Cover Stories - SYNTHESIZE ME - More Hangzhou Restaurants, Reviews, Places to go and what to do in Hangzhou. More Hangzhou Entertainment Guide
Home>Archive>2015>SYNTHESIZE ME

By Etienne Jeanne

A Journey Through Electronic Music – Interview with Long Arm

Electronic music has pretty well ploughed its furrow since the 50's and the first signals generators produced by big computers, through the invention of Moog synthesizers and rhythm boxes in the 70's, till the emergence of planetary renown electronic music artists such as Daft Punk, The Prodigy and Deadmau5.

Melomaniacs of the first era were absolutely dissatisfied with the sinusoidal sounds and the electronic sonorous reproduction of instruments like the trumpet, drums or violin to the point that they completely neglected these machines, not knowing that they would one day have their hour of glory. Some fusion bands naturally introduced this new technology into the continuity of their work (Kraftwerk, Miles Davis in Bitches Brew and later on Tutu, Joe Zawinul and Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, and Robert Wyatt on the legendary Rock Bottom album), however, without much luck in turning grassroots masses onto it. The time hadn’t yet to come for the screeching computer noises. As a matter of fact, Hip-Hop and Rap music contributed the most with its heavy use of drum machines, combining them with groovy bass lines, guitar riffs and the first examples of sampling (Grandmasterflash, Sugarhill Gang and electro funk).

The ages have changed radically with technological advances, and so did the music business. In the early 80's, we could already hear the synthetic sounds of keyboards and other drums in popular Anglo-Saxon music. Then came the turn of techno music and trance with their repeating loops to settle on the global market. We would later call this type of music "Eurodance", due to the fact that all European countries together were launching their hits, sung in English, on the very same rhythm pattern well-known by 90's clubbers. (Remember the refrain of Real2Real's "I like to move it, move it!" haunting your head, or "this is the rhythm of the night" by the lovely Corona, and the mythical "No, no, no, no, there's no limit" from the Belgium duo 2Unlimited) House music did make its first appearance in Chicago though, before shifting its headquarters to France with the very lucrative filtered house music (Daft Punk, Cassius, Stardust, Monsieur Oizo, Phoenix). Though, as the massive flow of techno music has spilled all over the world, a few chisel-goldsmiths have made their way out of the crowd, such as the prominent and enigmatic Aphex Twin, also nicknamed by the international press "The Mozart of electronic music". Back in the day, it wasn’t easy to synchronize the machines with a band playing live or during a recording session. Gorgio Moroder, a pioneer of synthesizers, produced the song "I Feel Love" with Donna Summer, “The Queen of Disco”, using a big Moog modular synthesizer so big it took up an entire room, and he had to spend days to sync a tune that we nowadays sync with the mere click of a mouse!

Each and every one of us more or less listens to electronic music these days, given the place that machines take in the mainstream musical production process, and their incredible and fast development associated to the needs of the musicians. This is where we get to talk about Long Arm.

Hailing from Russia, Long Arm immerses us in a music time-travel, creating cinematic scenes from one tune to another, mixing the skills of two poly-instrumentalists, a nu-jazz atmosphere, and synthesizers all wet with special effects: Long Arm deals with the machines, and his colleague Ruslan on drums is the beat guardian. They will be playing at LINEOUT on October 18th, along with other artists from Project Mooncircle. MORE took a little time to talk with Long Arm about his music.

I must admit that we haven't yet heard your new project, Kellion / The Stories Of A Young Boy. Can you briefly tell the concept of your music to our readers and describe your new album?
The conception of my new album and all my recent tracks are connected with my life, with everything around me. I try to do more documentary music. I feel it's really important to me. The album Kellion / The Stories Of A Young Boy is kind of collection of the stories about my older son. His familiarity with our huge world, his own little world in his head, and everything that happens with him between these two worlds is in this album.

