Concrete Jungle


Regular price $118

About Concrete Jungle

Chaotic yet captivating, suffocating yet liberating, Hong Kong stands as a bustling metropolis adorned with towering skyscrapers, teeming with a densely packed population. Those who have set foot in this city have witnessed firsthand the remarkable efficiency of its transportation system, the promptness of its restaurant service, and the brisk pace at which Hong Kongers move. While renowned as a concrete jungle, Hong Kong's distinctive charm lies in the harmonious cluster of skyscrapers and the fast-paced lifestyle bustling beneath.

After spending his formative years in the UK, zj☻ returned to Hong Kong as an adolescent, only to discover a stark contrast from his memories as a 10-year-old. His debut EP, "Concrete Jungle," serves as a reflection of his emotions from 2018 to 2022 in Hong Kong, encompassing the peak of socio-political tensions and the outbreak of COVID-19. This release is not merely a collection of songs; it serves as a memoir of his inner thoughts throughout his homecoming.

In "EMPTY-R," zj☻ transports listeners into the swarming daily life of Hong Kong, a title that cleverly serves as a homophone for the city's subway train system, the Mass Transit Railway (MTR). This slow-fast electronica seamlessly blends the rhythmic sounds of the traffic lights and train station announcements, illustrating a dystopian duality of the MTR. Most Hong Kongers will ride the MTR from birth till death, reliant and adorned by many since childhood, but many later learn of its betrayal against their fight for democracy.

Time slips away incessantly, as 24 hours a day proves insufficient in our fast-paced world. Rather than succumbing to the current, zj☻ crafts a timeless odyssey in "Hop Clock," a chuggy hip-hop beat where time and space transcend their conventional boundaries. This filler beat reminisces the waiting involved in almost every corner of the city, for public transportation, restaurants, and shops etc. So many people, yet not enough space.

Inspired by Chungking Mansions, a melting pot of cultures with a diverse range of residents and businesses from around the world, “Chungking Labyrinth” intertwines zj☻'s emotions with the urban environment of Hong Kong, evoking a heightened sense of loneliness amidst the chaos. Deliberately portraying the monotony and isolation of city life through his music, zj☻ captures the experience of individuals getting lost or trapped within the labyrinthine streets of the metropolis.

In the fourth track, “Run”, listeners are fully immersed in the jungle, achieved through the deliberate inclusion of lion roars representing the fierce nature of Cantonese culture. As the preceding tracks cultivate tension within the confines of the bustling city, "Run" marks the beginning of an exploration into the wilderness of Hong Kong. Will you choose to remain within the confines of the urban loop, or will you venture into the perilous jungle?

“Concrete Jungle” concludes with the experimental ambient track "Bruce," which epitomises the contrasting duality of unity and stillness - qualities discovered within the narrow alleyways of the city. Alone yet together. Calm yet clamorous. Urban residents often find themselves bombarded by an ominous feeling, physically embodied by the looming presence of towering buildings that surround them. Hong Kongers may hold polarising views on life, reminiscent of a Hong Kong legend, Bruce Lee. In a 1971 interview, he reminded us that 'we are all human... but people are different'.

Through his creation "Concrete Jungle", zj☻ endeavours to invite listeners on an authentic exploration of Hong Kong, embarking on a sonic journey infused with elements of house, dub, experimental, and leftfield bass. This EP offers a tantalising glimpse into the inner city life of his hometown, capturing the essence of Hong Kong's timeless classics and its unparalleled uniqueness. "Concrete Jungle” serves as a testament to zj☻'s artistic vision and his ability to convey the multifaceted nature of the metropolis through his music.


◤About zj☻ ◢

zj☻ "j•oh" is described as a sensitive robot confined within a human body. Having dedicated six years to studying and honing his skills as an accountant/auditor, he made the bold decision to pursue his passions by delving into further studies in music production. As a DJ, zj☻ values the process of discovering, rediscovering, and sharing music in the most suitable frame. In DJ’ing and composition, zj☻ operates on two prime directives: a love for making you move and a love for making you smile. But at his core, the fundamental objective is to materialise and elicit the emotions experienced by all living beings.

He hopes his music can bring you to sweat on the dance floor, our dance floor of dreams.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zj_smiles/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/zjsmiles
Bandcamp: https://zjsmiles.bandcamp.com/

◤Album Credits ◢

Produced by zj☻
Mastered by Jordan Daniel
Released & Distributed by FINDME RECORDS


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