspires today.

I don’t know much about this instrument, but given CDM’s readership, I expect our collective knowledge should say something (not to mention some of you speak the language). But according to the video, it’s the work of Tian Jin Qin, a ribbon-controlled analog synthesizer first prototyped in 1978 and featured here in a documentary movie entitled “Dian Zi Qin / 电子琴” (1980).

There’s some irony to the fact that a simple touch instrument was something driven underground in China just one generation ago. Now, of course, China leads the world in manufacturing touch interfaces, has been the center of a global revolution in touch-powered smartphones (based loosely on the same principle, even), and even drives a significant portion of today’s technological innovation.

But… even without getting into that, this design is freaking great. It’ll make you immediately wonder why a single ribbon design is so popular, when the ability to finger multiple ribbons, fretless style, both relates to traditional instrument designs and allows more sophisticated melodic playing and expression.

Like… you’ll watch this video and want to go build one right now.

The synth is essentially two connected designs. An main synth console features organ-like push-button timbre controls and rotaries, plus four touch plates that respond both to being depressed and to continuous control vertically along the surface. (That arrangement, in turn, closely resembles the ROLI Seaboard keys, as well as having some lineage to the Buchla modular’s touch plates. In fact, a couple elements of the design suggest that the creator may have seen something like the Buchla 112 keyboard.)

The Chinese twist, though, is really the upright, fretless touch interface. This instrument is as subtle and sophisticated as Keith Emerson’s ribbon controller for the Moog wasn’t. Zithers are among the most ancient of instruments across a range of cultures, as antecedents what we’d now consider both southeast Asian and European musics. Someone following the narration here or with background in Chinese instruments (which I largely lack) could say more, but it seems inspired by instruments like the guqin. That family of instrument can be plucked or fingered with glissandi (or played with a slide). The electronic rendition here simplifies a bit by using 4 metal strips whereas Chinese classical instruments can feature more strings.

So I will indeed put this out to CDM readers. Anyone out there who’s done research on this creator or knows about this instrument?

Anyone built something like this?

(Apologies, I’d normally do the research first and then write but … as Ted Pallas who tipped me off to this promised, I indeed wanted to share it right away.)

For all the turbulence of our modern time, one thing I believe can keep us out of a Dark Ages is the fact that we are more connected globally than ever, or at least potentially so. From the walls around China and the east to the former Iron Curtain, we’re discovering that a lot of the people kept unknown to those of us in the West were pretty ingenious. And maybe we get a second chance to learn from them and share.

The post The amazing touch-controlled synth made in secret in 1978 China appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Alonso Sound releases Revealed China Vol. 1 sound pack

Alonso Sound Revealed China Vol 1Alonso Sound has launched Revealed China Vol. 1, a sound pack that brings a fusion of the traditional and cultural sounds of China combined with the Revealed sound. After the Japan and India releases, the next country in Revealed’s global series showcasing the sounds from all around the world is China. Revealed China Vol. 1 […]

R is a reactive, emotional robot speaker from Teenage Engineering

What if a portable speaker, the lamp from Pixar, an assembly line robot, and Wall-E had a love child that was also a toy and a synth accessory?

That appears to be what Stockholm digital agency and electronic music instrument maker Teenage Engineering have done with their latest oddball design commission. While we wait on the OP-Z – Teenage Engineering’s hotly-anticipated synthesizer / audiovisual instrument – it seeems Baidu in China decided to import a little Swedish magic. (Baidu is China’s tech giant and search engine, a kind of answer to Google but a rapidly growing global power by its own measure.)

The result is a six-axis articulated speaker that has eyes / an animated pixel display, and gets … emotional.

R for .. Raven?

Teenageeee…. RRRRRR?

R?

Arr.

R is the worlds first emotional 6-axis life form.with unique possibilities to express emotions and react to a conversationdriven by baidu’s leading artificial intelligence technology.with six fully independent axes, loaded with sensors and microphones,and with the same loudspeaker design as the H built into the base,the industry grade motor control will make it dance and express feelingsin a way you have never experienced before.and maybe, just maybe it will be compatible with OP-Z.

Take that, Apple. You’ve been served … by something actually more fun, if also … much more useless. (But who cares? It’s a dancing red robot thing!)

But this is Teenage Engineering, who in the past experimented with ideas for high-end bicycles and table lamps to integrate with their electronic instruments, and who have not only created pocket and mobile instruments, but also disposable cameras for IKEA. So, of course there’s a twist.

