Ramona Meng Xi is a first-year who has not yet declared a major. Ramona can be reached at [email protected]

Beyond the Underneath: Starting from an empty dance floor

A DJ once told me that mixing techno or house during a set is easier than mixing pop or hip-hop songs due to the similarity in beats and repetition, as well as the anti-teleological nature and layering characteristics of house and techno tracks. The difficult part is how to perfectly master the grand rhythm of buildups and drops in order to keep the audience hooked to the evolving repetitions. If the whole night of music is graphed in terms of its excitement, then it should look like a flow of slowly ascending waves.

Beyond the Underneath: Vinyl survival, Part 2

What I like about vinyl stores is that I need to be prepared to handle the disappointment of failing to find the record I want, but at the same time, I never know what I will discover by sheer chance. The burst of joy after flipping through arrays of vinyl and all of a sudden spotting a favorite album or a non-mainstream artist can light up my day.

Beyond the Underneath: Vinyl survival, Part 1

Despite a vinyl revival in recent years, classic vinyl records are still deemed obsolete in the mainstream, as modern technologies and the digital world sift them out. But they are still there, lining up quietly and unyieldingly, in boxes organized by genre, protected and loved by a small population of firm supporters. 

Beyond the Underneath: Some thoughts on being a video jockey

VJs are visual artists who create and improvise videos for performances and live music events. My VJ project was abandoned, but I started to pay more attention to visuals during music events. Some of them were sublime in terms of design, composition, meaning and even beat-matching; some of them raised questions in my head. 

Beyond the Underneath: A world in the bomb shelter

The place is also much bigger than I imagined. It's not just a single room but almost a maze. The hallway connects several rooms together. From roaming in and out of rooms, looking at the style of the arches and the bricks on the wall, I was drawn to its structure. It's like a part of a bigger picture.

Beyond the Underneath: ‘White Cube’ gallery and its ‘Color Cube’ cafe

I can’t remember the exact time I got to know about the term “white cube,” a style of contemporary gallery with a rectangular space, unadorned white walls and neutral lighting. “White cube” would automatically jump in my mind whenever I walked into a white cube gallery. There were plenty.  I personally love white. The color […]

Beyond the Underneath: The humble machine that created acid house

Sometimes acid music literally sounds like acid — boiling and popping bubbles of music notes. It can be artistically concrete in the imitation of liquid but also abstract and malleable to create other audio environments.

The Graffiti Street: An ephemeral span of eternal stories

Fortunately, and unfortunately, this street is one of the very few places where graffiti is completely allowed and legal. People obviously love it. The punchy colors and bold lines could invigorate the disciplined city even though the rareness of their appearance couldn’t do much as a whole. 

Janice Lourie: A pioneer in the fusion of art, software

At first glance, Lourie's artworks are geometric, abstract and slightly bewildering. Blocks and layers of colors, shapes and lines serve as the basic composition. The whole picture might look surreal and confusing, but Lourie's inspirations and sources for her multimedia graphic art are in fact based on simple day-to-day matters. 

‘Critical Printing’: The power of simplicity

The word “printing” carries a sense of monotony and is, in general, rather self-explanatory. People can be fooled by its seeming banality because the frequent appearance of the word “print” in our lives (especially as students) conditions us with the association of repetition and replication — which is true, since the process of printing consists […]