November 10, 2022

Creatives First: K6V & David Zhao

Words by
Henry Ivry
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The moment slowthai's venom-tinged bars blast out over the minor chord synths and hard house kick drum on K6V's Refraction mix, it's clear that the Shanghai-based DJ is not one for the faint of heart.. Tellingly titled, "Functional Music 4 Dysfunctional Mind," he describes the mix as "hard music for fantastic babies in hard times." 

K6V, also known by his other alias Kilo Vee, is a crucial figure on the harder fringes of the Shanghai underground. Genome 6.66 Mbp, the party and label he cofounded, has brought a healthy dose of industrial-strength dance music to the city while raising up local talent that includes their core crew: Hyph11e, Dirty K, RVE, Khemist, and Charity.

It isn't just an aesthetic being modeled by K6V here, but a more radical politics. As a DJ and promoter, he claims to operate at the barrier where the virtual and the physical collide and build into new shapes. This is what led K6V to connect with David Zhao, who is trying to think through how web3 tools could help artists work against what he sees as an increasingly homogenous web2 culture.

K6V and Zhao are both interested in the possibility of alternative ownership models, or what Zhao calls, "more sustainable and versatile" ownership models, where "token mechanisms [can] sustain artistry and creativity." 

But alongside ownership model shifts, K6V and Zhao also share a penchant for the experimental and the subversive. As Zhao tells me over a video call, the history of blockchain technologies was counterculture subversion. These are tools where "it makes sense for this technology to enable subversive or disruptive work," he says. 

This idea goes hand-in-hand with the punk ethos that K6V brings to both DJing and promoting. "I just do what I want, and don't even care about what others do," he says. What he's looking for in music is sounds that are "uncompromising and unique." So he and Zhao both see web3 as an opportunity to build new infrastructures and ecosystems for music that don't have to abide by pre-existing rules.

Running the gamut from gabber to grime, from Pink to Ciara remixes, it's not hard to see how K6V's mix embodies these principles. The focus here is on pounding kicks and British MC vocals, but it's also unlike any mix of bassier music you've heard. Just listen to Lucas Boston's "Dizzie (3AM Mix)," a masterpiece of spliced Dizzie Rascal lyrics pasted over progressive house chords. It's a bit like Paul Van Dyk DJing a vintage cypher, both familiar and disconcerting in its strangeness.

The mix never lets its foot off the throttle as it continues to play with these tropes. Flowdan's "Welcome To London" chorus is pumped full of adrenaline at hardcore tempos with pinging techno synths. The mix is a way for K6V to reach back out to a world that he's felt disconnected from, three years "trapped in the government [Covid-zero[ policy," as he explains it. 

Cover art by Eric Chen

Blood To Blood - Don't Ask Don't Get
Baxter - FUCKBOY
RUN FOR COVER, Lucas Boston - Havoc
CRUSH3d - whowantsmoke
Dizzie (3AM Edit)
Wiley - One Step Further (Beyond Ü Edit)
GES - Hit List
Charlie Sparks - Welcome To London
Pink - Get The Party Started (Versus EDIT)
Ciara - 1, 2 Step (DJ Heartstring Edit)
Baby One More Time (Belljack Trance Edit)
Automates - Meta
MRD - Save Me Another Time
xo tour life



K6V/Kilo Vee
Kilo Vee is best known as a co-founder of Genome 6.66 Mbp, the Shanghai-based net label known for pushing the city’s sound forward, in addition to challenging contemporary club culture.

As a resident of the Genome 6.66 Mbp nights at famed Shanghai club ALL, Kilo Vee has welcomed and played alongside artists such as Rabit, Why Be, object blue, and NAKED.
Alongside Tavi Lee, Kilo Vee curates the label’s releases. Genome 6.66 Mbp first emerged with a compilation featuring Dirty K and Hyph11e, among others. They’ve since established themselves as one of the online underground’s foremost labels, and gone on to share music from the likes of Golin, Atrosuka, Organ Tapes, and Rui Ho.

K6V is Kilo-Vee's alter ego for the dance floor, a chaotic hybrid of Cheesy Pop and Deep Thoughts. Compared with the radical and experimental sound on his label Genome 6.66 Mbp, K6V prefers to play high-energy dance music and pop edits to poke fun at the serious elite music aesthetic. His goal is to push everyone's emotions to the extreme, excitement or anger, to escape the boring reality of life. Hard Techno, Neo-Rave, Gabber, Donk, these tags can give you a quick preliminary or incorrect understanding of K6V. Hard Music for Fantastic Babies, K6V and XDD together also manage the cute rave party - RUI 惢.


David Zhao
David, also known as dj crypto or Dual, is an American creative director, singer, songwriter, and record producer. Now exploring web3, he seeks to contribute to the ownership and creator economies through his activities in business and art.



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