in Interviews/Music

BOOM catches up with Beijing-bred audiovisual DJ Howie Lee before his appearance at Bassment on Friday


What is the electro scene like in Beijing?  Is it the most popular type of clubbing music there, as it is in Hong Kong?

It’s growing slowly. There isn’t a genre particularly popular.

Has it changed much over the past five years?

Yes. There are few new clubs opened and more investment are introduced to club scene. There’s a big festival dedicated to electronic music in Beijing every May. Overall it is much better then five years ago.

What is the best venue for electro music there?

To me it’s Dada. They have very open attitude to new music and trend.

Where has been your favourite place to play?

Dada Beijing.

If you had to listen to one artist only for the rest of your life, who would it be?


What makes you different to other DJs in regards to live performance?

I do both Djing and live performance. I’m a producer first then a live act. DJing to me have whole different meaning compare to live performance. When I do live performance, I try to express my musical ambition through my body languages and technology I use. My live performance it’s totally different from DJ set, it’s trying to combine sound and visual experience ,leads to a cinematic journey.

What is your mixing process?  How do you know when a track is complete?

I listen and tweak. Find characters of each sound and know your sound is fairly important. I mix while I arrange sound, so when I finished the arrangement then it basically done.

Which track do you enjoy playing the most at your shows?

It’s hard one I really enjoy play all of them since they are all different organism.

How have things been going since you released your EP last year?

I had really good feedback from the release. Got support from DJs world widely. It went really good since people are listening to it and love it.

Can you describe the main ideas behind ‘Borderless Shadows’?

It’s an experiment on found sound, and the use of found sound in contemporary dance music. Technically it’s a mixture of different methodologies. And I introduced my oriental background as well.

Is there a recurring feature in your music, despite it being so varied?

Yes. I’m still keen on dance music structurally. that’s why it’s repetitive. It’s an experiment based on current dance music.

What kind of night can we expect at Bassment on the 4th?

I really don’t know. My performance pretty much relies on sound and projector system a lot, I heard they got function 1 sound system there? I promise if the sound and visual systems are decent there, you will definitely love my show.

If you could compare your music to any wild animal, which animal would it be?

I have a song called Fake Elephant , is it wild?

What music should we listen to before the event to get in the right mood?

I suggest myself, or old music from Shlohmo .

How important is it for visual stimulation as well as audio at a gig?  What will your A/V performance entail exactly?

Sounds are the essentialness. Visual is to help you engage. You know that’s the problem of contemporary electronic performance, that u won’t enjoy watching some guy not doing anything on stage. That’s why I want to use visuals to engage the physical connections that’s being lost from the performer and the instruments. My A/V show is an visual interpretation of  my music from my point of view.

How important are ‘drops’ in dance music?

It’s only one way to control dynamic. because modern dance music have very limited dynamic, that’s why the drop need to be really harshy and noisy. I love the drops that can surprise me .


Event: SYNC SING SIN presents Howie Lee “Borderless Shadows” A/V Live in HK
Date: Friday 4th April 2014
Time: 11:00 PM
Venue: Bassment
Ticket: HKD150 incl. 1 drink (Advanced: email [email protected].com) ; HKD180 incl. 1 drink (At Door) 

For more event information please visit [here]