Location: 北京 Beijing, 中国China
Artwork by Nini Sum @ Idlebeats
I noticed Lucifer before I came to know him. His audible confidence and familiarity with the D-22 bar staff brushed my ears and turned my head. His unconventional, boyish charisma was perfectly paired with a blunt fringe, full length army green over-coat, leather boots and a flash of red trim that my memory can't place. We were both there to see Wuhan's infectious post-punk outfit Mini Train Heart. The fleeting non-encounter was interrupted by the squelchy synth drums of the next song on the set list and we drifted out of sight amidst the noise and thick plumes of tabacco.
Later that week we spoke on the phone and I inquired whether Lucifer's Rustic band mates would be joining us. "It will be just me", he said, "I want to play you a song called Dong Cheng. The lyrics are really interesting."
It was a very brisk Saturday afternoon when we met Luficer and his French co-star, Audrey—founder of a brilliant art zine called Laji—on Gu Lou Dong Da Jie. We follow Audrey and her peacock colored, vintage style Chinese cruiser along the sidewalk to see a small crowd gathering as Lucifer tuned-up.
We recorded in the song's eponymous Beijing district, on a small laneway, splashed with an even smaller pool of soft, golden afternoon sun, outside our favorite whisky bar, Amilal. With the icy wind, whipping through the laneway, it must have felt like strumming a cheese grater. Seeking shelter and a second track, we boarded one of the crowded public buses streaming down Gu Lou, which is where we pick-up the story in the video above. What resulted, was a sweet pop song that had Lucifer turning on the charm, melting the hearts of old ladies, and displaying exceptional balance, with a driver who seemed only to trust the full application of either brake or accelerator.
The innocence and simple pleasure of the song was reflected in the smiles of the women on that bus, starring through the sound as if reminded of the days when a similarly handsome young man may have sung it to them.
Email us or hit us up on Weibo if you'd like the private link to the "Dong Cheng" film.
Charles & Andy
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