British DJ Adesse Versions Breaks Down His Ever-Evolving Sound Ahead of Apr 28 Dada Set

Plenty of burgeoning electronic acts dream of carving out a niche in the techno scene. But one man’s niche is another's rut, and after attaining some success in the techno arena Kevin Gorman knew he wanted more. The eclectic English DJ, better known by his fans today as Adesse Versions (listen here via Soundcloud), told TBJ in a recent interview that adopting that alias and dabbling with vocals helped him break free of the constraints that aided his success in the techno scene. However, it wasn't long before he grew weary of those elements as well. Ahead of his Apr 28 set at Dada, the restless DJ and producer tells us more about his ever-evolving sound.

How did you first become interested in producing and DJing?
I've been messing with music since my early childhood, buying 7-inch records and keyboards with daft sounds. I've always been drawn to music, it's an obsession that took no effort to encourage. In my youth there was very little mainstream information on being a DJ/producer, it's not like nowadays where it's everywhere. I just followed the music and the artist thing just happened naturally once I realized my obsession was for life. I studied design at university,  but as soon as I could produce music I lost interest in the design side of things.  

You've tried your hand at various styles and modes of playing music, with one early instance being when you "first appeared as a vinyl edits project [which] ... led to a Boiler Room set, memorable for being entirely his own music cut to dubplates,” according to Resident Advisor. What are some of your fondest memories of these early days of Adesse Versions?
The freedom of doing something fresh and different. I'd spent five years making and playing techno and being restricted to a certain sound. As Adesse I could work with vocals, or any other kind of sound, which was bliss, although I became pigeonholed for the vocals thing, so even that lost its appeal for me eventually.

Which of your tracks/EPs do you think helped you make your first big breakthrough?
I've been messing with tracks since 1998; my first release was in 2002. I'd say I got comfortable and had success around 2006, under my given name Kevin Gorman. At that point I started touring outside of the UK, getting to Japan, South Africa, and the US. In 2010 I took a break for two years, then came back as Adesse Versions in 2012. “Baayi”, “Pressured”, and “Pride” got me a level of attention that I really wasn't expecting. So yes, it did surprise me a lot. I've remixed people like Leftfield and other artists on major labels like Sony and Virgin, which I really wasn't expecting.  I'm proud of 99 percent of the music from 2012 onwards.

I really enjoy your “Don’t Stop the Acid” single from last year. What inspired it?
I'm generally drawn to simple raw grooves, so early hip-hop and Chicago house music is a big thing for me. The big thing for me was actually New York house, labels like Strictly Rhythm, Nugroove, and Nervous. I was a bit too young to live the Chicago heydays. The New York stuff was the shit anyway, because it used the 909 instead of the 707 and hit hard! “Don't Stop The Acid” is a cheeky remake of “Don’t Stop The Music” by Yarbrough and Peoples, a slow soul classic from the '80s. So I'm using that as a basis to make an acid house vibe.

Adesse Versions will perform at Dada on Apr 28. Doors open at 10pm and ticket prices at TBA. For more information, click here.

For a rundown of the best nightlife events this weekend, click here.

Photo: fieldartists.net

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Feel the Burn: Filipino WeChat Community Group Makes Their Scorching Debut at Hot & Spicy Festival

In the wake of TBJ's successful Hot & Spicy Festival, our fiery restaurant coverage continues with our Feel the Burn series. Those of you who acquired a taste for all things hot at the fest can maintain the burn by visiting these chili-rife eateries.

When the Beijinger announced its first ever Hot & Spicy Festival, one community group thought of it as a perfect opportunity to gather and promote their country’s products. Kabayan’s Kitchen (Kusina ni Kabayan in Filipino), which simply started out as a WeChat community group for Filipino expats who longed for their native cuisine, proved a hit among attendees of the festival despite not even being a restaurant.

We caught up with Perlita Pengson, founder of Kabayan’s Kitchen, about how she and her team helped bring a slice of the Philippines to the festival.

What prompted you to set up this WeChat group?
Even though there are many Filipino chefs in Beijing, there are no Filipino restaurants or stores here. So when I crave for native delicacies I usually contact those chefs and buy their products. Last year, I created a WeChat group solely for that reason and named it Kusina ni Kabayan or Kabayan’s Kitchen (literally "compatriots' kitchen"). My friends who share the same cravings also wanted to join the group and from 10 original members of the Kusina group, we now total more than 230 following our attendance at the Hot & Spicy Festival.

What prompted you to join the Hot & Spicy Festival?
I’m a risk taker and realized that the festival was the right opportunity for us to promote Filipino cuisine, as well as a chance for our members to organize an event [the booth]. Prior to signing up for the event, I made sure that the members and volunteers knew the purpose of the group: to support Filipinos with small food businesses and help them promote their products.

