Tzekin - Skyline Death
Skyline Death is the debut album by Tzekin, the alias of Justin Tam, Sydney-based musician, writer, game designer and co-founder of Eternal Dragonz. Through projects like Victoria Kim / V Kim previously, Tzekin dissects the memories and meaning of “Asian” music, from k-pop, trance, ambient and karaoke R&B. Skyline Death is a mixtape of demos written for a fictional defunct K-pop supergroup. It opens with ‘Suicide Doors’, an ode to catharsis and car crashes in the form of an eternal trance synth build. The album switches lanes with the interlude ‘Ride’, the crunched tape loop of ‘Sunset Spot' edging through the ruins of the crash. ‘Hush’ is the dark alter ego to an Asian R&B song, co-written with x/o and Alice Vicious, the songwriter responsible for the disembodied hook in SHINee member TAEMIN’s hit ‘Drip Drop’ (its MV has over 14m streams on YouTube). ‘Chrome Tigerz' with Hyogo grime MC Catarrh Nisin sounds like a Tokyo Drift OST offcut, as does the short and sharp ‘Lonely’ with Seoul rapper Moldy. ‘Feel’ shows off Lilasianthiccie, a female Hokkien vocalist indebted to the Soundcloud rap era with references from the vibrant concrete jungle of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. ‘Heavenly Queen’ is a tribute to a Cantonese trance classic injected with the ghastly vocals of a non-existent girl group. Slodown returns from the wreckage to sing the mixtape’s final chorus with ‘Skyline Death’. Growing up in Australia, Tzekin (Justin Tam) started making music as a jazz musician & experimental saxophone player. He mutates the techniques he learned in improvisation into digital production tainted with rap rhythms, free jazz technique, and the twisted, foreign earworms of Asian pop. He’s played with Rabit, MikeQ, Nguzunguzu, and made a mark with a series of Eternal Dragonz commissions and art shows throughout Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, and his home of Sydney, Australia. He has represented Asian music across the globe with mixes for BBC Radio 1, The FADER, RinseFM, and co-curated a monthly show on Radar Radio.