The Shanghai Restoration Project (SRP) is the Brooklyn based electronic duo of Dave Liang and Sun Yunfan.
In 2011 Liang met multidisciplinary artist Sun Yunfan and the two soon started collaborating – at first on music videos and live performance visuals and later on songwriting and production. The two co-produced Life Elsewhere, a playful album that weaves Zhang Le’s jazz vocals with electronica, samba, bossa nova, world music, and Chinese Taoist philosophy.
The duo’s latest album R.U.R. marks a shift from its more recent whimsical releases towards introspection, a reaction to the changing world. Setting out to find balance in chaos, R.U.R. plays with a more dissonant and polyrhythmic palette featuring atonal analog synth lines and samples including household items, Malaysian rainforest insects, China’s omnipresent in-store marketing chants, and the sounds of outer space.
About a month ago a post featured The Shanghai Restoration Project (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/?s=Shanghai+Restoration+Project) which featured a new song, Alpha Go. They have now produced a stunning animated video to go with the song. From the website:
“Sun Yunfan and Dave Liang
of the Shanghai Restoration Project ponder what a world where robots have replaced humans might look (or rather sound) like on their latest album, R.U.R. The 13-track album pictures a world where our robot successors are attempting to understand the events that led to the human extinction as they dissect the sum of all human knowledge. Building on the narrative of technology reigning supreme over man, the lead single from R.U.R., “Alpha Go,” pays tribute to Google’s DeepMind AI that recently defeated the world’s top Go champions, a reminder that the album’s imagined world could very well one day become a reality.”
“For the new “Alpha Go” music video, Sun taps into her talents as a visual artist to conjure a surreal landscape filled with psychedelic shapes and colors. The animated video comments on the implications of our technological advancements while also giving nod to the history of the game of Go. In it, floating plants are used to reference traditional Chinese paintings that often depict individuals playing the game in a garden or other outdoor settings; swirling yin-yang symbols are a call out to Go’s monochromatic game pieces as well as the importance of understanding duality for those looking to master the game; and binary code – written in Mandarin Chinese rather than numeric digits – alludes to the ancient Go theory books that sequence moves in Chinese numerals.”
“The music video encapsulates a frenetic yet cheerful energy that feels like both a warning and a celebration of an inevitable future. It captures the paradoxical feelings toward the fast-evolving technology of modern times – people appreciate the benefits that technology can bring to their lives, but at the same time, there exists an underlying sense of apprehension about our expendability as humans and how AI may one day replace us.”
It has my vote for music video of the century!