You still managed to organize the booth despite not having the resources other restaurants have. How did you pull off your booth? What were the challenges that you’ve faced?
Our WeChat group is essentially a community of talented Filipinos and I know many of them can really deliver and have the skills and passion for helping others. The Hot & Spicy Festival was the first and biggest event that we’ve joined. We were quite nervous at first because we’re not a fully-fledged restaurant, hence we don’t have enough equipment and other materials. Another issue was funding, but our members helped us fundraise and find sponsors.

After we secured the necessary documents and funding, I assigned several volunteers to lead different teams. Lorena Zhao and Gandy Gulaiman led our design team and made sure our booth decorations and other branding materials would stand out. Thea Trani coordinated with our chefs while Roxanne Monalim contacted Filipino sellers across China – yes, we invited Filipino sellers from other Chinese provinces! Meanwhile, JR Torres took care of our photography and helped with food preparation, and Cecil Cagape organized the ordering and delivery of our food equipment. These Filipinos have their respective day jobs but still dedicated time to make our booth possible.

The people who cooked our dishes are chefs by trade and they accept catering services. For example, if you loved our sisig (pork seasoned with lime and chili peppers), Jason Eugene Sagun made it, together with his wife. Our Bicol Express (pork stew with long chili, coconut milk, and shrimp paste) specialty was made by Ana Liza Siman, who can’t even eat spicy food! The spicy longanisa (Filipino-style sausage) was made by Tianjin-based entrepreneur Roger Esguerra. The tasty humba dish (a southern Philippine version of adobo) that we served was prepared by Gilbert San Josewhile the unique Don’t Be Silly, Eat Sili [chili] Ice Cream was specially made by our chef coordinator, Thea Trani. Our samalamig (Filipino refreshments) were prepared by JR Torres, who used to be a barista in the Philippines.

You mentioned that there were other sellers from across China. Tell us how you came up with that idea.
The Kusina ni Kabayan community got bigger because the members invited their Filipino friends from outside of Beijing. Other members were recommended to me, and then I asked them if they could deliver their products to Beijing. Most of them said yes, so our organizing team thought it would be nice to promote them in our Hot & Spicy Festival booth.

These sellers gave us boxes worth of their products for free and shouldered the delivery to Beijing. We used their products for sample tasters and a lot of people who lined up in our booth loved those products! (To see the list of sellers, visit this page.)

So what’s next for Kusina ni Kabayan?
We were very happy that all of our customers were satisfied and many of them brought home our products! And did you know that six out of 10 customers at the booth asked us where they could buy our products? We were very thrilled that a lot of people were asking where our restaurant was. We told our customers we don’t have a physical location yet, though our sellers and cooks can do deliveries and catering services.

With that being said, I thought maybe it’s time to have a new Filipino restaurant in Beijing (there used to be one called Speedy V). We’re talking about the details and finding sponsors to make this community group a restaurant. While doing that, we are preparing our vendors and cooks for smaller events like seasonal bazaars and markets. Another team is also organizing another big project which gathered many other talented Filipinos to give them an opportunity to experience event planning and management.

To find out more about ordering Filipino food, or helping Kusina ni Kabayan grow their community group through sponsorships or donations, add Pengson on WeChat at PerlitaPengson1.

Can you handle more heat? Be sure to check out the latest issue of our Hot & Spicy themed magazine as well as our ongoing chili related restaurant coverage.

Photos courtesy of JR Torres/Kusina ni Kabayan, Andy Penafuerte

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Beijingers Now Being Shamed on Giant Screens In a Bid to Curb to Jaywalking

Although the People's Republic of China doesn't hold political elections, its citizens nonetheless vote with their feet ... a clout they are using to jaywalk en masse, commonly disrupting the flow of traffic in cities all across China.

Chinese authorities have attempted to curtail this mass phenomenon with a multitude of traffic safety campaigns to little effect. With punishments like fines and warnings doing little to quell the stampede, Beijing has decided to take its enforcement of red light runners to the next level by publicly shaming them.

This past Monday, Beijing installed a giant video screen at a Tongzhou intersection that live broadcasts images of jaywalkers illegally crossing the road.

Pedestrians that dare to run the red light at Jingjingong Road will have their image put on a two-by-four-meter-wide electronic screen while receiving a stern scolding.

READ: Beijing to Slow Down Traffic by Confusing Drivers With Optical Illusions

"You have crossed against a red light, please return behind the pedestrian crossing line," blares a recorded voice for everyone in the intersection to hear.

Fear of shame is a powerful inhibitor in China's face-based society in which one's social standing is derived from the respect given by your peers. And yet, even though the threat of public humiliation looms over them, some Beijing pedestrians are still choosing to jaywalk anyways.

