Chinese Synthpop – does it exist?

December 20, 2007 · Posted in Electronic Music 

Maybe because I am based out of Sweden the only hits I get on Google searching for good chinese synthpop bands I end up getting hits for the local band Chinese Theater (which of course is a rather nice band, but that is not what I am looking for :-) )

However I yesterday stumbled on these guys who make very nice traditional synthpop – melodic, athospheric and kind of like old Twins, Alpha Ville etc. They´re called IGO and based out of Shanghai – I certainly recommend checking them out:

IGO at MySpace >>

 ent_igo_0919.jpg

Here are some background facts on the band:

When the Shanghai band IGO plays on stage, there is really not much to “see,” with one man standing still playing the keyboards and another singing without much gestures.

However, people who have seen IGO live will still recommend it to you and tell you where they play, so you can experience the infectious atmosphere there and witness how and why the audiences get delirious for their music.

The one-year-old band is a combination of Shanghai’s most active club DJ and the former front-man of a local post-punk band. The duo has a large fandom online and at local music venues. Their popularity may keep expanding as their music finally reaches the CD player.

The duo, featuring synthesizer talent B6 and singer-songwriter J Jay, is releasing their debut album, “Synth Love,” on September 21 under Modern Sky, China’s largest independent record label.

It’s a time when IGO is among the most frequent players at Shanghai’s nightclubs, where pogo dance usually heats up in front of the band’s performances. This album is a collection of IGO’s most played songs. It is for those who are yet to get a chance to visit Shanghai.

IGO is now offering previews of some of the songs on their Neocha page, a local-based music-sharing website B6 co-founded, similar to MySpace.

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  2. Michael on May 7th, 2008 1:02 pm

    hey, just saw your post. The stuff you copied above is from a very poorly written Chinese official media, here’s the bio, more about the band IGO…

    IGO is a synth-pop / electro group from Shanghai, China, featuring JJay Wu and B6. See myspace page for more: http://www.myspace.com/igoigo

    Hong Kong:
    http://www.umg.com.hk/minisite/IGO/

    —————
    Biography

    “The emergence of IGO breaks my impression of Chinese rock music into pieces” – Hong Kong Wenwei

    “IGO pleasantly surprised the Chinese music scene with the pure exotic and professional feeling they brought to us.” – NetEase Entertainment

    “The result channels Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode for a sound that is catchy, engaging and danceable” – SCMP

    “Synth Love is Polished, Dazzling and Glamorous” – Ian Sherman, Time Out Beijing

    IGO was formed in 2006 as a Synth Pop duo. The band members are JJay (vocals, songwriting, programming) and B6 (electronics, programming, visual and music production). JJay originally came from Beijing and formed a few post punk bands during the years he studied in Shanghai. After he got a master degree of science in US, he came back to Shanghai and met with B6 in 2004. As the most famous DJ in Shanghai, B6 played frequently in the major nightclubs of Shanghai and quickly built up a solid following. B6 is also an electronic music producer, and has published multiple compositions, including the background music for a Nike advertisement. He is also the founder of Neocha.com, one of the largest internet platforms for youth indie-culture in China. With totally different background, but shared passion for Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk and Royksopp, they decided to form a band.

    Originating from the English translation of the Chinese black and white chessman, the name of IGO suggests a unique feeling with sheer simplicity. This applies to all aspects of the band – their music, visuals and live performances.

    In Sept. 2007, IGO signed with Modern Sky Records and released their highly anticipated debut album “Synth Love”, now to be released by Universal Hong Kong in early spring 2008.The album has been warmly reviewed by critics and fans all over the world and is considered as the first authentic electro pop album of China. An hour’s electronic experience, the warm side of the melody and vocal quenched by the cold yet lush synthetic sound and delicately designed dance beats. As suggested by the title, IGO shows us how love is synthesized by technology.

    We can proudly say that IGO is the ONLY band in China who is capable of updating the Chinese indie music scene, propelling it to the forefront of the popular music world dominated by musicians from Britain and the US. And this could only possibly happen in such an international city as Shanghai – the perfect stage for showing the developing and opening up of Modern China.

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