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Howie Lee
Birdy Island

Mais Um Discos

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$45.00 SGD
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$45.00 SGD


There’s a reason rural escapism in China has risen over the past several years. Millions are drawn to lifestyle vloggers like Li Ziqi and Dianxi Xiaoge, who portray idyllic countryside lives spent creating everything from food to clothing from scratch. There’s even a small but notable group of young people called fanxiang qingnian, who, in a departure from China’s mass rural-to-urban migration of the past four decades, have opted to return to farm life. Of course, Chinese nationalism and the state’s push to promote Chinese culture do play a role, but the fact remains that China’s rapid economic growth, not unlike that of its American counterpart, has left its people wanting something more.

On Birdy Island, producer Howie Lee takes this desire and projects it into the future, applying it to the question of what follows society’s collapse under capitalism. The artist imagines a scenario that is by turns dystopic and hopeful, in which a Chinese investment company has decided to fund a theme park aimed at reconnecting people with nature and spirituality. The park is located on a floating island (the album’s namesake), where birds and ancestral spirits commingle. Lee, as a character in this musical metafiction, has been hired to score its soundtrack.

Birdy Island proposes a kind of hopeful syncretism, reaching back into traditional Chinese spiritual practices and finding a place for them within the destructive wake of neoliberal economics. It is also a documentation of both the beauty and the corruption of a culture that is sometimes romanticized, frequently villainized, but always human. - Pitchfork

Label: Mais Um Discos – MAIS042LP
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: UK
Released: 16 Apr 2021
Genre: Electronic, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Experimental, Ambient, Chinese Classical