Are you self-taught musicians or do you have any classical training? What gear did you start to play music with?
My friend Ruslan, who plays drums with me, has a formal musical education. I have only a diploma of a children’s music school. When I began making music, I only had a computer. A bit later I got an old Soviet synthesizer Polivox self-made turntable. Now, for live shows I use a few instruments like the flute, glockenspiel, melodica, kalimba and piano sometimes. I connect them all into my sound card for sound processing and add some effects. And I also use a laptop and midi-controller to control parts of the tracks and effects.

Your jazz influences are at the heart of your music. We can even hear a whole passage of Billy Holiday in the middle of a set. What role did jazz music play in your life/music education? Can you name a few artists who were really influential for you?
Jazz is the thing which was always interesting to me in music. When I used to go to music school, I always asked my teacher to give me more jazz compositions. When I began to make electronic music, I was inspired by musicians of nu-jazz and future jazz waves and I was trying to keep this same way in my tracks. For now, jazz is still in my heart, but I do not focus on it as in the past. Today there are so many great names in electronic and life music. I'll give you just a few my favorites: The Cinematic Orchestra, Nils Frahm, Flying Lotus and Aphex Twin.

I guess you also have to play with the click. Do you manage to keep a part of improvisation in the timeline of your show?
Yes, Ruslan always has the click in his headphones. But I can change any of the tracks or mix it together or do it slower or faster... do anything I want. So we can improvise as much as we want.

That's really great that you are able to maintain a certain amount of improvisation in your shows. I think, it makes all your performances different from one to another. I was wondering, how do you two work together to construct the tunes on stage? What proportion of samples and instrumentals is played by you?
Ruslan plays on drums and uses triggers. I play and control the basis of the tracks via the software Live Ableton and use the midi-controller and live instruments to play solo parts. Maybe it sounds easy, but we’re pretty busy during the show!

Yes absolutely. Seeing you keeping busy with all the instruments, controllers and knobs also contributes a lot to the appreciation of your live performance. I think people in Hangzhou should really go take a look and listen for themselves. Tell us, how do you see the future of electronic music? Are you working on a new album/concept?
I don't really know what to say. I would like to see electronic music more experimental in the future. Yes, I have a new concept and am already working on it. Sorry, but I can't tell you more about it for now.

Now, last but not least, you guys may know already that more and more Chinese are getting into electronic music nowadays. Is it the first time you’ve come to China? How do you feel about playing for your fans here?
Yes, it's our first time. We can't even imagine how it will be. We’re really excited!
That's really cool that Chinese have also become involved in electronic music. I guess music is the most international thing. So, yeah, this is great! I’m really happy to have a chance personally deliver my music to all our fans in China. Thanks for waiting and see you soon!

Don’t forget to catch Long Arm at LINEOUT & XX Café on October 18th
Add: 4-105 Yuangu Creative Park, 29 Changle Rd. 长乐路29号元谷创意园4-105

Latest 5 Stories

Get Lost in the Maze-like Concentric Rings of Buildings "Tulou”

Uncover the Secrets of the Fujian Earth Buildings

T I M E 

Tour Signup Deadline: December 20th
Tour Date: December 21st – December 24th

V E N U E 

Xiamen, Fujian

T I C K E T S 

Price: 1,999RMB/adult
(Min 10 Pax, Max 16 Pax)

There’s no doubt – if your destination is Fujian and the south-east, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you miss these mammoth World Heritage wonders! Take four days to visit the Tulou closed settlements (pronounced “two”-“low”) for an encounter with China’s ancient Hakka culture, then let a local guide you to experience the real heart of life in Xiamen.


1. Explore the Tulou and discover why these mammoth communal dwellings were deemed precious items World Cultural Heritage – study their wisdom to get a unique look into Hakka culture!

2. Spend the night in comfortable Tulou tavern room lodging at the Hongkeng Tulou cluster’s Renquan’yuan Lou, ‘Square’ Lou or Wufeng Lou.

3. Get lost in the maze-like concentric rings of buildings inside the “King Tulou”, or seek out the ‘slither of sunlight’ in the Gaobei Tulou cluster. Had enough of Hakka Tulous? Then explore a different mystery in the Da’di Southern Min Tulou groupings in Hua’an.

