I stumbled across this on the Disgrasion blog. The man in that picture is Onra (real name Arnaud Bernard), a half French, half Vietnamese hip hop beatmaker. I knew nothing about him until today–but what I’ve discovered, I’ve really liked.
In 2006, Onra went to Vietnam to visit his grandparents and came back with thirty Chinese and Vietnamese vinyl records. He then took these records and sampled them to build an entire album titled Chinoiseries. You can listen to samples of the song at that link, or to the full versions of a couple of songs here on Youtube. You could probably find more than that, too, but I’d recommend just buying the album. I’m considering it.
The coolest part about Chinoiseries is that I recognize these songs, in a way. I’ve never heard them before, but I’ve heard the sounds. If you grew up in a family where every new Paris by Night was watched religiously, you would recognize the sounds, too. Chinoiseries take these sounds and remixes them into something funky and fresh–but still with that comforting, nostalgic touch of familiarity. Give it a listen (if you haven’t clicked those links yet. Seriously, get on it!).