Shanghai Restoration Project

The Shanghai Restoration Project (SRP) is the Brooklyn based electronic duo of Dave Liang and Sun Yunfan.

The 405 has shared Shanghai Restoration Project’s new track “Alpha Go”. When speaking about the track the duo says, “‘Alpha Go’ is a tribute to the recent defeat of the world’s top Go player by a Google developed AI. The song assembles a match between two melodies, an airy and abstract one representing AI and a more intense and emotional one representing humans. The abstract melody, steady paced but taking sharp turns with nimble precision, is delivered by a computer manipulated female human voice. The emotional melody, jittery and reactive to the challenging chords of the AI voice, is channeled through a piano played with skillful yet frustrated hands. “The band’s previous track “Spooky Party” premiered on Huffington Post.

Brooklyn based electronic duo, Shanghai Restoration Project (SRP) are set to release their new album on December 1st, 2017. ‘R.U.R.’ was recorded and self-produced in New York over the last year and features thirteen brand new tracks.

A reaction to the current state of the world, the new album imagines a world in which humans have been replaced by robots who are trying to understand what led to its predecessors’ extinction. Via a time capsule, the robots learn about humanity’s most noble endeavours (art, agriculture, science) and worst attributes (narcissism, materialism, environmental degradation) and wonder if the universe will ever see the likes of these peculiar beings again. The title R.U.R is from the 1920s Czech play Rossum’s Universal Robots where the word robot originated.

The album marks a shift from SRP’s more recent whimsical releases towards introspection. Setting out to find balance in chaos, R.U.R. plays with a more dissonant and polyrhythmic palette featuring atonal analog synth lines and samples including household items, Malaysian rainforest insects, China’s omnipresent in-store marketing chants, and the sounds of outer space.

Initially a solo project of Dave Liang, SRP was inspired by the 1930s Shanghai jazz scene. Having cut his teeth as a producer within the Bad Boy Records system, Liang’s early works stood out for their organic synthesis of Chinese instrumentation and hip-hop. Soon SRP began expanding stylistically and brought choral music, downtempo, electronica, and folk into its lexicon. In 2010, Liang met Shanghai jazz singer Zhang Le and the two hatched a series of contemporary interpretations of Chinese jazz classics that were featured on NPR’s All Things Considered.

In 2011 Liang met multidisciplinary artist Sun Yunfan and the two soon started collaborating – at first on music videos and live performance visuals and later on songwriting and production. Last year they co-wrote and produced the album ‘Life Elsewhere’ with Zhang Le, which was well received in China and nominated for several national awards.

SRP has now been streamed over 20 million times to date, been featured on NPR, BBC, & Last Call with Carson Daly and have performed over 100 live shows around the world in places such as NYC, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Moscow, and The Great Wall of China.

Leave a Reply