The global local: an introduction to Shanghai-based label Genome6.66Mbp with a mix by Tavi Lee

, 18 April 2017
sound

With the aim of collecting “funny, interesting and forward-thinking emotive club/bass music,” Shanghai-based Genome6.66Mbp is a label that focuses on the bridging of ‘music, internet and fashion,’ and spreading work by the young and DIY generation of the city into a more global context through the release of videos, clothing, parties as well as online spaces.

Founded in the summer of 2016, the label is run by Tavi Lee (who also does the majority of the album artwork and posters for events) in collaboration with Kilo Vee who runs Genome Party. Engaging in the networked world both outward and local, they have worked with a number of international artists, with recent releases including Rui Ho‘s single ‘Ru Meng Ling‘ (2016), Yoshitaka Hikawa and ju ca‘s EP On The Dispersion Of Materiality (2016) as well as WA?STE‘s new EP Hollow Vessel (2017) accompanied by a video for the track ‘done’ which premiered on aqnb last week. Their upcoming releases feature yik.ii and Dirty K.

‘Genome Compilation Vol​.​1’ (2016) album artwork by Gergő Kovács. Courtesy the artist + Genome6.66Mbp, Shanghai.

“I wanted to release music that I liked” says Tavi Lee in an email conversation about the project, who also gives us a mix featured below. A taster of Genome Compilation Vol​.​1  (2016) that puts together tracks by 18 artists including SWAN MEATShinobi inu and Hyph11e among others, the mix moves between genres; light Auto-Tuned vocals are overrun by industrial drums and break beats that eventually slides into hip hop, playing over 1998 Trance classic “Better Off Alone.” Hard dance is interrupted with broken glass cadences, only to be softened by classical piano that eventually decays and distorts into ambience. The co-founder talks to us about coming to music through being online, and the influences behind what started it all.

** Can you tell me more about the mission behind a label like genome? 

Tavi Lee: We just want to release good music and also bring more forward-thinking music to Shanghai, both international artists and as a platform for local DJs.

** There are many associated projects and labels, of a similar ‘global’ bent and aesthetic that seem influenced by the internet + a kind of hacker ethos of file-sharing online, would you agree with being a part of this trend/scene?

TL: We’re influenced by the internet insofar as we discover new music on Soundcloud and connect with other artists online etcetera. I don’t know that it’s a scene in an intentional way, and it’s only a trend insofar as everyone uses the internet like this now.

ju ca + Yoshitaka Hikawa, ‘On The Dispersion Of Materiality’ (2016). Album artwork. Courtesy the artists + Genome6.66Mbp, Shanghai.

** I’m always curious about how artists and producers such as yourself become involved in this culture and find each other. Can you track a history of how you got involved and why? And is it a social thing? 

TL: I got into music online. Genome started after I moved to Shanghai and started going to the Shelter. I got to know Hyph11e and Kilo and others, and Kilo wanted to put on shows and I wanted to release Hyph11e’s track “叶子” along with people on Soundcloud whose music I really liked. 

** What are some of the sites and spaces that have influenced your approach to production and running a label? 

TL: I guess I’m influenced by various collectives from all over the world (Bala Club, Staycore, NAAFI, etc.), but more that I like their music rather than how I run the label — mostly I just wanted to bring artists I really like to China and create a platform for local producers.**     

Header image by Gergő Kovács