New Shanghai Restoration Project Album 'Zodiac'

February 3, 2009

David Liang, New York producer and DJ of the popular Shanghai Restoration Project series, released his third album for the Lunar New Year. For those unfamiliar with David, he is a former Bainie who turned in his business consultant suit to pursue music. He released his first album three years ago, gaining prominence on iTunes and multiple Internet charts. Next came radio play for some of his songs, and last year he was signed by a division of Warner Brothers. His music combines elements of Eastern and Western beats, tones, and rhythms, and aims to create a bit of a revival and recognition for the rich and diverse music scene that once inhabited Shanghai many decades ago.

His newest album features 12 songs, each representing a different animal. The release is available on Amazon, iTunes, and other digital retailers.

I checked out this album, and like his previous albums, it is a great listen. There are fewer vocals on this album compared to his earlier work, but I don't find any of the tracks lacking in any way. I especially like his middle tracks, which incorporate more East Asian instruments and tonalities with modern beats and melodies. Having heard all three of his albums, one can spot Liang's growth as an artist and the progression of his music and style. What seems to have matured, to me, is his ability to let a song open and develop, without resorting to the formulaic structures or repetitions found in most popular music today.


Alvin Lin


Alvin Lin was born in Taipei, Taiwan and hails from New England. He blogs about Asian American pop culture, film, music, literature and politics, as well as relevant news around the world. He also writes for Imprint Talk. Alvin has degrees from Cornell and MIT.



Not to divert the spotlight too much from this dude, but one of Sufjan Stevens' first albums, Year of the Rabbit, I think it's called, is an entirely instrumental and electronic song cycle according to the Chinese calendar, with a song per animal. It's a bit out there, and doesn't bear a whole lot of resemblance to his recent stuff, but it's interesting nonetheless.