Upfront 067 / May 16, 2016

Do Hits

Do Hits boss Howie Lee steps up to showcase China's emerging bass culture. Tons of unreleased material straight from Asia's underground.

About this mix

Do Hits is an electronics music label from China, most of the members are Beijing-based. We’ve been running monthly underground producer showcase for five years, and now we put on shows regularly national-wide. From last year we start to release compilation of underground producers we find and believe, mostly from mainland China, but also from Taiwan, Singapore and other countries.

To me, the sound of Do Hits reflects the new bass music culture of urban China, where the majority of people are either mislead by the EDM culture, or think electronic music is a “foreign concept.” Our ambition is to break the gaps (also the great firewall), and really experiment between the old and new, rather than just mimic an established style. The sound is evolving really quickly, and here’s what we are now.

The mix contains new material from next Do Hits compilation, which will be released in early June. Also selections of unreleased material of me, Jason Hou, Zhi 16 and Guzz. I’ve also put few tracks from Dokedo’s 论五行 EP which released few weeks ago (but still fresh!), also have few tracks released by China Music House and Chengdu Rap House (highly recommended Chinese rap label).

Howie Lee

Howie Lee is a producer/audiovisual artist from Beijing, and also the co-founder of Do Hits.

Boiler Room says...

We touched down in China for the first time a couple weeks back for sessions in Beijing and Shanghai, shining a spotlight on the country’s emerging underground electronic culture. While the scene in China is very much still in its infancy, there are producers, DJs, and music lovers building the infrastructure to push the movement forward. Howie Lee and the Do Hits crew have been steadily building a sound that properly represents a new, modern, urban China, and the Do Hits squad was properly represented at the two shows we put on. Howie Lee performed his live show alongside drummer Zhang Yang in Beijing, and Billy Starman played a DJ set set in Shanghai.

By blending traditional Chinese sounds and international dance influences, Do Hits have captured the attention of a global audience. Howie's debut album Mù Chè Shān Chū, for example, was released last year on Alpha Pup—an imprint headed up by Low End Theory founder Daddy Kev. The underground scene in China is booming, and this mix by Howie encapsulates that sentiment. Tons of unreleased material straight from Asia's underground lies within. 

While there are still many obstacles to overcome—most people in China don't purchase music, there are few independent record labels releasing underground music, the EDM and luxury club-centric scene that pervades large cities, SoundCloud blocked by the great firewall—the future looks hopeful. There are nearly one and a half billion people in China. Just imagine...

Nelson Liu

Nelson Liu

Nelson is Deputy Editor & Music Programmer for Boiler Room in the U.S.