Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 Year in Review

It has been a long time since my first 'Year in Review' post in 2014 and it's pretty interesting to look back on how I've progressed as an artist, all the cool things I've been a part of, and also how my motivations for making music change over the years.

2021 saw me progress my Chinese Electronic Music Project plans working with some amazing classically trained musicians in David Dai, Kangkang Huang and Zhaohong Liang and their beautiful instruments of the erhu, zhonghu, guzheng and guqin. 

I started off the year with my now customary Chinese New Year's mix for local radio station Fresh FM and followed it up with a guest mix for one of my favourite progressive breaks DJ's in Joe Wink who is based in Florida and seen the breaks scene grow up over many years. It was a real pleasure to join his Broken Essence show as I've been an avid listener for a number of years and I felt a real sense of satisfaction that I could play one full hour of nothing but my own, original music.

Big news came in June when I announced our first EP Mountain Water had been signed by UK label Break Wind Productions. The label boss Uncle Boba (Bobalino) is a titan of the global progressive breaks scene and was my first choice as our type of music fits in well with his back catalogue of releases that have a focus on melodic storytelling.

Further to our EP, we did some promotional work releasing 3 music videos and also appearing as the feature artist for UK artist Dovetail's monthly F.A.B. show.

Undoubtedly the highlight of 2021 though was playing on the opening and closing nights for OzAsia Festival's Lucky Dumpling Market. It had been my goal to play at OzAsia since putting together Chinese Electronic Music Project and to be able to play to thousands of people in the centre of my hometown as the sun went down was something to remember - especially while most events and concerts have been cut back due to COVID.

I'm particularly proud of my 2 hour DJ set from the opening night where I have scoured both the English and Chinese-speaking web over searching for outstanding electronic music tracks featuring traditional Asian instrumentation - including around 30 minutes from yours truly! You can listen to the whole set on my Youtube channel here: Traditional Asian Electronic Music DJ Mix.

2022 will undoubtedly be different again from this year as my bandmate and fellow collaborator Kangkang has moved to Queensland, but rest assured I am still working on new music and have big plans.

If you are still reading, then you must be a true fan and I thank you for your support and wish you and your family all the very best in the new year!

(L-R) David Dai, Kangkang Huang, Zhaohong Liang, Aaron Duff