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The Acid Test

##[Hua Acid Live](http://cityweekend.com.cn/beijing/events/55544/) makes certain that the music is always live## When it comes to new music, I’m greedy like Enron. I need new sounds like Beijing needs a good rain. I recently found one band whose method and sound is a scene unto itself: Beijing acid-jazz collective Hua Acid Live. They bring their singular sound to Yugong Yishan on Friday, November 27. “Hua isn’t just a group, sound or band,” says Hua collaborator KorElement. “They can invite any performer—be they singer, rapper, instrumentalist or DJ to seamlessly create a new song right on the spot.” Hua stands on the brilliance of four core players: the scintillating Zhang Zhang on keys, DJ Shiva on the decks, Liu Yang on bass and Fei Jia on guitar. The group blends styles as diverse as jazz, funk, electro and hip-hop, keeping energy high by bringing on guests to join its live shows. Often, guest players outnumber core members, ensuring everything stays crisp. Regular guests include a who’s who of Beijing’s finest, including Zhang Wei on guzheng, Da Wei on drums and vocalist AnneMarie Farrell. Crowd favorites like “Vibin’” have a dozen flavors, depending on who’s on stage. I’ve seen a song like “Seven Hours Ahead” start bluesy and transform into hip-hop power-ballads. Hua’s live shows are inventive and unpredictable. “These musicians are annoyingly talented and creative,” says Farrell, “and the diverse and multi-cultural sound created is so original and funky that I don’t think there’s another band in China to match Hua.” She may be right, especially considering the band’s commitment to the integrity of its live shows. DJ Shiva tells us the band plans to release only live recordings in the near future. This is a decision undertaken only by bands ready to be measured by serious listeners. Live recordings truly separate players from the posers. This month, take a listen and find out which side Hua is on.

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