Music for Dog Walks with Zaliva-D

Zaliva-D 2 – credit SG

For the last 20 years, Beijing duo Zaliva-D have been making mind-melting audio-visual experiments.

Comprised of Li Chao on musical duties and Aisin-Gioro Yuanjin on the visual side of things, the pair’s frenetic rhythms, eerie vocals and tribalistic industrial sounds have caught the ear of labels like R$N favourite Knekelhuis, Do Hits and Shanghainese imprint SVBKVLT, the home of their fourth album  孽儿谣 Misbegotten Ballads, which was released into the world at the end of 2022.


They’re just as revered for their live sets too which, before the pandemic, had taken them to clubs and venues across the world including Lentekabinet, Golden Pudel, De School and Fold, right here in London. 

This privilege to travel and play was taken away from them over the last few years but with their latest album, which was made with little software on a set up that included an old Roland ROM module, a Yamaha FM module and an E-mu sampler, they’ve said “a new period has started”. 

Following its release, Li selects some of the music that soundtracks his daily dog walks. There’s old favourites, video game soundtracks and plenty of bands from his youth – get your dog on their lead and get yourself out there…

“Here are some of the tracks I’ve been listening to in the last half year walking my dog for about an hour each a day. Since I work with TV & Film sound design, I have to listen to sounds all day. I only listen to music when walking the dog, with a pair of small bluetooth speakers that you can hang around your neck. The music has little to do with my own work. There is some very old music that has accompanied me for half my life. Some of the earlier tracks are more intense, some of the later ones are quieter.”

孽儿谣 Misbegotten Ballads is out now.

Darkthrone – Rust

One of my favorite bands from my band days. The rhythm of the stride makes me think of destroying all the annoying, yelping poodles I see.

  • Darkthrone – Rust

    One of my favorite bands from my band days. The rhythm of the stride makes me think of destroying all the annoying, yelping poodles I see.

  • Das Ich - Firmament

    After hearing this band I wanted to start making electronic music. I love all the sounds in this song.

  • Skinny Puppy – IIIisit

    “This is a craminal age.” These lyrics catch me.

  • Overkill - New Machine

    An old metal band I’ve been listening to for half of my life. This track is one is my favorites.

  • Strapping Young lad - S.Y.L

    This was the band’s first release, Devin Townsend’s music was crazy back then. It’s from 1994 but is still crazy to listen to today.

  • Satyricon – Satyricon & Munch

    My only idol is Satyricon’s Satyr, a one-song ambient album that I’ve listened to nearly 100 times.

  • Mark Morgan - Deionarra Theme (Planscape:Torment OST)

    I will never forget the shock and emotion I felt when I first heard this track in the game 23 years ago.

  • Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein - The Upside Down (Stranger Things OST volume 1)

    The synth and differential tones of this music are fascinating!

  • Obsidian Voice - Cthulhus Call

    A song of negativity and despair, the same feeling as where we live now.

  • Otay Onii - Child number22

    I only just discovered these tracks this year. To describe how much I love them, at the time of my death, I want to listen to this ‘Child number 22’ and leave.

    Track two: Otay Onii – Un Deciphered.

  • Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata

    Again, negative, desperate, depressing, anxious music, probably even better suited to where we live now than the previous one.

  • Kan Gao - See the world (Impostor Factory OST)

    I love all of Kan Gao’s games and all the game music he makes.

  • Laura Shigihara - サラのテーマ

    I love Laura’s vocals, which are derived from the Chrono Trigger game, and I love listening to this song on the plane, looking out the window and dreaming of another world.

  • Motoi Sakuraba - Nameless Song (Dark Souls OST)

    My favorite game. I have grown accustomed to this sense of despair.

  • Apparat feat. Soap&Skin – Goodbye

    I heard it on the TV show Dark. Refined, unknown, sad.