Pop, jazz and rap

Kevin Saunderson

Date: September 21, 2010
Location: Punk @ The Opposite House, Beijing.

Kevin Saunderson, along with Derrick May and Juan Atkins, is responsible for giving birth to that “little” music genre called techno. On the eve of China’s mid-Autumn festival, Saunderson found an audience at Punk, the hotel bar known as much for its good music as for its extortive prices. But there was simply no price tag for a night with Saunderson –never mind that Punk chose not to charge a cover – the master DJ from Detroit jockeyed an evening of hot, sexy jungle music, sending temperatures a few notches higher with a robust percussive power-train and a sinusoidal, accordion-like intensity. By offering a smorgasbord of hot rhythms and mellow harmonics, Saunderson took the clubbers into a dreamscape comprising leopards dangling from a large African acacia and Maasai hunters waiting for their window of opportunity to open. The dimmed ceiling lights became the evening stars of the African sky, while the 80-yuan (about 12 USD) martini became the jungle punch du jour. Listening to Saunderson’s jungle music was like starring at a leopard starring back at you at night – a rush of adrenaline amidst an exotic exposedness. By the end of the evening, Saunderson wouldn’t be remembered as the evening’s stand-in for May, the original headliner, but as the master artist who brought Africa into one cool evening in Beijing.