(PRWEB) August 24, 2006
Taiwan-based, South Africa-bred artist and self-described “sound jeweler” MoShang is pleased to announce the release of his new album, “Chill Dynasty” (Onse Plate Records). Blending luxurious grooves with traditional music from China and elsewhere, found sounds and live instrumentation, “Dynasty” is MoShang’s second disc in the downtempo subgenre he calls “Chinese Chill.”
His synthesis of ancient and modern textures on “Chill Dynasty” has already earned plaudits from genre experts like OverXposure.FM’s Tim Quigley, who declared that the artist “loads his sonic jewel case … with only gems, finding that deep soft spot only the best chillout reaches.”
Standout tracks on “Chill Dynasty” include the mesmerizing “Nun Other,” a finalist in 2005’s International Songwriting Competition, in which bottom-heavy funk collides with Chinese opera vocals and chanting Buddhist nuns; “My Last Duchess,” which juxtaposes avant-rock luminary David Byrne’s “My Fair Lady” with a famed poem by Robert Browning; the mellifluously grooving, flute-spiced “Comfort Zone”; the sun-dappled, string-laden pop reverie “Easy” (one of two tracks featuring Taipei-based guest vocalist Sonja V., whom MoShang met on MySpace.com); and “Soli,” which combines a djembe-driven song of the Maninka people of Guinea with jazzy piano runs and bubbling synths.
In addition to producing the tracks and capturing field recordings (which, for “Nun Other,” involved standing on a rainy street near a funeral), MoShang played keyboards, created a panoply of horns, flutes and other instruments on a MIDI WindController and (on “My Last Duchess’) contributed vocals.
MoShang is the Chinese moniker of Jean Marais, who began as a choral singer in the early 1980s in Cape Town, South Africa -- at which time he acquired his first computer, a Commodore VIC-20. It would take some time, however, for his love of music and computers to find its ideal expression. Marais first earned acclaim as lead singer/frontman of the South African art-rock band Duusman and as saxophonist for the group Tsunami; he also served as producer on three award-winning albums honoring poet Breyten Breytenbach and formed half of the Afrikaans pop duo 12Hz. He garnered South Africa’s prestigious Avanti Award for his score to the short film “Angels in a Cage.” Most recently, his music was selected for the HDTV Discovery Channel production “Hong Kong Festival.”
Marais relocated to the Taiwanese city of Taichung three years ago; his first release as MoShang, “Made in Taiwan,” was released on his Onse Plate (Afrikaans for “Our Records”) imprint in 2004. “I’ve always been fascinated by Asia, and Taiwan, with its vast Chinese musical heritage, seemed the perfect place for me,” he says. “I’ve fallen in love with Taiwan and its people; this country has truly reinvigorated my creative process. After more than three years here, I am as excited about the musical possibilities as the day I arrived.”
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
CONTACT: moshangmusic @ yahoo.com
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