Selections: Dirty K

The hyperactive tracks on Chinese producer Dirty K’s ‘Myogi 妙義’ EP serve a dual purpose. Released via Eastern Margins – a London-based label dedicated to platforming alternative and underground music from East & South-East Asia and its diaspora – its five original cuts pay homage to regional electronic music strains and their history. The intro track, ‘Live My Life’, folds sampled fragments of Korean Bokko Dance and Japanese Eurodance into a Fantazia-ready rave roller; ‘Taipei Prince’ is a propulsive club cut spliced with elements of Taiwanese electronic music from the ‘90s.

Elsewhere, in ‘Hello Hurray’ and ‘Tokyo Sturdy’, he weaves strands of hyper techno – a high-energy Japanese style from the ‘90s inspired by Belgian records – with contemporary UK breaks, hardcore and drill. The EP’s title track, which features Japanese artist T5UMUT5UMU, takes the fizzing synths of East Asian club culture and wires them round a rib-rattling amapiano beat. 

“The popularity of rave culture in the 1990s sparked a global movement that also had a major impact in East Asia,” he tells DJ Mag. “European musicians took advantage of this period to explore new opportunities in East Asia, collaborating with local artists to create new music and dancing styles like hyper techno, parapara, bokko dance and taike dance. As a result, new scenes in East Asia emerged and opened up the world, with their music being highly appreciated by the local communities. However, the economic recession in the 21st century made it impossible to sustain such a market. The global EDM market, dominated by Europe and the United States, gradually caused these musics to become unknown. Therefore, I’ve reconstructed the musical cultural imprints of the East Asian music scene that once existed from countless fragments.”

‘Myogi 妙義’ is a statement of intent from an emerging artist and musical historian, who is determined to teach the world about East Asia’s rave music lineage, which made a considerable mainstream impact in its hey day. The EP is bolstered by remixes from Japanese producers WRACK and pìccolo and Taipei’s Sonia Calico, and is out now. Buy/listen to it here.

Dirty K’s Selections fulfil a similar task, charting a history of ‘90s and early ‘00s East Asian rave music in ten tracks, with text provided in both English and Simplified Chinese. 

The Eastern Margins crew are in the midst of an eight-date UK and Europe tour, stopping off in Rotterdam, Berlin, London, Paris, Manchester, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Bologna – joined by an array of artists including Anh Phi, Lumi, Liu Lee, Mobilegirl, and many more. Get the details of that here.

Dive into Dirty K’s Selections below