05 Chinese mew music according to S. Barker

In the 2005 Rewind feature on the latest issue of The Wire, Steve Barker wrote a bit about Chinese new music scene in 2005, reproduced here. This is a copy from the Subjam mailing list maintained by Yan Jun, who added the two footnotes correcting the typos. The last footnote was added by me.

……plenty of positive action got crammed into the second half of the year, with the advent of Lawrence Li‘s Global Noise Online as portal to China’s new sonic expeditionaries. Most remarkable purchase of the year was the eight disc set, from Chengdu’s Huan Qian (footnote 1), of field recordings across southern China, packed in hand-lettered brown paper sleeve and tied with rough string. Yan Jun‘s continuing Kwanyin Waterland (footnote 2) night at the Dos Kolegas bar (footnote 3) in Beijing was probably the bravest and most successful night of free improv anywhere in the world. Sun Dawei‘s Shanshui label crossed both sonic and geographic boundaries. Fm3‘s blow against the over-indulged iPod generation with the Buddha Machine‘s ultimate lo-fi loopy chic was most fun. Plus, it was great to see Eno (Brian), Toop (David), Cusack (Peter) and Bell (Clive) finally discovering China after so many years in Japan.


1. The correct spelling of the musician’s name is Huan Qing(欢庆).

2. The official English title of the event is Waterland Kwanyin.

3. As far as I know, the English name of the bar is simply “Kolegas bar”, I could be wrong though.  (UPDATE: Indeed, I was wrong. The name of the bar is “Dos Kolegas bar” as Barker put it. In Spanish, “Dos Kolegas” means “Two good friends”.)


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