A reporter with Beijing Daily witnessed several people running against the red light despite the newly-installed video counter-measures. When stopped by traffic police afterwards, the violators pledged their ignorance when asked about the giant screen or simply demurred that they were "in a rush."

READ: Beijing Cracks Down on Car Horns With Automated Noise Detectors

Meanwhile, a reporter with Beijing Youth Daily counted 14 jaywalkers at the same intersection during a half-hour of Monday's evening rush hour.

Even as China welcomes facial recognition technology as part of its advancement into automation and widespread surveillance, the system is not currently being used as a punitive measure against jaywalkers, although local police say traffic violating pedestrians may have their social credit scores deducted by the system.

Publicly-shaming jaywalkers with a giant video screen is just one of the techniques employed by Chinese cities to try to keep Chinese pedestrians from disobeying traffic signals. Besides erecting gates that physically block pedestrians, Chinese cities have also installed "mist gates" that spray water to keep pedestrians at bay (shown above).

READ: Beijing to Stop Red Light Runners by Making Children Dance in the Middle of Traffic

These measures are in addition to the traffic safety warden, a person who enforces traffic order, and the traffic light, which determines the order of the intersection. 

Whether or not the public video screen is successful at deterring jaywalking, it seems like Andy Warhol's most famous quote has a slightly different meaning in the Celestial Kingdom: when it comes to jaywalking in Tongzhou, "Everybody has their 15 minutes of shame."

More stories from this author here.

E-Mail: charlesliu1 (at) qq (dot) com
Twitter: @Sinopath

Images: e23, Beijing Youth Daily, Sina News

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Yanjintang: The Best (and Most Expensive) Private Restaurant We’ve Had the Pleasure of Trying This Year

What makes diners feel special? Dining at a private restaurant that has no trace on social media, not even on Dazhong Dianping? Dining at a restaurant tucked away in an exclusive and private yard deep in Beijing's historical heart? How about dining in the midst of an entire team dedicated to making every moment of your meal the happiest you've ever experienced? Yes, yes, and yes? Well then, Yanjingtang has it all.

To be frank, a downside to exclusive hutong dining is that you can expect the restaurant to be particularly hard to find, and in this regard, Yanjingtang gets bonus points. Hidden in a tranquil residential hutong area on Tanghua Hutong off of Deshengmenwai, you'll want to keep an eye out for two huge scarlet wooden doors. From there, you'll need to ring the bell in order to be granted access to what might be one of the most memorable meals you've ever had in Beijing.

 

Yanjingtang's quaint siheyuan (several dried fish greet you upon entry, left along the wall to sway and dry in the wind) only has enough space for two dining rooms and a table in the yard, all furnished using mostly Ming antiques. A wooden Ming dynasty plaque hung on one of the dining room walls spells out Yanjintang (宴锦棠), and sets the tone for the rustic, comfortable, down-to-earth, yet upscale meal ahead.

There’s no à la carte menu, instead, diners pay RMB 5,000-plus for a table of two to 10 patrons. The team then prepare the dishes prior to your reservation, needing time to tinker and perfect the modern Chinese menu in advance. An example would be our tasting menu starter of crawfish in nitro-yellow rice wine. Each morsel sported a bite of tender and taut meat, which when eaten with the flakes of freeze-dried yellow rice wine, will have you wanting to run back home and pour rice wine all over your favorite ice cream.

The second appetizer, deep-fried wonton wrappers topped with pea sprouts, came with a generous layer of black truffle, which acted as an earthy detonator for the underlying flavors: grassy freshness popped from the pea sprouts and the crunchy casings were lightened from their otherwise plain beginnings. We were happy to see that the dishes were not being assembled with tweezers, even if the energetic young chef Zhang Zhicheng is aiming for Michelin star standards. 

As fine as those appetizers were, the star of the show was the braised isinglass (fish air bladders), sea cucumber with leeks, and (controversially) sharks fin. To give the dish an incredible glutinous texture, and one that is very much appreciated in Chinese cooking, the ingredients were braised for 12 hours prior to serving. Paired with a seemingly simple bowl of rice, which glittered as much as it was sticky and white, silence struck the room as each spoonful of the rich stew was poured over the rice and each grain savored. The secret? “We use rice from Mibole [a high-end rice brand in Liaoning], and wash the rice over 60 times; maybe it’s not nutritious, but it’s delicious,” chef Zhang Zhicheng explained. The groans in the room were a testament to such.

