No Bullshit Talk with Xia Ke

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Hello dear Xia Ke, I’m truly happy to get the honour to meet you for an interview and get to know a bit more about you, dj, composer, podcast curator with your DEEPtHREEM series, and maybe more, we know soon !! So let’s start at the beginning : when did you fall into the musical pot ?

I began to play band and make music with university friends in 2009. At this time, I was influenced a lot by post punk, post rock, indie rock, psychedelic rock, shoegaze and experimental. I formed a shoegaze/noise pop band in 2012 and released an album in the end of 2013. This album takes a significant part of the tiny shoegaze scene in China.
At the same time I released that album, I met the music of Jon Hopkins, Moderat, Apparat and Bonobo. Their sounds immediately became my favorite type of electronic music. Even till now I still don’t know how to categorise their music in one single word.

Indeed amazing kind of sounds ! And so, what led you to develop yourown Organic/Techno musical realm ?

I dived into the ocean of melodic house & techno/deep techno from 2018 on. Influenced by giants like Paul Kalkbrenner, Gui Boratto, Solomun, Recondite, Adam Beyer, Innellea and Kiasmos, I began to create my own sounds in 2019. I chose nine tracks out of two dozens to form my debut album Cats Never Been Here and released it in July 2021. In the meantime, I began to reach out and connect to the world. After two weeks learning how to dj, I published my first podcast ever in August 2021. Within half a year, I published 20 podcasts on different channels in different genres.

How would you describe the style you develop?

I describe my music as a superposition of melodic house & techno, organic house, downtempo, deep techno, dub techno, minimal techno, minimal house, ambient and experimental, both my production and my podcasts. I met organic and downtempo related music through Planet Ibiza, no bullshit 🙂 And then I became sort of a zealot of this kind of music. Actually, the track Singing Phoenix in my debut album is an organic/melodic house prod. But I didn’t know anything about these genres when I made it. In this track, I used a sample of a traditional and ancient performance from a village in Jiangsu, just called singing phoenix, which could be traced back to Tang Dynasty. Unfortunately, since no young generation shows any interest in this tradition, it is endangered right now.

Oh I love this so much, that you keep some traditions alive and bridge them to nowadays musical reality ! It makes your prod so consistant, and personal !

Thank you ! I also really love to use all kinds of samples coming from real life when producing. For example the cat’s purr in Cats Never Been Here is from my tuxedo cat, and the crowded ambient, child shouting and horse neighing in the intro track Teleportation are from the recording of me watching the Jidai Matsuri in Kyoto. Thanks to these samples, I’ve created “my own sound”, which is definitely important in producing. I have several tracks almost ready, and that I’m satisfied with, I’ll finish them later these months and hope they could be published on the labels I love. Of course, I’ll still make sets as before, when I feel I need to express my feelings and mood. Sometimes making sets is a more convenient way to express than producing, or writing.

I can’t agree more ! Same for me ! Words are so powerless sometimes… Yet you enjoy writing, isn’t it?

Yes indeed ! Besides being a producer and DJ, I’m also a rookie writer ! I have a 20 years old genuine passion for Fantasy and Sci-fi novels, movies and TV shows. And this year, I try to write my own story.
I have a plan to translate my novel from Chinese to English, and it’s clearly a huge project to achieve !

Nice! Keep us updated, we wanna read it !! So now, back to music !
Tell us more about the project DEEPtHREEM, please !

Yes, it’s time to talk about DEEPtHREEM ! I created it in November 2021. The concept of DEEPtHREEM is Moody, Melodic and Minimal, which describes what I love and what DEEPtHREEM needs. The main logo is three squares in different grey overlay with each other. Each square refers to one key word, or one genre, or one podcast series. Since now, DEEPtHREEM starts to do free downloads and premieres. I hope one day it can grow up as a label, which will focus on musics right in the center of the three squares, and also an event organizer in both Asia and Europe.

To conclude our interview, what are your plans for the next months/ years ?

After living in the city I was born and grown up over 35 year, I begin to plan moving to other places. Europe is definitely the first choice for its top underground electronic music scene. Other selections include Japan and Thailand, that make me feel chill and free. People always ask me where DEEPtHREEM is based and I usually answer them “online”. It is a sad truth that not only DEEPtHREEM but even myself have not any chances to play offline for the tiny scene we have here. It’s even getting tinier during the pandemic. This is the main reason for me to move away. Hope one day soon I can answer that DEEPtHREEM is based in a real place on this planet.

Clearly a stirring goal, and I can’t wish you better than to find your place on earth !
Good luck dear Xia Ke, and thank you so much for sharing bits of your story with us !

Xia Ke on Soundcloud

DEEPtHREEM  on Soundcloud

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