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On his website, Jean Marais (MoShang) describes himself as a sound-jeweler. He's been collecting rough audio-diamonds from the streets of Taiwan from overheard conversations, street ads blared from the ubiquitous blue-trucks, street processions, funeral chants and sorting it all out the way it was meant to be heard - as ambient music.
Also a visual artist, Jean brings an immense technical knowledge of 3D imaging systems together with his music for an audio video display that transforms bar settings into surreal atmospheric time bubbles. That’s a good thing.
His show at Groove Yard on October 8th chilled out everyone who came through the door. If you're a fan of Underworld, Air, or Groove Armada, check out MoShang's new CD - "Made in Taiwan".

by Ryan McClure - 24*SEVEN MAGAZINE

"Editor's Review"

Worldly melodies are formally wed to futuristic electronica by globe-trotting audio minister MoShang. The Taiwan-based producer diversifies his downtempo tracks by enhancing traditional Asian and reggae styles with dubby electro drums and tripped-out effects. His thick, oozing bass lines are the common bond holding this delightful marriage together.

by Editor

"Taiwan CD Releases"

When Jean Marais moved to Taichung two years ago, he figured that the quickest way to get to grips with the unfamiliar city sounds was to take to the streets with his mini-disc player and record everything he heard.

Having amassed several hours of the city's most vibrant sounds, Marais then decided to take his folly to the next level and record an album featuring an eclectic mix of some Taichung sounds and electronica.

Entitled Made in Taiwan (¥xÆW»s), the result of Marais's offbeat stroll through the streets of Taichung was released last month. A far cry from his previous recording ventures, which included working with pop-duo 12Hc and poet Breyten Breytenbach in his native South Africa, Marais's latest album is a blend of ambient world beat and then some chill-out electonica.

The fusion of street sounds, which range from the clatter of traffic to the hum of monks chanting and the reverberation of a public karaoke performance, with samples of Oriental instrumentation and ambient world beat-based electronica make Made in Taiwan an enticing listen and, thanks to Marais's studio smarts, one that never misses a beat.

His ambient creations might seem a bit over the top; but Marais isn't out to make a statement he's simply out to entertain. And regardless of theme, be it a funeral, dragon boats or learning Mandarin, all of the tunes are fresh, tight and, most importantly uncluttered. If it's simplistic, yet original localized chill-out you crave then, Made in Taiwan is not a bad place to begin.

by Gavin Phipps - Taipei Times

"Afrikaanse Dansmusiek (3): Die Begin van die Begin"

So last Friday I cruise into the LitNet office and Erns hooks me up with a CD by the artist Moshang. Jean Marais, or MoShang, originally comes from Bellville, now lives in Taiwan, and makes music of his experiences in the East. He walks around with his MiniDisk permanently ready for action and records sounds that inspire him – then he uses these recordings in his studio.

MoShang’s new 13-song LP called Made in Taiwan is a colourful art piece – the kind one encounters very rarely. One notices this immediately from the bright yellow/blue/red patterns on the album’s cover … very nice. If I have to classify it in a musical genre, it would probably be “Surrounding Electronic”. The musical structure is most unusual for electronic music, which is very refreshing and enjoyable. The longest song on the LP is 4:52, which is much shorter than the standard seven-minute song on classic dance music LP’s, and this keeps things interesting.

MoShang’s music touches one’s soul and gives insight into his world – a world full of inspiration, surprises, emotion, energy and a healthy table spoon of weirdness. From the jazzy “Street Song” to the up-tempo “Under My Skin” MoShang succeeds in creating a genuine Eastern theme throughout the whole album. Full marks!

(translated from Afrikaans)

So verlde week Vrydag cruise ek by die LitNet-kantoor in en Erns hoek my op met 'n laserskyf deur die kunstenaar MoShang. Jean Marais, oftewel MoShang, kom oorspronklik van Bellville af, lewe nou sy lewe uit in Taiwan, en maak musiek uit sy ondervindings in die Ooste. Hy stap rond met sy MiniDisk permanent gereed vir aksie en neem klanke af wat hom inspireer - dan gebruik hy die opnames in sy ateljee.