One last amuse bouche-style plate of red-braised pork with preserved vegetables was also flavorful enough to cause a fight for each piece. The meal was then rounded out with mango pomelo sago, a contemporary Hong Kong dessert, whereby mango, coconut milk, and milk are blended into a smoothie-like texture and topped with pomelo. The whole combination made for a chilled, zesty, and sweet finale that left our taste buds buzzing.

We can honestly say that there were many fireworks during our Yanjintang expedition, and the food that was served shone for its true combinations without being able to be pigeonholed into a strict category. Simply put, the meal was composed of the best quality fresh ingredients found on the market cooked to perfection and with a lot of care – something you can easily get lost in.

Yanjintang is open for dinner with a minimal expense of RMB 5,000 per table (for between two-10 patrons). A reservation at least one month ahead is required by calling 158 1069 3778.

Yanjintang
Daily 6pm-late. 12 Xiaoyou Hutong, Xicheng District (158 1069 3778)
宴锦堂:西城区孝友胡同12号

More stories by this author here.

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Twitter: @flyingfigure
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Photos: He Jing, Tracy Wang

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A Mini-Game About Balls Just Went Viral on WeChat

This post comes courtesy of our content partners at TechNode.

WeChat released a new selection of mini-games in April, and there is one that is on the rise to become one of the most popular mini-games the platform: “The Best Tan Yi Tan” or “The Best Bounce and Bounce” (最强弹一弹 zuì qiáng dàn yì dàn; our translation).

Tan Yi Tan resembles the classic arcade game pinball and has the qualities of addicting mobile games – players simply press down on the screen and move in horizontal directions to determine the angle at which the ball will be released, and collect points for each geometric object hit. Like in Tetris, the player must destroy each of the shapes by hitting them a certain number of times before they pass the line at the top of the screen and power-ups can be obtained by striking special objects. Scores can be shared with friends on WeChat.

Mini-games have taken WeChat by storm attracting 170 million daily active users on the messaging platform. The most popular of all is none other than Tiao Yi Tiao, also known as Jump and Jump, which was released last September. The game is so popular that WeChat recently dedicated an entire competition to Tiao Yi Tiao.

WeChat currently has over 1 billion monthly active users and mini-games are becoming one of the most popular features on the messaging platform. It took mini-games only four months to launch in-app ads, while WeChat Moments, another popular feature, waited four years for ads integration. Big corporations including Nike and McDonald’s are reportedly paying millions of yuan per day to put ads in Tiao Yi Tiao.

Images courtesy of TechNode, 最强弹一弹

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Beijing Charity Roundabout to Host Grand Opening of New Boutique, Apr 28

Having long been touted as "Beijing's answer to the Salvation Army," goodwill group Roundabout is now taking its setup a step further. Nearby its secondhand shop in Shunyi, the charity will open a new boutique to raise funds for needy Chinese children on Apr 28. What's more: this new shop will provide a platform for local artisans to sell their handmade wares, with 30 percent of their sales going toward Roundabout goodwill efforts. 

Charlotte Beckett, Roundabout's volunteer director, says the new shop will also be a boon for Shunyi dwellers. "There's a gap in this part of the city, so we thought it would be good to open a one-stop gift shop where you can find nice cards, paper, and handmade gifts. We also sought out craftspeople who don't have a shop of their own, in order to be of help to them."

One of the 17 crafts organizations that will sell its wares at the boutique is The Bulk House. Founded by Carrie Yu, that organization is also a proponent of a different kind of goodwill: environmental activism, by selling zero waste products like reusable straws, bags, and more.

Yu says she's more than honored to team with the new boutique in order to bolster both their goodwill endeavors. "Roundabout is an amazing charity and it is amazing how much they do around Beijing – they seem to be everywhere!" she says. "We particularly like the fact that Roundabout distributes items that people no longer need or use onto people who do need them and so will use them."

Greeting card designer Liuba Vladimirova of Liuba Draws is another vendor who will attend the boutique's opening, and she seconds Yu's sentiment, adding: "I’m always happy to hear a new boutique gift shop opens up in Beijing, especially if the products are being carefully curated. The new Roundabout boutique gathers lots of beloved Beijing design brands that provide people who live in Beijing or just love this city with unique gifts and memorabilia. It feels great that because of the people at Roundabout everybody is able to participate in all this awesomeness while also supporting a great cause!

And the fun doesn't just stop at shopping. This new space will also serve as an events center, hosting seminars on Chinese culture, mindfulness, recycling practices in Beijing, and other such topics to help the Shunyi set live life in Beijing to the fullest. Beckett likens that aspect of the space to other Beijing cultural centers like The Hutong and The Bookworm, something that is currently lacking in Shunyi. As it is plain to see, this new Roundabout venue is set to liven up one of Beijing's sleepier neighborhoods with plenty of exciting new offerings.

For more information on the boutique's opening, click here.

