Tuesday 12 July 2022, 8pm
“Morphing Chinese traditional music with bass, Chicago footwork and AI-manipulated birdsong. It’s quite a feat to sound this ancient and futuristic simultaneously.” – The Guardian
Swirling layers of OST-style sound design, dreamy choir vocals and traditional Chinese folk combine across eight dynamic and transportive tracks on Birdy Island, the latest album by Beijing-based producer/artist, Howie Lee, on Mais Um. Fresh off the back of several high impact, club-centring album releases on Maloca, SVBKVLT and his influential, Do Hits label, on top of remixes for artists including Lawfawndah, Charlie XCX & Sophie, Lee presents his most organic and expansive project to date.
Howie’s latest offering is as enchanting as it is boundlessly imaginative. “I’ve always had this concept in my mind about making an album based around an island”. Loosely based around Lee’s own long-formed concept of a floating Sicilian theme park, co-inhabited by both birds and ancestral spirits, Howie remarks: "Birdy Island to me is a palace in the clouds and the birds are worshipped like Gods. Not like a western God though.” Reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki’s Laputa (in the 1986 film Castle In The Sky), Lee’s Birdy Island has been built by a Chinese investment company seeking to re-sync our relationship with the spiritual and natural world after years of economic collapse and degradation, and who invite Howie to compose the park’s soundtrack. Inside Birdy Island’s 30-minute gallery of collaged sound, Lee draws on a wide history of traditional pan-Asian music, filtered through his unique lens of contemporary electronic production.