The Shanghai Restoration Project, a Brooklyn-based electronic duo (Dave Liang and Sun Yunfan) is unlike anything you've ever heard of before (Unless, of course, your daily playlists are made up entirely of 1930s Chinese jazz tracks injected with a modern hip-hop production). Their newest album, Flashbacks in a Crystal Ball develops a complex story over the backdrop of simple, every-day sounds.
Described as "a reaction to the increasingly fragmented and mindless sound-bite culture we live in” by the duo, this album experiments with sound in ways not pursued by many artists. Using everything from eloquent strings to retro synths, they highlight their musical range with an incredible attention to detail. Detail that even with a close-range listen, can be easy to miss. Like singing "Let it run to the sea" at the end of "Tactile Sonic Glide", which immediately leads to the opening of "Time Gambler" with synthesizer-generated ocean waves. Or scatting at the end of "Time Gambler" , just as it leads to the next track "Jazzy Grandma". Small, yet significant details that the duo recently explained in an interview with Metal Magazine.
It's an intricate, delicate album that combines the duo's love for their past, for their current surroundings, and perhaps even their hopes for a better future. To celebrate it, they will be performing at a one-night only installation in a secret underground location in NYC's Chinatown on Friday, November 22. Tickets available here.