Here is a list of all the sellers at the new boutique:

  • Liuba Draws
  • String Collection
  • Dot 3
  • The Green Room
  • Souky Souky
  • Pinyin Press
  • TCA- Beijing
  • Zoko Jewelry
  • Friends That Rhyme
  • Antonia Sampson Jewelry
  • DdW Textiles
  • Sew Gorgeously
  • M & Nik
  • Tai Tai
  • The Bulk House
  • John Wang Furniture
  • Changfa Furniture

Roundabout Boutique
Mon-Sat, 9pm-4pm. Cathay View Plaza, 2 Xiangjiang Bei Lu (behind Didi's market at the intersection with Jingmi Lu)
香江北路2号

Photo courtesy of Roundabout

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Chinese Women Warned Against Using “Nose Cushions” to Make Their Schnozzes Pointier

As educated and affluent as they have become, China's women have still had to deal with a rapidly changing standard of beauty in which trends are set overnight. And now that well-defined noses have become de rigueur among South Korean and Chinese movie stars, Chinese women find themselves at a loss to try to recreate the shapely profiles of their style icons.

However, with plastic surgery exclusively reserved for those who can afford it, Chinese women have turned to an easier alternative, one that costs less than RMB 10 and never requires a medical procedure.

While it has been called a "nose cushion," the device is so well-regarded that it is more popularly known by its nickname: the "mystical nose beautifying device" (美鼻神器 měi bí shénqì).

READ: Cosmetic Changes: A Layman's Introduction to BB Cream for the Modern Beijing Man

For all the hype it receives, the "artifact" operates on a very simple premise: a stiff piece of plastic is shoved inside a nostril to make a nose stand out farther from a face. And yet, despite its popularity as a "facial tentpole," the device has been criticized by doctors as a potential health threat.

Meitan Hospital Director of Cosmetology Wang Chi said the device can cause infections and even be harmful if it was to be accidentally inhaled, reported China Daily.

After first appearing in the Chinese news last year, there has been one reported case in which a malfunctioning "mystical device" resulted in a trip to the emergency room.

Chongqing resident Miss Zeng was taken to the local hospital last November after the "nose cushion" she had bought online for RMB 13.8 disappeared up her nose, only to be discovered by doctors to have turned up in her stomach.

READ: More than a Pretty Face: Ugly Chemicals in Cosmetics

And although Miss Zeng turned out okay from the ordeal, CCTV nevertheless tried to dissuade women who have put their faith in the product. In its report, CCTV pointed out that the imported product used for sticking inside your nose was not covered by any Chinese regulations. And, to convince any viewers left with lingering doubts, even went so far as to quote Zhou Xin, director of the ear nose and throat department of the Chongqing Chinese Medicine Hospital that the nose cushion was "without scientific merit."

As it were, several versions of the "mystical nose beautifying device" are available for purchase online, many of which use external devices to beautify their noses.

Pointed noses are just the latest trend in Asian beauty standards that have popularized larger colored eyes, double-lidded eyelids, fairer skin, and colored hair. As numerous as these Western traits are in Eastern aesthetics, we're still waiting for English to make the jump from T-shirts to conversations.

More stories from this author here.

E-Mail: charlesliu1 (at) qq (dot) com
Twitter: @Sinopath

Images: QQ CQ, iFeng, Taobao (1, 2), Lamabang, Shop mogui, Tuigb 

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Beijing Beats: Liars and Visionist at Dada, Hayze at Aurora, Violin Wielding DJ Mariana Bo at One Third

Beijing Beats brings you the best in Beijing nightlife each weekend so that you can soothe the woes of a long and stressful week with some out-of-body gyrating and some experiences you'd rather forget come Monday. Check the weekend's full list of nightlife events here.
 

Wednesday, Apr 25

Be Stupid
Don't miss Dada’s weekly Wednesday house night. This week's edition includes Dada favourites Kaize, Shen Yue, Sunmeng (pictured) and many others. 10pm. Free. Dada
 

Thursday, Apr 26

Future Bass Artist K?D
By selling out venues across the states as a headliner, having his single “Lose Myself” chart on Billboard, and playing shows all over world, 20-year-old K?D has established himself as a force to be reckoned with and now comes to Dada to prove his mettle. 10pm. RMB 140. Dada

Syzz
This Dutch producer and DJ has worked with a number of big names, including the likes of Dash Berlin. Expect an accessible EDM set with plenty of high-octane, danceable grooves. 10pm. Price TBD. One Third
 

Friday, Apr 27

Liars
Angus Andrew, frontman of Liars and only constant member, hits up Dada on Friday for a night of synth-punk, disco rock, cosmic techno, and pop from another world. You can also catch him (+band) at this weekend's Strawberry Music Festival. 10pm. RMB 80, RMB 60 (advance). Dada

