Western imaginings of foreign cultures fascinate New York-based musician and conceptual artist Fatima Al Qadiri on her debut album, a collection of songs that mines the tensions between the ancient and modern in Chinese culture.
Al Qadiri – who has never been to China – was inspired to put her own spin on it by insipid, Disneyfied portrayals of the country in Hollywood films that say more about American culture than they do about China.
This being instrumental music (save for a nonsensical cover of Nothing Compares 2 U featuring singer Helen Fong), Al Qadiri’s Chinese fantasies are decidedly abstract and in line with the dreamy, sci-fi approach to production of past EPs Desert Strike and Genre-Specific Xperience.
Asiatisch mixes repetitive industrial noises, poetry samples, Asian synth motifs and vaguely menacing atmospherics into tepid, listless and melodically bland soundscapes that serve the concept more successfully than they do the listener.
Top track: Shanzhai feat. Helen Fong