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ROCK OF ASIAN: Onra

February 23rd, 2011 | 5 comments | Posted by Diana

Reasons why French beatmaker Onra is my obsession:

  • SPEX (obvs)
  • Hot-ass variety beats
  • Lickable likeable French accent
  • Chinoiseries (rel. 2007), the widely-lauded, smooth-souled, crackly, interpretation of 30 old Chinese and Vietnamese vinyl albums he lugged home to Paris from a trip to Vietnam
  • Dead sexy, head to toe. Even his fingers are sexy. I want to [blank] them.
  • Latest full-length: Long Distance (rel. 2010), which can best be described fun, funky, funky, funky, flirty, fresh
  • Forthcoming Chinoiseries Pt. 2
  • Occasional beard
  • merveilleuse vie paresseuse
  • Given name: Arnaud (say it aloud, reverse it; you’ve got his stage name)
  • Half-Vietnamese, half-French, he is the human equivalent of my two favorite comestibles: cà phê sữa đá and bánh mì
  • Love of cigarettes, basketball, vinyl rekkids, computers, joints
  • Inclination and ability to sample and build albums with respect to the source material’s societal context, while avoiding the pitfalls of politicizing his tuneage. Always, the music remains deeply, easily individual. Howdoyoosay, “Onra tracks are like a travel diary, joining the artist in a lighthearted pursuit for cultural and personal identity?”

[MySpace: Onra]

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Thanks, Alex!

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Mike Relm

October 15th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Mike Relm is one of those hot guys that makes “nerd” seem chic, diminutive seem large, and everything he touches seem cool. A veteran DJ, Relm has a new rekkid out called Spectacle (our friends at URB offer a free track off the album, “Hot To Trot” ft. Alfred Ortiz,” if you’d like to take a listen).

The fact of the matter is, we can’t resist his beats, nor anything Mike Relm deems cool. Such is the power of a hot guy.

See/hear more here. Buy Spectacle here.

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Thanks, Raymond!

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Kid Koala

September 17th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Few tickle vinyl with such brilliant fervor as our favorite Canadiasian deejay Kid Koala, whose turntable-told stories fascinate us, and soft-spoken illustrative aesthetic somehow warms our icy cold hearts. Kids are cute, koalas even cuter– we hate to say this about the man, but he is CUTE with all capital letters. CUTE CUTE CUTE.

Check out Koala’s latest project, Your Mom’s Favorite DJ, out on Ninja Tune Records now.

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We Rule At Cool, Too, You Fool

December 13th, 2007 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

On Thanksgiving, a group of about 15 watched me whomp the greatest Guitar Hero player I’ve ever met, song after song, after song. He went down to the tune of Metallica’s “One,” Living Colour’s “Personality,” Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Pride and Joy,” and then some. During The Who’s “The Seeker,” he got so frustrated that he yanked his beautiful axe and smashed it–like a modern-day Pete Townshend–into five pieces on the ground. Was this, you ask, the greatest moment of my life? Abso-fuckin’-lutely.

The peanut gallery swirled with rumors. Diana is autistic! Diana is unemployed! Diana is a game hacker! No one could understand why or how someone above the age of 12 could be so effing good at something requiring an Xbox 360. “How many hours do you have to play to get that good?” one skeptical fellow asked, convinced that I must have quit my job to devote the free 60-or-so hours to heroic strumming. “You practice every night, don’t you?” I shook my head no. Practice Shmactice. Some people are just gooooooooooooood.

I mean, come ON. I’m Asian! There should be no surprise here. We love to be great at things, more importantly, we love to be the best. Nothing drives our ambition more than the prospect of beating someone else at something they love! Nothing! But people just think that our competitive streak is limited to all of the boring bullshit, like spelling bees (of course I’ve got trophies), academic decathlons (check my parents’ house for my medals), math, violin-playing, chess.

What those people don’t realize is that we love to rule at EVERYTHING, including cool shit. And it begins at birth. Take, for example, these kickass little Amazian Jrs., who already have such amazing skills on the tables that I want to cry. Eat that, Steve Aoki!

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