Dazed Digital

Shanghai

Guest Editors: Jellymon

August 26, 2011

We welcome the inspired Shanghai creative collective and agency Jellymon to guide us through a month immersed in the city's creative scene

  • Text by Satellite Voices

Guest Feature by Jellymon's Josh Atkin

Welcome to the Jellymon Shanghai column. Every month we'll be providing you with an inside scoop into one of the most exciting cities in the world. Whether it's unusual and tasty food, the latest cultural influences about town, people's wild and wacky fashion styles or some of our own weird and wonderful pleasures, we hope our column will accumulate the smells and sensations that this city emanates and convert them into bite size paragraphs for your reading pleasure!

It’s time to stop referencing weather. That’s my initial thought as I pen this missive on Shanghai’s final month of summer. I’m all too aware of my Britishness and as much as I love many of the connotations that are associated with my fellow countrymen, the mundaneness that comes with discussing the elements is one that I’ll happily rid myself of as I assume a more Chinese form. On that note welcome to the Jellymon rundown of August: a month filled with exercise, live music, noodles and dead insects!

Shanghai is a city of no shame when it comes to pollution. She’s a city who’d happily leave the ignition on were she a car at a drive-in movie and she’d smoke through an entire meal like an annoying guest at a dinner party. Make no mistake this is a smoggy old town. So quite why Sam (Jacobs, co-founder of Jellymon) and I have turned to exercise, and night running at that, is anyone’s guess. We’ve hooked up with the DarkRunner crew, a team of Shanghai based street runners, over the past month and have enjoyed and paced through some fairly grueling sprints. There’s a strange sensation when you’re putting your respiratory system to the test, aware that on the one hand you’re a step closer to a healthier existence whist completely counterbalancing that notion by inhaling all the crap around you!

Nonetheless it’s been an enthralling experience and one that accumulated at the Nike Festival of Sports this past weekend. This was a huge event that saw Nike takeover the entire space around Shanghai’s Indoor Stadium. We joined the DarkRunner crew in a three minute sprint battle on treadmills and unfortunately for Sam my team won! We’ll have a more in depth insight into the DarkRunner collective for you when we interview their founder for Satellite Voices next week.

Away from feeble fitness regimes, we’ve spent a lot of August watching live music which has served as the perfect tonic to busy days of preparing new pitches. The month kicked off with a truly bizarre showing from Bristol’s Tricky. Joined by a three piece band, including a backing singer who seemed to do all the hard work, Tricky was more than happy to prance around on stage doing nothing but soak up the atmosphere of a slightly underwhelmed crowd. The fact he played a cover of Motorhead’s “The Ace of Spades” twice says it all. Later in the month we checked out a new venue in Jing’an district called Kento’s Live House. Performing here was Japanese pianist Akira Kosemura. The cabaret setting, emotive music and captivated audience combined for a highly enjoyable evening. Finally, the Japanese collective Angree Yung Robotz provided an energetic mix of pop and dance music at underground club Shelter last weekend.

Food-wise this month has largely been centred around us digging deep into Shanghai’s hidden ramen spots. There are some surprisingly good joints to be found, albeit with a bit of hunting. The standout proved to be Marukin Ramen located in the basement of the IFC mall in Pudong and Isshin on East Nanjing Lu, which served up a hearty, but quite delicious broth.

So, that concludes our August and with it the Shanghai summer. However, I will still resist any references to the inevitable decline in temperatures that will soon hit the city. Instead spare some thoughts for the cicadas who for the last few months have sung their tranquil mating calls from within the many tree lined streets this city possess. This past week I’ve seen three lie dead beneath their homes: a surefire sign that a new season is upon us.

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