Interview | Radiax
Unbeknownst to the world at large, there is a huge pool of young creatives in China. Beijing-based Yang Bowen aka Radiax is a contemporary DNB and Bass Music producer from Jilin – a remote town situated deep in the north of China bordering on North Korea and Russia. Whilst his origin is, geographically, incredibly far from the global centres of ‘cultural influence’, his musical output is most certainly not.
Just Bee invites Radiax for an interview to learn more about his background and influences.
Q: Tell us the story of your music journey and about Beijing Banger EP
A: I started to do music by accident. When I first came to Beijing, I found a job as a recording engineer. At that time, a French producer in the studio who taught me music production and how to DJ. At the time, I was making house music until I tried other styles and chose to make DNB. Beijing Banger EP took about a year from the first tune to the last one. I made Beijing Banger quite early on and the other songs took about two months, so you can hear the difference in styles in this EP.
Q: November 15th and 16th 2019 were your first headline shows to celebrate the launch of your EP – which is also available on vinyl – how does it feel?!
(Beijing and Shenzhen)
A: Wow, it was amazing and completely beyond my expectation. My adrenaline soared on stage when I heard people screaming for the music. MC R-Vee is very good at boosting the atmosphere and it’s great to cooperate with him. Several people came to me after the show with the vinyl to get it signed – this is my first time experiencing this and I feel quite joyful 😀
Q: We met in 2017 on the Great Wall of China, but you were not DJing DNB then – When did you switch to DNB?
A: Actually, I started to try to make DNB after watching the Homemade Weapons show in 2016, so my tunes were very dark and minimalist at that time. Later on, I started listening to other types of music which inspired me to change up my production. I played DNB for the first time in 2017. After I made my first DNB tunes, I started prepared DNB sets. I thought the vibe was good and have been doing it since.
Q: What are your inspirations?
A: I have some producer friends in Beijing and we often listen to each other’s music. Like ZHI16, Joy Ginger, Negative808. Although our styles of production are different, we draw inspiration from each other’s music. Actually, I got the most inspiration from Dubstep and Garage, as well as some movie soundtracks.
Q: What music did you listen to growing up?
A: When I was a kid, I loved Linkin Park, Avril Lavigne and later Tiesto, BT, The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers. Nowadays I like listening to cold jazz like Bill Evans and Jim.
Q: What advice and tips do you have for young people in China who want to start DJing or producing?
A: My advice is to make the music you really like and not just for fashion. For producing, remember to leave 6 dB space in the master track for the mastering, otherwise it will be very troublesome.
Q: What do you think is the reason stopping people from getting into music in China?
A: First of all, Chinese are too busy with work – people have no time to listen to music. The other point is that Chinese music platforms can only push pop music, so people can’t find the entrance to other types of music.
Q: What is the music scene like where you are from?
A: I’m from the northeast of China, near Russia and North Korea (it’s very cold there). Most of the musicians in my hometown play rock and roll music, few people do electronic music.
Q: What do you wish to see more of in the scene in China?
A: I hope to see more Chinese electronic music producers on the world stage.
Q: What hopes and plans do you have for the future?
A: I will continue to make DNB, release more music and develop my personal style. Maybe work with some singers and rappers on my tracks to not only enhance my music, but to make them more memorable to listeners.
Beijing Banger EP: https://smarturl.it/bbanger
Unchained Mix Series 007 by Radiax: https://soundcloud.com/unchainedasia/unchained-mix-series-007-by-radiax