Hear First, Drink Now… with DJ Fabsabs
Hey guys, what’s happening!? I’m in a mood for some music and a drink so here are some tunes and liquids to pair them up with. Get your drinking game onnnnnn...
Photo credit : Manav Shankar
Let's get things off with a group that has become a Hong Kong legend in no time. The new album DTx2 is here from Hong Kong's Blood Wine or Honey. It's awesome to see their unique style of fusion jazz-funk, house, afrobeat and globally influenced percussive psych back! Collaborators include Preservation (producer for Yasiin Bey fka Mos Def, MF Doom, RZA, GZA, Raekwon, KRS-One, Aesop Rock and others; KT Tunstall; Tim Weller (drummer for Marc Almond, Future Sound of London, Goldfrapp, The Chemical Brothers, David Axelrod), along with Paul Morley and Janice Lau of Hong Kong band David Boring.
Listen now: https://bloodwineorhoney.com/
DRANK: Blood Orange Sangria, bringing some wine, blood and honey.
1.5 L bottle of red wine (Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, or
1/2 cup triple sec (or other citrus liquor)
1/2 cup vodka
4 blood oranges (juiced, or regular oranges)
2 apples (chopped)
1 blood orange (chopped)
Photo credit : Ear Up Music
Need something fun because your life is a drag? Hong Kong artist 再生中Saiseichu is here with some disco-funk retro vibes with《呼吸自由》To Breathe. It has a very breezy city pop feel that brings to mind other Hong Kong artists on the up, including the irrepressible The Hertz, DJ Tsoi, Beat Friday and Rock Hill Street.
Listen now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HULN6j1RfZ0
DRANK: Campari Spritz. Easy, chill, and gets you hammered before you notice.
2 ounces Prosecco or other sparkling wine
1 ounce club soda
2 ounces Campari
1 large green olive
Avid followers of Hong Kong's live music scene will likely know The Red Stripes, the city's leading group for ska. Their new Soundclash album has tonnes of collaborators remaking dub versions of their tracks, including Pomegranate Sounds, Celestial, Professor Kinski and JStar. It's mad beat science shit for y'all.
DRANK: Can of Red Stripe beer, of course!
Check out Hear First 2 With DJ Fabsabs too.
We are staying in Hong Kong, because fuck you it's my article. For real though, HKCR has been a revelation for the city and its community radio scene and its HKCR Annual Fundraiser 眾籌計劃 Compilation 2021 is a place to get good music and help out the scene - tracks by the likes of ASJ, Nerve, QQBBG and Misty Penguin deliver fire.
DRANK: Hainan Chicken Rice, because you need something strong in Hong Kong.
Glass Red Bull
Sake bomb in Hoegaarden glass
Instructions: Balance shots in the glass of Red Bull. Place glass on top of sake shot within the Hoegaarden. Shoot tequila, let jäger drop into Red Bull. Shoot Jager Bomb. Shoot Sake bomb. Man up. Don't die.
It's some Korean action next, from the ridiculously popular Neon City Records, bringing the best vaporwave globally, all out of Hong Kong. They are riding on a wave right now, with a new shop called selling records and crazy vintage stuff in Sham Shui Po and releasing records all the time, dominating Bandcamp listings for the city. Super Brass 2 is a Korean rare groove album that is so sick, I have no idea how they find this shit.
DRANK: Yogurt Soju (Yakult + Soju + Chilsung Cider), because it's too cool for school, plus if you don't like Yakult you are a sad bitch.'
50% Chilsung Cider
Now let's go leftfield a bit. Turkey is the spot (I know this is an Asian music review, but hey, it's still in Asia, just about). I was cruising Bandcamp and came across this cool disco edit series. ISTANBUL70 : Disco, Psych, Folk edits by Barış K Vol.4 is part of four releases bringing Turkish vibes to disco edits - sick, sick, sick.
DRANK: Pomegranate Lemon Rum, a mojito inspired concoction.
Shot of white rum
2 ozs pomegranate juice (100% juice)
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup soda
1 lemon sliced
Syrup or sugar
Photo credit : Robert Kroos
While we are around the Middle East, Habibi by Babylon Trio takes the Omar Souleyman vibe and brings a similar party and dance spirit. The group consists of three Iraqi musicians who arrived in Belgium in 2015 as refugees. Arkan Mushtak hails from Baghdad (keys), accompanied by Saif Al-Qaissy (percussion, djarbouka) along with singer Walaa Saad. Together they play an electrified mix of contemporary Iraqi music styles, including choubi choubi, dabke, maqam and electronic hybrids.
Listen Now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yr9IuuNeUwU
DRANK: Arak. Mix two parts water to one part spirit. Add ice. Clench your buttocks. Don't skimp, get a good one!
The Iranian arts scene is full of surprises, most notably the country's rich cinema but also its music. Isteghna by Hassan K is the album I've been vibing on most recently, verging across rockabilly, math rock, jazz, screamo, dance, traditional music, and lots of randomness. Definitely one for fans of Mr Bungle and that strand of eclectic crazy. Keyvane Alinaghi is responsible for this wild blend of Persian tradition and sonic adventure.
DRANK: Sharbat-e Sekanjebin - a sweet and sour mixture of honey/syrup and white vinegar with chopped cucumber and mint.
To round off, Rafe D'Aquino held a special place in the heart of Hong Kong's indie music scene. The bass guitar player and multi-instrumentalist was interested in playing a wide range of genres across many groups. Unfortunately, his life was cut tragically short last year. Here is one of his last projects, the electronic group Kutoff with Nicola Parrington. It has been aptly named "For Rafe". RIP brother.