Mariana Bo
Hailing from Mexico, she began her musical career as a violinist before branching out into electronic music. She incorporates both styles into her set, playing that classical instrument in between hitting the decks, which makes for a uniquely eye-catching performance that'll also have your hips shaking. 10pm. RMB 150. One Third
 

Saturday, Apr 28

Pancake Lee, Mario Yu, Trust, Peng, Loading
This Saturday Aurora party is outfitted with some of the capital's best local techno talents like Pancake Lee, Mario Yu, and more for a free party that'll go late into the night. 10pm. Free. Aurora

Adesse Versions
This rising UK house star's sound has been described as "raw" and "timeless," while fans in one promo praised his "rough cut and paste" sampling style. Despite those rough and tumble qualities, Adesse Versions' music is also balanced out with uplifting melodic moments, giving his sets a wide appeal. 10pm. Price TBA. Dada
 

Sunday, Apr 29

Chad Valley
British chillwave star Chad Valley will stop by Beijing ahead of the release of his new album, Imaginary Music. 10pm. Price TBA. Dada

Hayze
In his native Malaysia, Hayze is a huge star. A 20-year veteran, his house hits have become a staple of the Southeast Asian nation's electronic scene. 10pm. RMB 80, RMB 50 (advance). Aurora

Holding by Mickey Zhang and Be Stupid! 
There’s something for everyone at Lantern this holiday Sunday as DJ Mickey Zhang takes over Lantern’s Room #1 for Holding, with support from Nigls, Aida, and Jackson Lee. Meanwhile, Room #2 gets silly with Sunmeng, Anton, Daodao, and Alex 8 from the Be Stupid! crew. 11pm. RMB 50. Lantern
 

Monday, Apr 30

Visionist
Visionist (pictured at top) is a London-based experimental grime composer and producer. Having first dropped releases in 2011 via labels 92 Points and Left Blank, he would go on to appear on compilations such as Big Dada’s Grime 2.0 and Keysound Recording’s Allstars series. He's also been very outspoken about his struggles with mental health, making him an inspiring figure in the electronic music scene. Read more about that at The Fader. 10pm. RMB 80, RMB 60 (advance). Dada

Natural Flavor '90s Hip-Hop Night
Head to Natural Flavor's latest night of local hip-hop and classic hood music this Monday, featuring Da Great Deity Dah, Nasty Ray, Def Capone & Buckchild, and DJs 4tael and Kang Starr. 10pm. RMB 150, RMB 100 (advance). Aurora

Back2Basics Presents: Yan Cook
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, 1991, Yan Cook   was introduced to electronic music, more specifically techno, at the age of 16 and the rest is history. Having now performed alongside and collaborated with many of the most respected techno talents from around the globe, he has since honed a signature style that strikes a balance between heavy and smooth dancefloor techno with haunting atmospherics and striking basslines. Catch him work his magic on Monday. 11pm. RMB 80, RMB 50 (advance). Lantern

As always, you can see these and all this coming week's nightlife happenings via our Events page here.

Photos: Dubspot, courtesy of the venues

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Feel the Burn: Hacker-Pschorr Brauhaus Serves German Hospitality, Brews, and Sausages by the Bucket-Load

In the wake of TBJ's successful Hot & Spicy Festival, our fiery restaurant coverage continues with our Feel the Burn series. Those of you who acquired a taste for all things hot at the fest can maintain the burn by visiting these chili-rife eateries.

The spice in our stomachs has just about settled down and our lips no longer feel like they are being licked by the fires of hell. But that sweet, sweet relief is also coupled with a pang of nostalgia for all those fiery flavors. Thankfully a quick fix can be found at Hacker-Pschorr Brauhaus, where German hospitality, meat, and beers reign supreme. With just one look at their 1L beers and the platter-sized plates of food (they're mostly to share, let's not get too greedy), it quickly becomes clear that no one will leave this restaurant hungry, or thirsty. Their selection of spicy sausages, meanwhile, will settle your cravings for something hot.

With the spring weather taking a stronger hold of Beijing, it's time to move outside onto the city's sunny terraces, of which Hacker-Pschorr may just boast one of the best. A liter of the aforementioned beer will keep you entertained and cool while you gulp down bite after bite of Bavarian classics, including sausages, potatoes, and, of course, lashings and lashings of sauerkraut.

Below, we ask Hacker-Pschorr what inspired their spicy choices at our Hot & Spicy Festival.

What did you bring to our Hot & Spicy Fest? 
Two kinds of spicy sausage. Since we're a German restaurant, we select from a cuisine that boasts of hundreds of kinds of sausages. When we thought about which spicy dish to bring, we also wanted it to represent German cuisine and spicy sausages was a great fit for both.

