Today, Beijing-based audio / visual composer Howie Lee is announcing his new EP. Homeless is due in May via Howie's own Do Hits label, and to coincide with the announcement Howie is sharing a visual teaser for the project as well as the lead single, "?? Four Seas." The track starts as a turbulent mix of electronic noises before transitioning into a more coherent rhythm consisting of the introductory sounds. Howie is also sharing a recent Boiler Room session he performed in today. The thirty minute set features Bohan Phoenix and Meuko!Meuko! providing vocals over Howie's production.
On the inspiration behind his new single Howie explains, "'Four Seas' is the opening track for my EP called Homeless. Four seas are the boundary waters of ancient China. The song is trying to explore this concept of 'world' boundary and linking it to the rising globalization and immigration conflicts. It is trying to ask what the current state of the world means for the word 'home.'"
Hear "?? Four Seas" and watch the trailer for Homeless above, read more about Howie Lee, watch his Boiler Room set, and find details on his forthcoming EP below, and stay tuned for more from the Beijing artist soon.
Howie Lee is the sound of future music from cyberpunk Beijing.
Clattering percussion. Skittering rhythms. Found sounds and field recordings. The sound of traditional China, dragged kicking and screaming into the electric age. With his uniquely "Made in China" aesthetic, Howie is a electronic music visionary - creating a hybrid club sound rooted in the Middle Kingdom, but built for our densely interconnected globe.
Howie's debut EP was released via renowned UK tastemaker Trapdoor Records, followed by a 2015 full-length on Alpha Pup. He played the first-ever Boiler Room recording in China (an event that smashed global streaming records), and has supported DJs such as Bok Bok, Plastician, Spooky, Kode 9, Terror Danjah and Daedalus.
And music is just the beginning. As founder and label boss, the Do Hits collective he established in 2011 is now one of Asia's most forward-thinking crews. As curator, he's overseen some of the region's most exciting releases, with a string of successful EPs and LPs from label mates Jason Hou, Yllis and Guzz. As filmmaker, he's produced several stunning abstract CGI works that carry subtle marks of his Chinese identity.
With his latest EP, Homeless, Howie studies what the meaning of "home" means in the world today. Howie's own vocals and live instrumentation taking a bigger role on this release than on previous efforts. Feeling "at home" in the world today is often a lost feeling amidst international immigration crises along with a rise in nationalism. With the ascent of the internet, infinite knowledge is available that comes hand in hand with self-doubt and notion of not belonging in your hometown or even on your home planet. Howie's inspired EP captures the feelings of being lost and forgotten and striving to find a "home."
Howie's visceral, high-energy live shows are constantly evolving, and the latest version is in the works, set to debut in Spring 2017.