10 Best
LVRA Credit Minsett Hein
12.10.2023, Words by Billy Ward

The 10 Best Underground East Asian Artists, according to LVRA

"It’s just super fucking cool..."

Drawing from the beating heart of London's queer clubbing scene, Chinese-Scottish singer and producer LVRA has crystallised a high-octane, inimitable sound since starting out a few years back. Known for splicing their love of bass, techno, breaks and an array of other left-field electronic music with in-your-face punk-infused noise, this unique talent is one of the UK's most exciting up-and-coming acts. 

Currently midway through a 14 city, month-long tour of East Asia with their label Eastern Margins, we sat down with LVRA (who is due to perform in Hong Kong on October 13) to explore her favourite underground East Asian artists currently leaving their mark on the music industry. 

1. Object Blue

"One of the first East-Asian producers that I came across when I began going to clubs more at university, and honestly at that point I had very little exposure to East-Asian DJs, so she immediately grabbed my attention. She was kind enough to also do a production workshop for our small society that we had running at university where she spoke about her sound design techniques that was super inspiring. Despite her ongoing success, her sound has retained that rawness and unique quality that makes her infinitely cool."

2. Lucy Tun

"Easily one of the most exciting East-Asian artists coming out of the UK scene right now; Lucy’s pop music is fresh and experimental, yet nostalgic, and distinctly electronic, amongst many other things. The sonic scapes of her production in ‘Rabbit Hole’ create a fantastical world that takes you from a dreamlike state, quickly back to the grit of reality with rave Prodigy-style influences. This is perfectly reflected in her stunningly creative visual world. It’s just super fucking cool. You HAVE to watch the music video as well, it’s so good."

3. Akiko Haruna

"Akiko is such an incredible artist, sound designer and producer who creates music that fuses elements of pop, deconstructed club and experimental. They are a multidimensional artist in every sense of the word and it comes through in the detail and depth of their music that is rarely matched. The music is a journey of different worlds of textures, genres and themes and has been a huge inspiration for my own productions."

4. Alice Longyu Gao

"Alice is a straight up bad-ass CEO boss b*ch. 'Rich Bitch Juice' is my anthem and I remember hearing it for the first time whilst revising for my uni exams during COVID. Safe to say I was totally distracted. But this was part of an era where I was really looking to these strong pioneering femme and queer artists to help me understand myself and my own voice. Seeing artists like Alice being unapologetically themselves is so inspiring, and has a profound impact on my own confidence as an artist."

5. Soda Plains

"When I first listened to Alexis’ music I instantly felt a deep connection to it. Intricate break percussions that punch through layers of ethereal vocal and synth harmonies, with a story-like and cinematic quality. His music embodies everything I love about experimental club music, and was truly a blend of genres that felt nothing quite like anything I’d heard before. This runs through all his releases: listen to his full discography and see what I mean."

6. mui zyu

"A slightly different vibe to some of the tracks in this list, but Eva’s music crawls under your skin, yet sits there nicely, keeping you warm and a tad melancholy. Her debut album ‘Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century’ is a masterpiece - fairytale and lullaby-esque electronic and acoustic landscapes that rise, swirl and bring you down take you on a reflective journey that is stunningly honest and evocative. Tinges of the traditional Gu Zheng (a Chinese string instrument) take me to a sweet, nostalgic place. One for a quiet day in, or for a peaceful train journey."

7. Gyrofield

"Criminally underrated producer. Gyrofield makes incredibly clean and forward-thinking electronic music that ranges from absolutely club-banging DnB hits to world-building ambient soundscapes. She’s taking elements of a classic sound and blending new influences in a way that can access audiences like myself who never grew up within a ‘scene’ or with influences from the older generation. I particularly love the feminine tinge in ‘Fallen in Deep’ that sits on top of a disgustingly hard and raw bassline. She’s gained a huge amount of well-deserved recognition within the scene, but her sound is absolutely made for the big stage. Another MUST SEE."

8. Animistic Beliefs

"Animistic Beliefs sound hits a really deep part of my body and soul that can only be accessed in certain environments and certain times. Ha. And I mean that in the best way possible. Powerful analog synth basslines and broken percussion evokes a deeply animalistic and tribal response that, when played live, is a mad rush of adrenaline. I recommend making it to one of their shows, ASAP."

9. 1300

"I met the 1300 guys very recently out on tour whilst in Tokyo, and I think they’re gonna be massive. Catchy hooks, slick flow and ENERGY. You can hear the creativity ooze in their music and productions, and I love the fact they’re really trying to bring something different to a Korean scene that is dominated by hyper-polished idols. I absolutely guarantee you’ll enjoy their live show, regardless of your taste in music - pure FUN."

10. Dirty K

"This song, and to be honest everything that Chinese producer Dirty K makes, is wildly forward-thinking. Although everything he makes sounds like a genre in itself, there is a subtle UK influence that runs through a lot of his work that has a comforting familiarity. He’s been an incredibly important figure in pushing these influences into the underground Chinese electronic scene, and his passion and love for the music has had such a powerful impact on his peers and people like myself on the other side of the world."

Stream LVRA's most recent release 'welcome - Aloka Remix' below: 

You might like
10 Best