What's included

1. 8 Meals (Including Breakfast x3,  Lunch x3, Dinner x2)
2. 3 Night’s Stay in Comfortable Hotels(Double occupancy, for single supplement please add 550 rmb)
3. Activity costs and admission fares for all items on the itinerary.
4. All transportation costs for the itinerary (Airport and Station pickup not included)
5. Full travel accident insurance for the duration of the trip.
6. Full bilingual guide accompaniment.

Not included

1. Transportation costs to Xiamen and Xiamen Plaza Hotel
2. All additional costs incurred by the individual not mentioned in the itinerary above.

Important Information

1. This is a coupled Chinese-foreign tour, meaning your tour group will include both Chinese natives and foreign expats. There is a minimum 10-person (maximum 16-person) signup threshold that must be reached for this tour to go ahead. If you sign up and the threshold is not reached, the cost of the tour will be refunded in the means by which you paid.

2. Want to come? Signup can be completed through the TA mini-program. Once the group reaches the minimum number of attendees you will receive a message from TA customer support confirming that the tour will go ahead.

If after successful payment and signup you become unable to attend your booked tour, your refund will be processed minus deductions as per the following scheme by the Trendy Adventurer Financial Affairs team:

- 14 or 14+ days before the activity date: 1% of the signup cost;
- 7 or 14 days before the activity date: 10% of the signup cost;
-7 to 3 days before the activity commencement date: 40% of the signup cost;
-3 to 1 day(s) before the activity commencement date: 55% of the signup cost;
-Within 24 hours of the activity commencement date: 70% of the signup cost.

Refunds will be processed within 5 working days after the date of conclusion of the tour.
(if the air ticket is included in the itinerary and the air ticket has been issued, 100% air ticket loss shall be borne, because the group ticket cannot be changed or refunded)

Take the Train With Just Your Passport

Standing in line for high speed train tickets is a thing of the past. Just enter the station and board the train by scanning your passport. This is a huge time saver for expats and international visitors who are denied access to the automatic ticketing machines.

This week I bought four tickets for travel between Hangzhou East and Yuhang. I used Chinese language APPs 12306 & Ctrip as well as English language apps and China Train Ticket for 铁路12306火车票. Each APP was successful for boarding trains without paper tickets, which was not the case when I did this two weeks ago.

Because the English charge a 20RMB service fee, it was a little disappointing that they didn't seem to give the boarding gate information, however it was easy to check the departures board once I was on the station concourse. I contacted their help desk and they said that they’ll pass the suggestion on to their IT team.

BTW, I didn't actually travel on each train - I just waited for each boarding time and went to the gate to scan my passport to check the success of each booking.­

PS - Paper tickets are still available for business travellers seeking reimbursement.

Here’s the current procedure when you arrive at Hangzhou East Railway Station:

1. At any of the station's entrances, expats and international visitors must go to the manual line which is usually situated at the far left.

2. For the security check, place all bags on the conveyor before being scanned quickly by security staff. users can check the departures board to see which gate to use. (The other APPs inform you online).

4. To access the platform for boarding, go to the manual line (usually on the right hand side) and scan your passport

Hot Spring Weekend Trip at Wuyi Forest

Wuyi Forest Hot Spring
Weekend Trip

T I M E 
Tour Signup Deadline: December 13th
Tour Date: December 14th – December 15th

V E N U E 
Wuyi, Zhejiang

T I C K E T S 
Price: 865RMB/adult
(Min 10 Pax, Max 16 Pax)

Tour the scenic mountain forest reserve, admire stunning scenes of peaks and streams, and experience the rugged glass cliff-face and treetop canopy walkways at Niutou Mountain Forest Park. Check in at the in-park Hot Spring Inn and spend a night enjoying invigorating hot spring baths, deep in the forest.


1. Explore the Niutou Mountain Forest Parks, long known as the “Jiuzhaigou Valley* of Zhejiang”, experiencing the thrilling glass cliff-face walkway and forest canopy treetop walkway.