They’re already hinting at OP-Z synthesizer integration.

All I know is, if you’ve tired of humans, one personable red robot and a couple of TE synths and… really, I think hiding away is a fairly friendly looking option. Heck, it makes Stockholm’s couple of mid-day hours of kinda-sorta daytime seem positively cheery and welcome. Let’s hang out with the bot and the synth and make madness.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes:

More:

https://teenage.engineering/designs/R

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This group of practitioners is imagining the future of the accordion

I can see that look in your eyes. That thirst. “Please, Peter, regale us with esoteric information about contemporary accordion playing technique.” Absolutely. Let’s do this.

You see, for all the extremist ideologies social media and the Internet are amplifying, well, at least experimental accordion practitioners are finding each other, too. And maybe it’s worth listening to them. The keyboard is dominant now in electronic music, after all. And they make keyboard-based music sound different. For instance, there’s this beautiful work by Martin Lohse and Bjarke Mogensen, “Passing 1,” set to Hubble imagery:

And one 2013 gathering pulled artists and academics together to map the future of the instrument, in practical terms. They put out a full publication you can read:

Modern Accordion Perspectives [PDF]
(Mirrored on Google Drive, maybe try there first to give their bandwidth a break)

There are some real questions here – not only pedagogy and technique, but how the instrument survives in the 21st century. Much of this focuses on Europe, but there’s also a perspective on China.

There’s a burgeoning Facebook group, with, for instance, new music from Serbia:

Modern Accordion Perspectives @ Facebook

I thought this actually was worth sharing in the aftermath of losing Pauline Oliveros. And as it happens, filmmaker Roberta Cantow has created a documentary about the resurgence of the instrument.

More on that film here:

http://accordionsrising.com/

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This Eurorack module was coded wrong – and you’ll like it

It’s called the Circuit-Bent Digital Waveguide™ 扰动数字波导. Or the DU™ DU-KRPLS. And straight out of the “that’s not a bug, it’s a feature” files, it’s got intentionally wrong code in it. But that’s a good thing.

DU-KRPLS from detroit underground on Vimeo.

The new Eurorack module is a collaboration between smart, weirdo label Detroit Underground and Beijing’s underground musician/hacker menqimusic.

Meng Qi is a story himself, an electronic music artist from China whose circuit creations and Euro line manage to be subversive and elegant at once. His work extends to every angle on the medium, from teaching to programming to design to electronic music, which has let him to lead digital art and workshops around China and internationally.

And this might be the nicest creation he’s produced yet.

Okay, so it’s not entirely fair to fixate on that “broken” code (though it does sound glitchy and wonderful). The module in fact has two modes.

In circuit bent mode, the code ‘error’ can make “micro movements and glitches.”

There’s also a non-“bent” traditional Karplus sound – that’s the classic way of producing a digital model of a plucked instrument, aka Karplus-Strong string synthesis.

And in a nod to its home country, you can power it up to a D major pentatonic tuning, in case you want to emulate a zither. So apart from these wild noise-y things, you could produce something far more delicate … it’s really up to you.

A firmware update also offers tighter timing and crispier sound, which sounds delicious.

We’ll have to do a separate interview with Meng Qi. But this module goes on my shortlist of things I’d want in the vast landscape of Eurorack.

Now, maybe Eurorack modules are the future of record labels.

http://detroitunderground.net/archives/modular/du-krpls

detundeuro

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This Eurorack module was coded wrong – and you’ll like it

It’s called the Circuit-Bent Digital Waveguide™ 扰动数字波导. Or the DU™ DU-KRPLS. And straight out of the “that’s not a bug, it’s a feature” files, it’s got intentionally wrong code in it. But that’s a good thing.

DU-KRPLS from detroit underground on Vimeo.

The new Eurorack module is a collaboration between smart, weirdo label Detroit Underground and Beijing’s underground musician/hacker menqimusic.

Meng Qi is a story himself, an electronic music artist from China whose circuit creations and Euro line manage to be subversive and elegant at once. His work extends to every angle on the medium, from teaching to programming to design to electronic music, which has let him to lead digital art and workshops around China and internationally.

And this might be the nicest creation he’s produced yet.

Okay, so it’s not entirely fair to fixate on that “broken” code (though it does sound glitchy and wonderful). The module in fact has two modes.

In circuit bent mode, the code ‘error’ can make “micro movements and glitches.”

There’s also a non-“bent” traditional Karplus sound – that’s the classic way of producing a digital model of a plucked instrument, aka Karplus-Strong string synthesis.

