Track By Track: Zaliva-D – Immorality


Since their inception in 2003, Beijing-based electronic group Zaliva-D have honed their unique style, rejecting mainstream energy in favour of their own dark and haunting atmospheres.

Through music and visual arts members Li Chao and Aisin-Gioro translate their palette of hard basslines and twisted vocal experiments, which have seen them release on labels like WV Sorcerer Productions, SVBKVLT and Pest Productions, while through successful tours their evocative performances have left a huge impression on audiences.

More recently their output caught the attention of Mark Knekelhuis, the mind behind Amsterdam’s Knekelhuis, who invited them to release on the record label last year. A fitting platform for their rhythmic, esoteric musings, following the release of their Forsaken LP in 2019 they returned to the label last month for a second instalment, this time in the form of an EP titled Immorality. Here, Li Chao guides us through the release track by track…

Long Journey

Colour/s: Dark yellow of faraway memory

Season: A moist summer

I accidentally took samples of the children’s chorus (which I’ve edited, of course) and expanded the whole song around it. It gave me the impression that many dwarfs had travelled a long way, they’re not necessarily human, not necessarily part of the world, strange looking, chanting and singing songs that no one understood, not knowing where to go, but there seemed a long way ahead. Yuan Jin, my wife, said it sounds like an old PSP game, PATAPON.

Speed Of Fate

Colour/s: Flashing Red

Season: Summer

I wanted it to be a song of chaos and neurosis, in which there are whispers of an old man, some strange and loud cheering, and a long sigh that sounded like a discordant ritual. This chaotic sound might be better suited to swinging and twitching like a madman rather than dancing, isn’t it?


Colour/s: Cave in yellow light

Season: a moist summer

This is one of my favourite pieces. Like the other songs, I wasn’t inspired by anything. I always want to make music that is slow, mysterious, moist, and a little bit obscene. This is it. I was fascinated by the mournfully synth which sounds like human woes that I’d stumbled on while playing with an old wavetable synthesizer. I think it might be a better experience to close your eyes and shake your body to it. On the other hand, with the song I also wanted to express a kind of provocation to the traditional culture, with tongue sticking out and saliva flowing down.

Sick Step

Colour/s: Dark yellow of faraway memory

Seanson: Summer in brutal sunshine

The music with 3/4 beat is like a kind of hypnosis to me, and is easier to immerse. This song has no lyrics. I like to sing non-verbal stuff with a genderless voice, which can give listeners more imagination. This song sounds a bit like Yangko, a traditional Chinese dance music, though it is not in 3/4. More than happy Yangko music, I want it to be a dark orgy.

Follow Zaliva-D. Buy Immorality.