“netwav”: Chinese online label

(Correction Appended 23:21,  2005.11.4, thanks to Dajuin Yao)

You may have noticed that I’ve begun to add some links to the sidebar. Right now under “(Chinese) Labels”, you see a “Reconfiguration Records“: it’s the endeavor of the Beijing-based ambient/electronica/breakcore artist CHU Kim-fai(朱剑辉)- I’m using Jyutping (Cantonese Pinyin) here because, first of all, Chu is Cantonese, and besides, he had not been “Beijing-based” until laterlast year. However, Chu himself sometimes uses Mandarin Pinyin, ZHU Jianhui, as well: this duality plus the several incarnations of his alias (“Double Fish”, “d.f.”) do cause confusion sometimes.

Chu was a sculpture major at Guangzhou Academy of Art, but his biggest passion is of course sound. About one year ago he sent a 3-inch CDR demo to my friend ZHANG Xiaozhou(张晓舟),who’s a veteran music critic and curator, and who passed the demo on to me one day. Despite the predictability, it’s ambient music that is quite mature, I must say, and since then, Chu has begun to show up in the Guangzhou scene, playing gigs here and there.

I have pigeon-holed Chu as an “ambient/electronica/breakcore” musician before, and yes, he’s not that kind of around-the-world-with-my-laptop-and-recording-gear type of musician, in most cases there are beats (I have nothing against beats), and a heavy dose of hardware (not custom-made lo-fi effects or contact mics, but samplers and synthesizers from prestigeous brands like Korg and Roland) are involved. He’s not cutting-edge but he’s well-crafted, sincere and passionate.

One thing about Reconfiguration Records is that it has a sub-label called “netwav“. What’s great about netwav is that it’s an online label. As you probably know, one of the big obstacles of Chinese new music/sound art is that it lacks efficient distribution channels, and under the present circumstances, online label is a way out. So go to this page to download and listen to the Chinese breakcore compilation “Hey!!! Let’s Break” and LI Jianhong’s “Collected Works 2001 – 2005”, which happens to be a noise album (sort of a “guest appearance” on Reconfiguration Records), and expect more to come!

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