From the vaunted corridors of Beijing’s premiere alternative R&B label, Babel Records, comes Joy Ginger’s Love is Illusion.
Alternative R&B, as it is, must be one of the more interesting modern trends. Take, for example, How to Dress Well. The American artist combines sexy vocals and hip writhing bass with metallic, futuristic electronica to make for something straight out of the strange sexually charged worlds of Blade Runner and Total Recall.
And if production is your cup of tea, there is no genre better for clarity of sound than current R&B. As is the case with much of Babel Records’ output, such as Truetrue’s previous outing, Astrology, and now with Joy Ginger’s Love is Illusion.
Straight off the bat we are led into mysterious passages of sound, on opener Fall Asleep Before Sunrise. The beats take on a saxophonic sound, while seemingly muted keyboard keys create a groovy opening number.
The female vocal on Moonbow, reminds one of those early trance records by demi-gods such as Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Ferry Corsten and more, the difference now being that in Joy Ginger’s case his music contains an extra bit of bite.
Wet Dream has the bass undulation of an artist like Balam Acab, with Joy Ginger seemingly dealing in that sort of bedroom electronica, although when the woodwind blows such thoughts of imitation are forgotten in lieu of appreciation for this artist’s innovation.
Love is Illusion is a record full of these kinds of dreamy tracks. Recorded in a room, thought up in a room, the sensuality a consequence of loneliness, Love certainly does seem to be an illusion available to anyone with a halfway decent imagination.
What Joy Ginger does, however, is bring an effervescent imagination, made clear with such things as the phone call taking place during Sad Hotline.
It is clear that there is scope for this kind of music in China, and it is fantastic to have a group like Babel Records who seem to collect such sparkling, hallucinatory music all the time.
The future is bright for R&B.