Li Jianhong reviewed by Ikeezumi

Hideo IKEEZUMI(生悦? 英夫), the owner of PSF label and the publisher of the new music quarterly G-Modern, has written a review of LI Jianhong‘s debut solo album Talk Freely Before the Beginning in the latest issue (vol. 25). If you read Japanese, here is it for you.

Talk Freely Before the Beginning and other releases of Li are distributed by Volcanic Tongue in Europe.

UPDATE: Wolfenstein, a sound artist in Taipei, kindly provided us with the Chinese translation of the review. I’ll make it into English tonight.

去年,有人從上海帶來大?中國樂手的CD?CD?R。我?著他說明一張張大概??,絕大多數都是用電腦作的電??行樂?techno?rap??調?的噪音音樂,後?還有一些跟日本?行樂差?多的?西。當我覺得中國的音樂狀?也還??如此而準備放棄時,在最後幾張CD?R中?見這張,??分驚?。整張充滿 psychedelic 之感,若說是 PSF 旗下的發行也?會讓人?外。整體來說表?出?野敬二的濃厚影響,但我被其真摯的?響所打動,便訂購了??張。我放給店裡的常客?,得到的好評似有漸漸傳開,一下?就賣完了,必須?加訂,這樣的評價超乎我?想之外。嗯,也?能是因為?所謂中國?衛?術?上海(中國)新音樂的動?有興趣的人很多?。這???鴻還有?加一個?第二層皮的團體,也有發行CD?R。我?知?他是?是團長,這團體雖然未趨完全但表?極佳,雖然團員的感性?差?齊使音樂?甚統一,但就是奇妙地讓人覺得哪裡很有趣。打擊樂器的?響有點韓國的感覺,也有?稱為 psychedelic shaman rock 的曲?,跟顯得?套的曲?的?差也莫??地有趣。


如今,在中國急劇發展的都市「上海?,酷似以往的?京,有???樣骯髒的慾望襲?著,而在如此特別的地方也必然會產生?定其邪惡 vibration 的?極?動(音樂)。他們必然是少數派,無法馬上?多數勢力產生影響,但確實這些?動會?休止地進行下去。在?京,有高柳?阿部??澤??野等與以下的世代,這些寫?盡的優秀樂手活動迄今。他們堅決地拒絕隨波??,?自追求?自的音樂。我希望以??鴻為中心,關注今後上海的音樂動?。(文?生悦? 英夫;翻译?Wolfenstein.)

UPDATE: English version.

Last year, someone brought a lot of CDs & CDRs of Chinese musicians from Shanghai. I played them one by one as he explained to me the background, most are simply electronica, techno, rap, premature noise music made with computers, some are even hardly different from J-Pop. Disappointed at the predictability of Chinese music scene as presented by these recordings, I encountered with this surprising item in the last few CDRs. The whole album is very psychedelic, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a PSF release. Generally speaking, the music shows heavy influence of Haino Keiji, but I was touched by the sincerity within the sound and ordered for 10 copies. Later I played the album to my regular customers, their positive feedbacks were quickly spread, and it sold out pretty immediately. This kind of response was beyond my expectation, hmmm…, maybe it’s because there are a lot of people interested in the so-called Chinese avant-garde and Shanghai (Chinese) new music.

This musician Li Jianhong is also a member of a group called “Second Skin”, who also had CDR releases. I’m not sure if he’s the leading man, the group is fantastic despite not really cohesive. The musician’s sensibilities vary, so that the music lacks a kind of consistency, still, it’s very interesting to listen to for some unknown, magical reasons. The percussion part sounds a little Korean, some tracks can be labelled “psychedelic shaman rock”, which are particularly interesting when compared to some cliched tracks in the same release.

Once there were some record companies who wanted to hype up Chinese Rock music, they got some music magazines doing special features about it, and then placed Chinese Rock albums along with Hong Kong girlish pop music in the CD stores. But none of those Chinese musicians successfully avoided being derivative from their western colleagues, as a result, they’re almost completely forgotten by the audience. I’d love to see more coverage about Li Jianhong, but nowadays there are too many editors and writers who don’t even understand what Haino Keiji is about, let alone Li.

In today’s China, the fast-sprawling metropolitan Shanghai bears huge resemblance of Tokyo in the past: a city infiltrated by a huge variety of unholy desire. It’s no surprise that such a special place would generate a counter-movement (music) that acts against its evil vibration. They’re bound to be minority, incapable of making an impact on the dominating majority immediately, nevertheless, such a movement will continue to go on. In Tokyo, there are Takayanagi (Masayuki), Abe (Kaoru), Yoshizawa (Moto), Haino (Keiji) and the younger generation, to track these musicians’ career in detail (many of them are still active in the scene today) is beyond a writer’s capability. They never follow the trend but pursuit their own personal music. I hope my interest in Li Jianhong can lead to a door for me to keep track of Shanghai’s new music development in the future. (Original text by Hideo Ikeezumi, translated to Chinese by Wolfenstein. This English version was translated from the Chinese version by Lawrence Li.)


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