MoShang se nuwe 13-lied-LP genoem Made in Taiwan is 'n kleurvolle kunsstuk - die tipe wat mens baie selde raakloop. Dit sien mens dadelik raak met die helder geel/blou/rooi patrone op die elbim se buitebekleding ... baie nice. As ek dit in 'n musiekgroep moes klassifiseer, sou dit seker "Omringend Elektronies" wees. Die musiekstruktuur self is heel buitegenwoon vir elektroniese musiek, wat baie verfrissend en genotvol is. Die langste lied op die LP is 4:52, wat korter is as die standaard sewe-minuut-lied op klassieke dansmusiek-LPs, en dit hou dinge interessant.

Moshang se musiek raak mens se siel en gee insig in sy wêreld - 'n wêreld vol inspirasie, verrassings, emosie, energie en 'n gesonde tafellepel weirdness. Vanaf die die jazzy "Street Song" na die up-tempo "Under My Skin" kry MoShang dit reg om 'n genuine Ooste-tema regdeur die hele elbim te skep. Volpunte!

by Kobie Botha - Litnet - Klankkas


Made in Taiwan (Onse Plate, 2004)
available from

Chill Dynasty (Onse Plate, 2006)
available from

MoShang has 25 tracks streaming and 6 free MP3 downloads at SoundClick:


Feeling a bit camera shy



Taiwan-based, South Africa-bred artist and self-described “sound jeweler� MoShang is pleased to announce the release of his new album, “Chill Dynasty� (Onse Plate Records). Blending luxurious grooves with traditional music from China and elsewhere, found sounds and live instrumentation, “Dynasty� is MoShang’s second disc in the downtempo subgenre he calls “Chinese Chill.�

His synthesis of ancient and modern textures on “Chill Dynasty� has already earned plaudits from genre experts like OverXposure.FM’s Tim Quigley, who declared that the artist “loads his sonic jewel case … with only gems, finding that deep soft spot only the best chillout reaches.�

Standout tracks on “Chill Dynasty� include the mesmerizing “Nun Other,� a finalist in 2005’s International Songwriting Competition, in which bottom-heavy funk collides with Chinese opera vocals and chanting Buddhist nuns; “My Last Duchess,� which juxtaposes avant-rock luminary David Byrne’s “My Fair Lady� with a famed poem by Robert Browning; the mellifluously grooving, flute-spiced “Comfort Zone�; the sun-dappled, string-laden pop reverie “Easy� (one of two tracks featuring Taipei-based guest vocalist Sonja V., whom MoShang met on; and “Soli,� which combines a djembe-driven song of the Maninka people of Guinea with jazzy piano runs and bubbling synths.

In addition to producing the tracks and capturing field recordings (which, for “Nun Other,� involved standing on a rainy street near a funeral), MoShang played keyboards, created a panoply of horns, flutes and other instruments on a MIDI WindController and (on “My Last Duchess’) contributed vocals.

MoShang is the Chinese moniker of Jean Marais, who began as a choral singer in the early 1980s in Cape Town, South Africa – at which time he acquired his first computer, a Commodore VIC-20. It would take some time, however, for his love of music and computers to find its ideal expression. Marais first earned acclaim as lead singer/frontman of the South African art-rock band Duusman and as saxophonist for the group Tsunami; he also served as producer on three award-winning albums honoring poet Breyten Breytenbach and formed half of the Afrikaans pop duo 12Hz. He garnered South Africa’s prestigious Avanti Award for his score to the short film “Angels in a Cage.� Most recently, his music was selected for the HDTV Discovery Channel production “Hong Kong Festival.�

Marais relocated to the Taiwanese city of Taichung three years ago; his first release as MoShang, “Made in Taiwan,� was released on his Onse Plate (Afrikaans for “Our Records�) imprint in 2004. “I’ve always been fascinated by Asia, and Taiwan, with its vast Chinese musical heritage, seemed the perfect place for me,� he says. “I’ve fallen in love with Taiwan and its people; this country has truly reinvigorated my creative process. After more than three years here, I am as excited about the musical possibilities as the day I arrived.�

“Chill Dynasty� is available for sale at and at CD Baby: