Thursday, July 29, 2021

Introducing the Chinese Electronic Music Project

Chinese Guzheng, Erhu & Electronic Music? Yes, Please!

I first started learning Chinese the same year I began DJ'ing (1999) and in the 20+ years since, I have married a Chinese girl, had children together and lived in China for a number of years. Despite graduating from university with a degree in Asian Studies, I had very little exposure to traditional Chinese music until around 2013 when I was fortunate to work in an office with a guzheng, multiple erhus and pipas as well as team-mates who could play them.

I became enthralled with traditional Chinese music and began working with organisations such as Adelaide's Chinese School of Arts and Music, Adelaide Festival Centre and OzAsia Festival in promoting Chinese music to my home state of South Australia. I even went as far as purchasing a guzheng which is now in pride of place in my lounge room and is played on by my 14 year old daughter and often accompanied by my 12 year old son on the dizi (Chinese bamboo flute).

Naturally, some of those influences began to appear in my musical creations such as Hutongs & Alleyways, The First Day (which features my wife Crystal) and Church Mice as A-DUFF. Those tracks were the best I could make at the time and featured samples and virtual instruments to make those Asian sounds... but I wanted more!

With COVID coming in 2020, I chose to pivot to a new direction looking to include live session instrumentation by classically trained traditional Chinese musicians. I was very fortunate to be connected to KangKang Huang and David Dai through the Chinese School of Arts & Music who play the guzheng/guqin and erhu/zhonghu respectively. They both graduated from university in China and Taiwan with a major in their respective instruments. KangKang is also very involved with electronic music and has worked in studios in China in the past and David has played for multiple orchestras around the world - even including the Taiwan Philharmonic Orchestra!

(from L-R) Kangkang Huang, David Dai & Aaron Duff

It was in August of 2020 that we began working on half a dozen songs with live session recordings at my home studio which ended up into a 3 track EP signed to the UK label BW Productions.

We are very proud of our work which combines traditional Chinese music with futuristic electronic breakbeats with a sound that ends up in a range between Rufus Du Sol, BT and Colombo. All 3 tracks have had incredible feedback from DJ's around the world. 

Enjoy the 3 music videos and please leave a comment and some love!


You can follow Chinese Electronic Music Project on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/chineseelectronicmusic

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Working with Jesustronic

Over the past year or so I have been able to build up a good relationship with a Christian EDM promotion group called Jesustronic. They are based in South America and have a focus on the Spanish-speaking world and so it has been interesting to see my music be shared and fanbase start to grow in exotic places like Guatemala and Columbia etc.

Jesustronic have been very good in promoting my One-Life album and music videos, but recently they asked me to do a 30 minute guest mix.

After DJ'ing many years ago, it took a while to raise my courage for a live mix - and I had to learn the new style of decks (not CDJ's anymore!) using my newly purchased Traktor S8.

You can watch me mixing live at:
or listen to the audio only here

Keep an ear out for some more interesting content that I'm doing with Jesustronic - hopefully I can share it very soon!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

One Life: Anniversary Edition

On the 12 month anniversary of the release of my debut album One Life, I am pleased to share the definitive edition of the album to include new extended release tracks, b-sides, the 3 official music videos and the Native Instrument Stems files of 10 album tracks for DJ's using Traktor - and all for a new lower price of $10 Australian (around US$5).

This time, around, the album will be digitally released on Beatport as well as iTunes, Amazon etc. on June 23, but to pre-order and download all the extra goodies, please head to my Bandcamp site: a-duff.bandcamp.com/album/one-life-anniversary-edition

Thank you for your ongoing support!


Louder than the Music:
"A brilliant EDM record"

Indie Vision Music: 
"Reminds me of playing SSX3 on the PS2"

CCM Magazine: 
"Plenty of gritty break-beats and glitchy break-downs"


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Church Mice Music Video

🏮🐭 Happy Chinese New Year of the Golden Rat 🐭🏮

As promised, I have prepared a little something to celebrate - a video of part of a train journey I took between Shenyang and Benxi in China's Liaoning Province last month set to my track 'Church Mice' from last year's album One-Life.

China has been a large part of my life for many years. I first began learning Chinese 21 years ago at The University of Adelaide and then met the girl of my dreams in Dandong, China nearly 17 years ago and we now are raising an Australian-Chinese family.

This song 'Church Mice' incorporates Chinese instrumentation overlaying electronic beats inspired by deadmau5 - hence the name. I hope you enjoy this latest audio-visual creation and have a fantastic 2020!!