China with a Cut: Globalisation, Urban Youth and Popular by Jeroen de Kloet

China with a Cut: Globalisation, Urban Youth and Popular by Jeroen de Kloet

By Jeroen de Kloet

Throughout the Nineteen Nineties illegally imported compact discs, often called dakou CDs, flooded into China, commencing up the song global to chinese language formative years and encouraging them to test with new sounds and new existence. quick, dakou grew to become the label for a brand new iteration of chinese language, a colourful iteration now not tied to the Maoist previous. in response to fifteen years of fieldwork in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, China with a reduce surveys the song that emerged in Nineteen Nineties China and makes a case for its involvement within the upward push of China as a cultural and monetary international energy.

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Vocalist Qiu Ye criticises those who, in his eyes, copy Western music, and does his best to stress the Chinese character of his music. He does so, however, with a lot of irony and humour, using Beijing slang and talking extensively in-between the songs during performances. 14 A review appearing in 2008 of the music of Zi Yue and its importance for China’s rock culture illustrates of the fear of copying, as mentioned in the previous chapter, and the subsequent demand to Sinify the sound. Zi Yue is heralded as the first successful sonic translator: Rock music is an imported product from overseas and the most commonly mentioned weakness of Chinese rock is that Chinese people with no rock culture foundation cannot really truly fulfil this Western music style with authentic local content.

They also authenticate the music. Their politics are noisier, more sarcastic and more absurdist when compared to their predecessors, among whom are the poetic, metaphorical lyrics and melodic sound of Cui Jian. They do testify that the displacement of the political by the commercial throughout the 1990s, to adopt the terms used by Dai Jinhua (2002), has not been absolute. Furthermore, both domains do not necessarily exclude one another. On the contrary; as will be explained in chapter five, it has been due to the relaxation of government control that small, local record companies have been able to emerge, who contracted bands like Tongue and Zu Zhou.

These connotations are, in the case of the guzheng, mainly quietness and deepness, signifying China’s long history, and in the case of the communist songs, the heroic revolutionary past. Zi Yue is even more focused than The Fly or NO on making Chinese rock. For Wang Yue, lead vocalist for the punk band Hang on the Box, it is this inclusion of Chinese elements that she does not like: ‘I don’t like Zi Yue and NO! They have too many Chinese elements. ’ To her, the Chinese elements stand for backwardness, for a pre-modernity, whereas the sound of rock, which she considers Western, signifies modernity.

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