What spicy dishes do you sell in your restaurant? Which is the most popular and why?
The spicy tomato prawns are very popular with our guests. Since German meals mainly feature pork, diners often like to add some other meat or seafood as an alternative.

What drink do you like to pair with spicy food? 
We often recommend pairing a house brew with any of our spicy dishes. There's nothing more refreshing than washing down a hot dish with a fizzy gulp of beer. 

What’s the hottest thing you’ve ever eaten? 
Millet chili, a type of chili pepper.

What’s your go-to spicy comfort food?
Sichuan cuisine or any sort of hot pot.

In one word, how does eating spicy food make you feel? 
Hardcore.

Can you handle more heat? Be sure to check out the latest issue of our Hot & Spicy themed magazine as well as our ongoing chili related restaurant coverage.

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Strawberry Music Festival Returns This May Day Weekend With Strongest Lineup Yet

Strawberry Festival returns home to Beijing. Well, not exactly – don’t think we’re quite back to the days of having moshpits within the Sixth Ring Road (though Changyang Sport Park hosting the Grammy Festival this weekend does give one hope) – but it’s been some time since Beijing had a proper festival that didn’t feel like it was thrown together last minute in some remote city no one has even heard of. Fact is, festivals and Beijing still don’t get along (see: cancelled Strawberry Fest 2015 and 2017 and this month's Sound of the Xity), so it warms me to see Strawberry nudge its way back this Labor Day weekend – taking place in Yuyang International Ski Resort (located in Pinggu district 70km from the city center) from Sunday, Apr 29 to Tuesday, May 1

What’s most noticeable about this year’s edition is the lineup. Whilst Strawberry (backed by Modern Sky) has been known to recycle its roster year after year with seasoned (or past their prime, depending on your preference) veterans and washed up international acts. This year, however, it looks like the organizers have taken into account the changing musical landscape, particularly in the indie scene, as well as the increasing demand for acts from Japan and Taiwan. It’s also massive, with 100 acts spread across seven stages over three days, with plenty of variety for fans of just about every musical preference. Here’s the basic breakdown (scroll down for a full, translated lineup): 

On the international side of things, esoteric UK indie art-pop outfit alt-J will be sharing the stage with Japanese indietronica outfit The fin. (fresh off two sold-out gigs in Beijing this year already), revered dubstep and garage producer Mala out of the UK, as well as two of Brooklyn's finest noisemakers, cutting-edge electronically-inflicted post-punkers Liars and the all-female psych rockers Habibi. For something a bit more mainstream, check out glitchy J-pop stars illion and Wednesday Campanella. Or for something with a bit more indie cred, catch a few breakout Taiwan acts in the form of indie janglers Deca Joins, retro poppers Sunset Rollercoaster, and math rock trio Elephant Gym

On the local front, there’s Wuhan emo rock torchbearers Chinese Football, Guangzhou and Dalian post-rock heavyweights Zhaoze and Wang Wen, respectively, rap sensations Lil Akin, Young Jack, and collective ONO. In fact, it appears that the metal stage has been ousted in favor of something altogether more post-rock – another sign of the times and one that will leave many mosh heads saddened. As well as megastars Tsai Chin, Hebe Tien, and legendary Dou Wei (which has all sorts of music geeks coming out of hibernation), you'll of course find other Modern Sky regulars like Re-TROS, Omnipotent Youth Society, New Pants, Miserable Faith, and Casino Demon.

However, even those last acts feel like afterthoughts to what looks like one of the festival’s strongest lineups in some time, making the increased prices well worth it (compared to the other festivals this weekend and last they’re practically a steal). While buses can be caught from Dongzhimen (RMB 50 round-trip), I’d recommend setting up your own transportation and even consider the option of staying overnight. Whatever you decide, you better act fast, as presale tickets are selling out at quite a clip.

It's good to have you back, Strawberry – we're counting down the minutes!

Strawberry Music Festival runs Apr 29 to May 1, 1-10pm. Single day tickets cost RMB 320 advance or RMB 580 on the day via 228 and Damai.

