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3am Eternal — winter 2018
Stella wears tulle dress Prada, skirt Versace, leather braces SHUSHU/TONG, bra and socks her own, boots Dr. MartensPhotography Leslie Zhang, styling Liu Xiao

Scintii is bringing an alien edge to Shanghai’s club scene

Read our interview with the Taiwanese producer as she releases her latest EP Aerial/Paperbags

Spotlighted in the new issue of Dazed, Shanghai’s ALL Club is the venue in the eye of the city’s current electronic music storm, where a roster of bold and fearless producers are sending shockwaves through the international club circuit. Keeping it bass and synth-heavy, and blending genres from industrial techno and coldwave to grime and EBM, the Shanghai scene are bringing brand new ideas to club music.

One of its prominent exports is Taiwanese producer Scintii, aka Stella Chung. Having released her first EP Mica with Eternal Dragonz in 2017, she now boasts Genome6.66Mbp and SVBKVLT as collaborators – two labels at the heart of the Shanghai movement. Alongside friend and fellow producer Hyph11E, Scintii brought her ethereal sounds to London recently across three dates, culminating at Hyperdub’s monolithic monthly party at Corsica Studios.

Produced in part by Soda Plains, her second EP, premiering here, brings ghostly vocals to moodier, laidback beats, building on the soothing fluidity of her first EP. The new project, Aerial/Paperbags, balances both gothic and lighter tones with delicate instrumentation and organ-esque synths, showcasing her refreshing attitude to making new music in pure environments, free from expectation or tradition. We chatted to the producer about clubbing in China, classical music, and bringing her creative vision to life.

Now you’re settled in Shanghai, how does the clubbing and music scene differ to London?

Scintii: London is where a lot of club music started. There‘s a long history there, with clear strands of subgenres. In Shanghai or in China, it’s a small and intimate community. It’s lively and creative, but the culture itself is still a foreign thing; young kids who go to the club don’t necessarily have the background knowledge and history.

Do you find inspiration from both cities?

Scintii: Both places somehow have a raw and unpolished attitude. Being open, disregarding the original context and focusing on the ‘now’ is what I find most intriguing about Shanghai.

You sing a lot more on your second EP than your first, was singing something you always wanted to do?

Scintii: I kinda knew I could sing from an early age. I was part of the school choir in primary school and I liked humming things, but I never really took it seriously or compared myself to others. As I began to focus more and more on production and writing music myself, it became clear to me that I have to use my own voice because I can’t imagine other people singing those parts. It’s quite personal.

“I wanted listening to the EP to be like reading a short story, or watching a film” — Scintii

There are some classical elements and darker, more gothic undertones on this new record, what influenced these sounds?

Scintii: I’m not classically trained. I had beginners piano lessons when I was young but was very undisciplined, I couldn’t focus on following the textbooks, and mostly played what I heard by ear. I guess that the baroque feel came from my dad playing Bach in the car when I was young.

Can you describe the creative process for the new EP?

Scintii: With the lead single “Aerial/Paperbags” especially, the melodies were in my head for years. It was something I wanted to make for a long time, but I didn’t feel capable of making it a reality until now. It was really good to work with Alexis (Soda Plains) on this release as well.

What do you hope people will feel or connect with when they listen to your music?

Scintii: I hope people enjoy it, or that it takes them on a journey. I wanted listening to the EP to be like reading a short story, or watching a film.