And in a nod to its home country, you can power it up to a D major pentatonic tuning, in case you want to emulate a zither. So apart from these wild noise-y things, you could produce something far more delicate … it’s really up to you.

A firmware update also offers tighter timing and crispier sound, which sounds delicious.

We’ll have to do a separate interview with Meng Qi. But this module goes on my shortlist of things I’d want in the vast landscape of Eurorack.

Now, maybe Eurorack modules are the future of record labels.

http://detroitunderground.net/archives/modular/du-krpls

detundeuro

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The Horrorist Live – Shanghai, China Full Show Report

The Horrorist Live - Shanghai, China

The Horrorist Live - Shanghai, China 1

The Horrorist Live! Shanghai, China 2015!!!

The Horrorist Live - Shanghai, China 3

The Horrorist Live - Shanghai, China 5

The Shelter Shanghai

Shanghai China

Shanghai China 1

Shanghai China 2

I never thought I would perform in China but this past Saturday night, March 28, 2015 I (The Horrorist) did exactly that. Shanghai holds the record for the most populated city with over 20 million people living there. As the taxi took me from Pudong Airport to Hilton in the city center I got to see how big the city really is. Imagine a city like Newark or Charlotte, North Carolina. Imagine the cluster of tall buildings in each center of those cities. Now imagine about 20 cities that large all clustered together. Put a river in the middle and across the river put some amazing skyscrapers that tower over the cluster of other cities and your getting a close idea of how big Shanghai is.

Americans have a pre-conception (brainwashing?) that all of China is poor, full of military, the food is tainted with chemicals and the cars are made of cardboard. None of that is really true. I saw my share of Ferraris, Bentleys, most cabs were VWs and in a way that the world should follow most people got around by a brand new subway system or fully electric scooters. I had several great meals of organic vegetarian dishes. I was able to use Facebook and Twitter and had no issues going in and out of the country. I’m not saying there may not be oppression or problems but in Shanghai I didn’t see any of it. I went to the Bund area where you walk along the water front at look at the Pearl Tower, World Financial Center and the amazingly tall Shanghai Tower. One thing I found interesting was most of the Chinese tourists were totally focused on those tall modern towers while the classic beautiful old Chinese waterfront buildings and the poor statue of Mao was left quiet. The only complaint about the city itself is the pollution is very noticeable. Some people wear masks as they walk the streets. I noticed a change in my breathing. That’s saying something considering I live in NYC. I read that living in Shanghai is the equivalent to smoking a half a cigarette a day.

Enter the void. I performed in a WWII shelter (the Japanese were doing the bombing). The club is of course called The Shelter and it’s known as THE place to perform in Shanghai. The night was run by 3 expats. Vincent from Paris, Camy from Edinburgh and Ilsa from Moscow. You walk down into the club through a stone tunnel into a stone and steel room (don’t fall and hit your head!). The owner doesn’t allow any lighting during the night. Since I bring my own strobes and 500W lamps I knew I had a nice surprise in store for the regulars of the Void. The club filled up with a mix of Shanghai natives and more ex-pats. I particularly enjoyed playing my more political songs. I didn’t get past me for a minute where I was. Playing “The World will Know Us” in China was a thrill I won’t forget. The reaction on some of the faces was great. It was a mix of surprise, smiles and hell yeah lets dance! The same night in Shangai I heard A Guy Called Gerald and Nigel Richards were also performing. After my set I met a promoter from Beijing. If you’re a DJ or electronic musician don’t be surprised when China calls you too. I know I will be going back. Thanks to everyone who came out and the new friends I made there. Wings over the world! To see the full set of photos: click here

“NYC-based experimental EBM musician The Horrorist comes to Shelter. His brand of pitch black industrial techno, most famously the track “One Night in NYC,” weaves together a playful, creepy overlay of lyrics about the evils of city living with abrasive, danceable beats. For this live set, expect an array of costume changes, crowd interaction and manic energy.” – cityweekend.com.cn/shanghai

For more info: void-shanghai.com and facebook.com/sheltershanghai

Kong Audio Releases Chinee Orchestra SE, ‘A Chinese Sound Palette For All’

Kong Audio releases Chinee Orchestra SE (Standard Edition), a collection of 27 classical Chinese instruments, plus one set of Chinese percussion. Chinee Orchestra SE (Standard Edition) is the streamlined version of Chinee Orchestra FE (Full Edition), a sample-based VSTi. Chinee … Continue reading