Mixmag Asia Radio: Cocoonics breaks her 'shell' with explosive resonance
The Shanghai based DJ & producer made her mark on HKCR with an SP-404
Wildly colourful and effervescent, Cocoonics' name becomes a conundrum when you listen to her music. A producer and live performer who broke ground while on air on Hong Kong Community Radio in 2017, she was quickly noticed by the Magnetic Asia team who then booked her to appear at Clockenflap and Sónar the following year. By 2020, she headed to Shanghai where she's made abode and taken the scene on cosmic rides. For this week's episode of Mixmag Asia Radio, the energetic producer has fused a melange of technicolour compounds to deliver an audio vat full of splendour. Take a dive.
Where are you based and how did you get there?
I moved to Shanghai from Hong Kong in 2020, by plane, kidding. My label Eating Music is based in Shanghai and I have been to Shanghai for gigs, work, and other reasons many times when I was still in university. I was amazed by the flourishing electronic music scene here. Therefore, after graduation, I decided to move here to develop my music career.
What’s your favourite thing about the music scene there?
A variety of music can be heard within just one night. You have so many choices for great venues and events and you can definitely find the one that suits your mood and even surprises you.
In five words, what do your DJ sets sound like?
Ritualistic, broken, reflective, theatrics, ecstatic.
And in three words, how would you describe yourself?
Fluid, popping-candy-like doggo-lover.
What recent trends in music have you been paying attention to? Have you caught onto them?
I can’t say I am actually noticing any trend but just keeping my eye on my personal taste. Recently I am into a sampler called Korg Electribe and just got my first ES-1. Really looking forward to making some new music with it.
Are there any producers and DJs in Asia that have recently caught your attention? Please name up to 3 and tell us why?
Fishdoll. She’s an elf! Delicate sound texture since her debut, and the 2021 new album is an honest dialog with the self.
Zaliva-D. Swinging on top of the hellfire and saying hello with an evil smile to the dance floor - that’s what I feel every time I play their tracks at the club.
Knopha. I first listened to his works because of the Eating Music label release. There are some rich and balanced sound designs that fills the sky of a rainforest perfectly with a sense of Zen.
From pre to post pandemic, what has changed & what hasn’t changed about your life in the music world?
Pandemic, especially the lockdown for about three months in Shanghai from this March, changed the city a lot, just like how it hit every other city hard. Speaking of the changes, many clubs were closed, and my favourite one, Elevator, started a fundraising for the first time in six years. Artists, promoters, and friends are also leaving, some to other cities, some to other countries. It’s hard to say what’s really changed when the days are passing just like one another. But aren’t we always changing? The only thing that remains unchanged the changing. Since we were born, historical events happened continuously, yet here we are - living, making music, or at least trying to maintain our “normal” life.
Tell us about the inspiration behind this mix - what drove your thoughts and emotions, and how did you curate your selection?
A long journey starts in the desert, where ravers are thirsty so they are saving their energy for the first night. All of a sudden, they found a Pineapple (it’s a track by Chungo)! The ecstatic begins to do an ecstatic dance, a ritual that cures the whole exhausting journey…
When I was preparing the mix, I went with the flow and didn’t set any goals. But when I listened back and wrote down this narrative, I realised how similar it is to the long, confusing lockdown period that just passed, (or actually not fully passed yet). I think we all need a deep, curing ritual, and still remain awake to the broken, destroyed side of the world. This mix is about “we are taking our time”.
What equipment did you record this mix on?
Pioneer DJM-900, CDJ-2000.
Where can we hear you playing next?
I usually play mostly in Shanghai, but there are still some clubs not allowed to open and gigs cancelled. Let’s finger-crossed for Elevator to reopen soon. But recently I am playing at other cities more, treating that as a vacation to myself too. I am going to play in Changsha in September and planning a little tour in Shenzhen, Amoy, and Guangzhou in October.
Listen to Mixmag Asia Radio 101 with Cocoonics below.