Eternal Dragonz Collective Explores What Being Asian in the West Means by Reimaginging Pop Music

Hear "Mass Media," the invigorating lead single by Melbourne-based, THUMP favorite TZECHAR.

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Feb 9 2016, 9:49pm

Image by Eric Hu, courtesy of the label

Pan-Asian artist collective and label, Eternal Dragonz, celebrated the Lunar New Year yesterday by announcing their first album, Karaoke Vol. 1, and sharing the invigorating lead single by Melbourne-based, THUMP favorite TZECHAR, "Mass Media."

Composed of a melange of K-Pop samples, bombastic synth stylings, and sense of information overload characteristic of its title, the track also comes with a fittingly collage-heavy visual treatment by NYC artist Eric Hu, viewable on the Eternal Dragonz website.

Other artists in the collective are Sydney duo Victoria Kim, grime experimentalist Strict Face, and Shanghai producer Organ Tapes; they're also joined by Kuala Lumpur artists Moslem Priest and Mysteriz. In the press release, the collective described the album as "pop and club music reimagined through the speakers of a hazy neon noraebang (karaoke room)." They added: "Clips of Asian pop stars on YouTube cut with 21st century Western drum tracks, immortal Korean boybands soaring above American trance melodies, and a transcendental blend of K-pop, J-pop, Mandopop and Cantopop."

Although the collective's members live in different locations, they are "united by ... the experience of growing up East in the West," along with the experiences, understandings, aesthetics, and food that entails. Their work is heavily driven by a critical edge, necessitating an "investigation into what it means to carry a self-identified 'Asianess' in the context of contemporary culture."

Check out TZECHAR's single below, and be sure to get Karaoke Vol. 1 when it's released on February 22, the last day of Lunar New Year celebrations. Also be on the lookout for a journal edited by LA-based writer Lucy Chinen and fellow collective member Jenny Yoo featuring images, interviews, and writing on "'Asianess' as it might be defined through layers of media and generational changes." The release date is TBA, but the collective promises it will follow Karaoke Vol. 1's release.

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