2. Spend an away from the cold of winter, soaking in pure comfort in hot spring pools at the Hot Spring Inn.

(Note*: Jiuzhaigou Valley is a National Nature Reserve Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site in located in Northern Sichuan, China. The park is known for its many multi-level waterfalls and colorful lakes.)

What's included

1. Round-trip shared transfer
2. Pickup and drop-off from designated meeting points
3. One night's lodging in the Hot Spring Inn(A standard room)
4. Breakfast of Day 2
5. English-speaking Tour Guide
6. Travel Accident Insurance
7. All taxes, fees and handling charges
8. Explore the Niutou Mountain Forest National Park – the glass cliff and forest canopy walkways, and bathe in the Dream Spring hot springs. (includes scenic area entry ticket, glass walkway shoe wraps, hot spring entry ticket, sightseeing bus costs, etc.)

Costs does not include: other meals and personal purchases.
Note:You must bring your own bathing suit.

Important Information
Concerning the Hot Springs

1. Senior citizens over 70 years of age, pregnant women, women in menstruation and individuals weakened by sickness are all prohibited from entering the hot spring baths.

2. Minors or senior citizens with reduced mobility must have a guardian or adult caretaker present when in the hot springs.

3. It is recommended that individuals do not bathe in the hot spring baths for excessive periods of time.

4. Individuals who have suffered from or currently suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, frailty of health or alcoholism are urged not to use the hot spring baths.

5. Wherever the above-mentioned cautions are ignored and an individual who has entered the hot spring baths meets with an unforeseen incident, hot spring management will not be responsible for payment of compensation.

6. Before using the hot spring, please review the relevant hot spring usage notes and bathe safely.

Additional Info

1. Children must be accompanied by an adult
2. Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
3. Minimum numbers apply. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there are not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund ( ONLY FOR GROUP TOUR)

Private Departures for This Tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination.


1. Pricing for children under 12 years old who do not require an individual bed is 560RMB per person; Pricing for children above 12 years old share the same price as adult.

2. Breakfast cost for accompanying minors is 30RMB per person. (paid on site)

After signing up, for insurance purposes attendees are required to provide their name, phone number, Passport/ID Card number and passport information;
After making payment and signing-up, if for any reason you become unable to attend, refunds given will be subject to following loss expense rates:

A. 3 days or more prior to departure date – 1% of the total tour cost
B. 2 to 1 days before departure date = 55% of total tour cost
C. On the day of departure - 75% of total tour cost

All refunds will be paid to the relevant accounts within 10 working days of the conclusion of the tour event.

Caring for Your Skin During the Winter Season

Your skin is the largest organ that you have in your body and it is one that has multiple uses. It not only covers and protects everything inside your body, but it also helps your body stay at just the right temperature and allows you to have the sense of touch. Your skin, however, is often the one organ that we do not look after-especially during this time of year.

The winter and spring are particularly vulnerable seasons for your skin. The winter in particular can play a huge role in the way your skin reacts. This is especially the case in the northern parts of China where the weather is harsh, cold, dry, and dusty. People with sensitive or dry skin are particularly prone to problems during the winter season.

A common condition during the winter season and one that we treat often is dry, itchy skin. If you are suffering from this condition it is often easily treated, but remember to see your dermatologist or doctor straight away to be properly diagnosed.

By following the tips below, you will be able to beat dry itchy skin before it even starts this winter.

Tips to help you get your skin through the winter season

Do not take more than one shower/bath a day
Over washing removes the natural lubricant that skin produces and makes skin dry and flaky.

Do not shower/bathe for more than 10 minutes
The longer you stay in the water, the drier your skin will get.

Do not shower/bathe in hot water
Heat increases the rate that water evaporates from your skin leaving it dry. Luke warm water is a better choice.

Avoid saunas and steam baths
Like hot showers, they increase the rate that water evaporates from your skin leaving it dry.

Use a mild formula soap or shower gel and don't exfoliate

Apply moisturizing cream right after you shower/bathe while your skin is still damp

Moisturizers lock water into your skin but do not help add water so the best time to apply them is straight after your body has been in contact with water. For very dry weather, a thin moisturizer that is applied after a shower is not enough; in this circumstance, some thicker and greasier creams will do a better job.

