Artist and co-founder of the Idlebeats screen print studio unveils her latest solo show at the Identity Art Gallery
July 15, 2011
City inspirations with the DJ and producer who we came across for the upcoming Shanghai: On Air mix
- Text by Terence Teh
We were introduced to Diccon Mayfield aka Conrank by Mixcloud, our On Air mix series partners who told us about this DJ who had recently moved to Shanghai. He produced the underground hip hop video magazine that turned into a MTV show called "Indelible Hip-Hop" and also produces drum and bass, working with Killa Kela as well as producing grime with Taiwanese rappers. He runs the Electric East Asian bass music site and Rankadank Records, he sounded pretty interesting so we caught up with him before we unveil his upcoming Shanghai: On Air mix for Satellite Voices.
Satellite Voices: How how would you introduce your creative outlook?
Conrank: My outlook on creating anything, is to create what makes me happy first. i make music because i love the feeling it gives me when i hear it, and i believe that if it makes me feel a certain way, then it can do the same for the listeners. I generally start tracks with lush pads and a chord sequence, they always inspire me. As soon as you force something that isn't really you, or that doesn't inspire you, then i really think its noticeable. My outlook for the future is to just keep going, i am producing Kela's new stuff and I am doing a grime project with two rappers from Taiwan. i'm just gonna stay productive and see where it takes me.
SV: Can you highlight some of your favourite recent projects?
Conrank: My first would have to be my project with Killa Kela entitled "Kela & Conrank". He is a close friend and we have been wanting to work together again for a long time. He called me with an idea to make podcasts, featuring us in the studio for a few hours making off the cuff beats, its so different to the way i usually work, and i love what came out. My other favourite project has been my E.P "Next Step" which has just dropped on Suicide Dub. It was a massive labour of love, I started it about a year ago, and there were times when I wanted to throw the whole thing in the bin, but after a million changes and after months of waiting it is finally all done and dusted, and the feeling when it finally came out was phenomenal.
SV: Where do you live in shanghai and what inspires you about that area of town?
Conrank: I live in Puxi, in a district called Changning, fairly near some of the good underground clubs and bars like Shelter, Dada and Yuyintang. But looking at Shanghai as a whole, one of the most inspiring things about living here is the parks. In the mornings and evenings they are full of old people dancing, singing, exercising and even playing maracas. It always puts me in a good mood and makes me want to create.
SV: What are your favourite food spots?
Conrank: There's a place called Yangs Fried Dumplings, it's pretty famous and always has a queue, and it lives up to its name, it really is tasty. My other favourite restaurant is a place called Gokkohai, its a shabu shabu restaurant and for around £9 you can eat as much as you want, and that doesn't mean the quality is ropey, it's spot on and the service is excellent also.
SV: What does your city mean to you?
Conrank: I can't claim that Shanghai as my city quite yet as its only been a year-and-a-half. But the city I live in is really important, if i don't feel comfortable in my surroundings, then I find it hard to get inspired. Also while you are living somewhere, it literally engulfs you, you are in it 24/7, I think sometimes people forget what they owe to where they live.
Photographer Benoit Florencon goes behind the beat of Shanghai’s underground electronic music scene
Exploring China's contemporary architecture and its Signs of Life