Yuyang International Ski Resort
88 Dawangwucun, Donggaocunzhen, Pinggu District
平谷区东高村镇大旺务村688号
 

Lineup

Sunday, Apr 29

Strawberry Stage 

2-2.50pm: Li Zhi 
3.30-4.10pm: Tizzy T
5.10-5.50pm: Hebe Tien 
6.50-7.50pm: illion (JP)
8.40-9.30pm: Piao Shu

Love Stage

1.10-1.50pm: Casino Demon
2.40-3.20pm: Sunset Rollercoaster
4.10-4.50pm: The Mystery Lights (US)
5.30-6.10pm Sound Fragment
6.50-7.30pm: Yico Tseng
8.10-9pm: Miserable Faith 

Star Stage

1.50-2.20pm: Djang San
2.50-3.30pm: Da Bang
4-4.40pm: Zhou Fengling
5.20-6pm: Haley Heynderickx (US)
6.40-7.20pm: Askar 
8-8.50pm: Tongue

M____D Stage

1.30-2pm: Oddope
3-3.30pm: Lazyair
4.40-5.10pm: Benzo
5.50-6.30pm: Bakerie
7.50-8.30pm: Vinida

Post Sky Stage

2.20-2.50pm: Return to Delicate Time
3.30-4pm: Amber 
4.40-5.20pm: GriffO
6-6.40pm: Sun of Morning
7.20-8pm: Wang Wen

Alienwave Stage (w/ VJ BUZZ)

3.30-4.30pm: Sun Meng
4.30-5.30pm: AY
5.30-6.30pm: Kris
6.30-7.30pm: Halo
7.30-8.30pm: Bass Guo

Young Blood Stage

5.10-5.40pm: Shan Mei Yu
6.20-7pm: No Trace
7.40-8.20pm: The CLF
 

Monday, Apr 30

Strawberry Stage 

2.20-3.10pm: Zhao Lei
3.50-4.30pm: A-Si
5.20-6pm: The fin. (JP) 
6.40-7.30pm: Omnipotent Youth Society 
8.30-9.10pm: Cai Qin

Love Stage

1-1.40pm: Hang on the Box
2.20-3pm: Liars (US)
3.50-4.30pm: Hei Che
5.20-6pm: Erbai
6.40-7.20pm: Yingtan & Shanxiao
8-8.50pm: New Pants

Star Stage

2-2.30pm: Yunduo
3-3.40pm: Jeno Liu
4.10-4.50pm: Junks (US)
5.30-6.10pm: Zhang Sou
6.50-7.30pm: Mr. Turtle
8.10-9pm: Supermarket

M____D Stage

1.50-2.20pm: Zetah
3.20-3.50pm: Ykey & Pro-Z
4.50-5.20pm: Dungeon Beijing
6-6.40pm: Dirty Twinz
7.30-8.10pm: Lil Akin & VISUDY

Post Sky Stage

2.30-3pm: 48V
3.40-4.10pm: The 16th Floor 
4.50-5.30pm: Chinese Football
6.10-6.50pm: Elephant Gym
7.30-8.10pm Sparrow

Alienwave Stage (w/ VJ BUZZ)

3.30-4.30pm: 777
4.30-5.30pm: Jiang Liang
5.30-6.30pm: TST
6.30-7.30pm: DJ Umbra
7.30-8.30pm: MALA (UK)

Young Blood Stage

4.20-4.50pm: The White Pages 
5.50-6.20pm: Deca Joins 
7.10-7.50pm: Tonxi
8.40-9.20pm: The Fallacy
 

Tuesday, May 1

Strawberry Stage 

1.30-2.10pm: Tien
2.50-3.30pm: Ma Po
4.20-5.20pm: Wednesday Campanella (JP)
6.10-7pm: Dou Wei
8.10-9.30pm: alt-J (UK)

Love Stage

1-1.40pm: Bian Yuan
2.10-2.50pm: Bai Si Guo
3.20-4pm: Low Wormwood
4.50-5.30pm: Yao Shisan
6.20-7pm: Ara Kimbo
7.40-8.30pm: Re-TROS

Star Stage

1.40-2.10pm: Wu Tiao Ren
2.40-3.20pm: Habibi (US)
4-4.40pm: Mamer & Tatsuya Yoshida (JP)
5.20-6pm: Hang Tian
6.50-7.30pm: Mosaic
8.20-9pm: Longshendao

M____D Stage

1-1.40pm: Da Hao Tao
2.20-2.50pm: Draksun
3.50-4.20pm: 0B03
5.30-6.10pm: ONO
7-7.40pm: Young Jack

Post Sky Stage

2.10-2.40pm: SNSOS
3.30-4pm: Little Wizard
4.40-5.20pm: Glow Curve
6.10-6.50pm: tfvsjs
7.40-8.20pm: Zhaoze

Alienwave Stage (w/ VJ BUZZ)

3.30-4.30pm: Dr Tuan
4.30-5.30pm: Kaize
5.30-6.30pm: Shen Yue
6.30-7.30pm: DJ Code 
7.30-8.30pm: Elvis. T 

Young Blood Stage

5.40-6.10pm: Convention Theory 
6.50-7.30pm: Lucie
8.20-9pm: Four Five

Images: MVM Studio, courtesy of the organizers

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