Vor dem Konzert der hervorragenden Gruppe Carsick Cars im Juni in der Südstadt, hat uns Veranstalter Adam Langer mit Xiao Xiao von Mentha Project bekannt gemacht. Mentha Project ist eine Platform die sich selbst als "collaborative project bringing Chinese new culture to you and helping with intercultural exchanges" beschreibt. Alright. Hübscher Auftritt.
Kanäle zu Ohren graben; das gefällt Tapefruit naturgemäß. Mentha will als Ventilator für die Vielfalt und Underground Musik eines Landes/ einer Nation auftreten – spült das Stereotype weg? Überschreibt sie die alten mit neuen? Muss die Kategorie Land besonders angesichts des Internets eigentlich früher oder später aufgegeben werden? Oder kommt man von (Erd-)Region/Referenz-Gesellschaft nie los? Will man? Generell: Ist es übergriffig Musikern Soziologiebabble anhängen zu wollen? Ist es ausweichend das nicht zu tun? Riddle me this.
Xiao ist der Bitte nach einigen Auskünften für Tapefruit jedenfalls freudig nachgekommen. Ein kurzer Ausschnitt seiner Antwort ist bereits im Tapefruit Print #1 zu sehen. Bevor Sie seine ungekürzte Nachricht bezüglich chinesischer Independent Rock Musik lesen, noch eine Ankündigung:
Langer hat wieder organisiert, wieder in der Südstadt, wieder ein Gastspiel aus Beijing; die Gruppe Da Bang aus Beijing kommt am 27. September 2015. Hier die Facebook-Veranstaltung.
Und nun Xiao Xiao:
"When we talk about China, we talk about politics, cheap goods, history, Chinese, chinese tour group and so on. And it is funny that when it comes to indie music, people will naturally and automatically connect it to politics. Almost every Chinese band who has ever been interviewed by a foreign (non Chinese) media has the experience of being frequently asked about something like “are you banned by the government?“, “would your music be a problem for the Party?”. There is a famous article about Cambodia rock music in china underground music society, I irresponsibly make an analogy that I imagine I was a European people who never been to China and never really interested in getting to know this country cuz I might have enough shit to deal with for myself, then how could I not be surprised and connect their music to the typical ‘China’ that I learnt from local media when I casually hear some amazing Chinese indie music?
From my experience, most of the Chinese indie musicians purely enjoy the delight of creation when they make music. And I do think their works are outstanding enough to earn the aesthetically and artistically attentions. Some of them live a balanced life with normal jobs and family, and some of them really have some profound ideas about music creation. It would be simply unfair to concentrate on the politics part instead of their artists part. Even though, I still find it tough to separate the politics from music. Modern culture is everything on the mass’ minds and the politics definitely leads to a certain culture of a certain society, thus you could never peel it out from music. Wu Wei (vocal of SMZB, who is also in the recommendation list) said that he never intend to be political, while the reason why he though about politics is that rock music is self-relective, which makes people thinking about things happening around.
Back to the inconsistency of typical China image and indie music scenes. When I promoted the Berlin show for Wang Wen last month, I posted the event onto a Sinology Group of FU Berlin. And these conversation happened because I carelessly missed a “chinesische” after the description of “beste” in the first place. which is really funny for me that even the student who studies China is still unaware of such an important culture portion. The thing here is, nobody likes cliche and boring uninvestegated questions. But I would blame it to the government, who doesn’t do a good job on culture promotion and who might not even realise that the diversity of its own culture nowadays. This is the main reason why we founded Mentha Project, we would like to play a role on promoting Chinese diverse modern youth culture to the whole world and to break the banal image of China.""
Auf unsere übliche Frage nach Musik-Empfehlungen antwortet Xiao:
"Wang Wen, the most celebrated Chinese post-rock band finally lands in Berlin! In Chinese, Wang Wen can be interpreted as turning a deaf ear to the undefined or unexpected. Wang Wen’s music as a mixture of bittersweet melodies, heavy bass guitar and sophisticated composition of traditional Chinese scales, when combined with the emotional depth and wild imaginings of the inspiration behind the music, creates stories that cannot be told elsewhere. Wang wen is recognised as a central act in Chinese post-rock music and has shared stage with Pg. lost, Mogwai, MONO, EF, Immaul EL…
Omnipotent Youth Society is without any doubt the most influential indie band in contemporary China. Not only do they incorporate the common band instruments, but also violins, harmonicas and especially trumpets as irreplaceable channels of emotions. Influenced by The Blind Melon, The Velvet Underground, Omnipotent Youth Society appears a strong mix of alternative rock, psychedelic blues and Chinese folk. They are from Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, an industrial district and a real grey city. Most of their songs are melancholic and evocative, as they represent the Chinese post-80s generation. Powerlessness and despair consists of their songs. It is not just an extended adolescence for this generation, but due to a sound social pressure like housing, employment, wealth gap. During the time of late 1990s, after China's policy of reformation and opening, the massive closure of state-owned enterprises and the following unemployment once affected the whole atmosphere of the northern China. The song, Kill The One from Shijiazhuang, tells three stories with the mark of that times. From literature aspect, their poetic lyrics are just amazing. Ji Geng, the bass, who is an English Professor, wrote all their lyrics. He used surrealistic but evocative symbolic imageries like lonely sea monster, still sea waves, collapsed mansion. Their lyrics would be a great modern poetry book for Chinese learners.
SMZB. Formed in 1996, Wuhan's SMZB (abbreviation of "Bread of Life" in Chinese) is said to be China's first punk band as well as a legend. The band is a typical punk band however with bagpipes and tin whistle addition to punk three pieces, which makes SMZB the only Celtic-folk punk band in China. In 2007 they was invented to some major punk festivals in Europe. Since the lyrics of the band are filled with oppugn toward the society and animadversion on the politics, their early albums have failed to be released in China. Nevertheless, the lyrics of the band as well as its behavior manner have far-reaching influence on Chinese punk bands appearing afterwards. Though most of time, the punk slogans in the lyrics are rebel, but as Wu Wei, vocal and songwriter of the SMZB, said that punk music is all about expressing, and being a real person, you could always feel that the pessimism of Wu Wei, of SMZB, is all rooted in the deep love for their city and nation. Wu Wei’s interview
Re-TROS the sueddeutschzeitung interview: The sueddeutschzeitung interview [and] our interview for them in Paris, where they talked about themselves, their Euro tour as well as their music:
Dou wei is the hidden God of Chinese serious music. Early work: Recent work: one of his four season Rhapsody - 箫乐冬炉 （bamboo flute and winter stove） His father plays the bamboo flute in this album:
Best regards, Xiao" -----
Überhaupt empfiehlt er das hier.