Avoid wearing nylon or woolen clothing because these materials can irritate your skin
Loose fitting undergarments made out of 100% cotton are best when your skin is dry.

Air-conditioners, over-heated rooms, and windy weather all make the environment dry, which in turn can make your skin dry
To combat this, put some plants, fish-tanks, or humidifiers in your office and home.

Apply some extra protection if you have to go out on a windy day

The sun is not as hot or bright in winter

however, if you are outdoors for long periods of time, your skin can still get sunburned, particularly in the snow
Be sure to apply sunscreen in these cases.

Avoid spicy food as it can make your skin dry and itchy

Drink lots of water and limit your intake of alcohol

Dr. Eason Zhong is the Dermatology of United Family Hangzhou Clinic, he speaks English and Mandarin. To make an appointment with him, call 0571-89705148 or scan the QR code.

Clinic Hours:
8:30am -5:30pm,
Mondays – Saturdays
(Closed on Sundays)
0571 8970 5148

Learning about IGCSEs at Wellington

9am to 11am, Tuesday, December 3rd
9am to 11am, Tuesday, December 17th

Wellington College International Hangzhou 
2399 Xuezhi Road, Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou 

Wellington College International Hangzhou is pleased to announce the opening of admissions for their first ever cohort of Year 10 students to take the IGCSEs in the 2020-2021 academic year.

What are the IGCSEs?

IGCSE stands for International General Certificate of Secondary Education, which is a globally recognised qualification taken in Years 10 and 11 (Grades 9 and 10) and carries the same weight as the GCSEs that are offered within the UK. The IGCSE is one of the most sought after and recognised qualifications in the world, because it helps students develop core skills and competencies, including investigative skills, problem solving, teamwork and critical thinking. These skills are highly sought after by universities around the world, and as such, students who have completed the IGCSEs are generally regarded as highly competent candidates to enter such universities.

IGCSEs are also the most popular international qualification in schools around the world, with more than 4,800 schools over 150 countries doing the Cambridge International Examinations version of the IGCSE alone. Enrolling your child in the IGCSE programme at Wellington will provide them with a vital boost to their academic career, which will not only help them build on their study skills, but will make them more competitive and prepared to enter their senior school programme, whether that is offering A Levels or the IB Diploma Programme.

For the 2020-2021 academic year, Wellington College International Hangzhou is accepting an extremely limited number of applicants into Year 10 and is seeking students who will be able to achieve the world-standard results expected of them at Wellington.

In reflection of the importance of this first cohort, Wellington College International Hangzhou is proud to announce a range of scholarships, including an academic scholarship for Year 10 that includes significant reductions in tuition fees for the duration of the two-year IGCSE programme, with the option for this to be extended throughout the two-year A Level programme, subject to a favourable academic assessment.

This is an exciting opportunity for talented students in Hangzhou to receive a significant tuition reduction, allowing access to the world-class holistic education which Wellington has to offer.

As well as meeting the admissions requirements for Wellington College International Hangzhou, and being able to demonstrate significant academic potential as determined through the admissions assessment process, other traits that Wellington College International Hangzhou seeking from their Wellingtonian pupils include;

An international outlook and a desire to be a global citizen of the future

A willingness to work hard with a positive attitude towards learning

A desire to develop all Wellington Identities, to take full advantage of the opportunities on offer at Wellington and show a commitment to making a positive contribution to the wider Wellington community

An aspiration to live by the Wellington Values

To learn more about the IGCSEs and the academic scholarship programme, we encourage prospective parents to join Wellington for their IGCSE Parent Information Sessions being held on Tuesday, December 3rd and Tuesday December 17th.

To register to attend an information session, please scan the QR code below, or follow the link at the bottom of this post.

If you would prefer a private tour, please contact the admissions team at your convenience via phone at (+86-571) 8239 6366 or by emailing

Get Weekly Events to your Mailbox