One of the great disappointments of the internet age has been the way culture has been flattened, spread out thin like a cheap foil that gets wrapped around everything until everything looks pretty much like everything else. Words like “Chicago,” “Detroit” or “Berlin” — words that refer to real places and real scenes — have been turned into generic adjectives, all the rough spots rubbed out to aid in marketing things that have nothing to do with “Chicago,” “Detroit” or “Berlin.” When everything is “Chicago,” “Detroit” or “Berlin,” then nothing is “Chicago,” “Detroit” or “Berlin” including Chicago, Detroit and Berlin. What does the music sound like in Brighton or Peoria? Probably not much different than wherever you are now.
Here is a sampler that is kicking back against our cultural flatness. 5 Mag covered the launch of FuFu Records back in 2017, a label based in Hong Kong and released a really great record called Turenne by TVFROM86. The label is back in our inbox with a compilation that aims to put the electronic music of Asia — as created by 8 producers from 7 Asian countries — in your crate.
88 – Double Happiness Compilation Vol 1 features a wide variety of producers working in as many different genres, probably more than any single DJ would find occasion to play. There’s also quite a lot of fusion within individual tracks; Munir (from Indonesia) leads off with a track called “Asia Africa” and you need say no more. The deep but lively “Tibal Cora” from Japanese production duo Dazzle Drums is another eclectic highlight, as is the bright electronica of Thirstkid (Philippines) and the disco rhythms of India’s Hamza Rahimtula’s “Gold Is God.” There are also cuts that stray into electro (Rafiki’s “Backseat Cruiser”), ’90s breakbeat (Bongomann’s “Swell”) and more.
The magic number here is 8: FuFu Records is donating 80% of the sales from 88 – Double Happiness to support the Asian programs of One Tree Planted, a group that promotes reforestation and restoring the habitat of endangered species. The goal is to support the planting of 880 trees with the proceeds from these 8 tracks. That’s a nice thing.
Various Artists: 88 – Double Happiness Compilation Vol 1 (FuFu Records / March 2021 / Digital)
1. Munir – Asia Africa (Indonesia)
2. Dazzle Drums – Tibal Cora (Japan)
3. Thirstkid – Bakaseshyon (Philippines)
4. Hamza Rahimtula – Gold Is God (India)
5. Rafiki – Backseat Cruiser (India)
6. Bongomann – Swell (Singapore)
7. Go Dam – Dusty Voice (South Korea)
8. Luxixi – Circulation (China)
⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo by the label.