New and what looks to be ongoing blog feature from the Beijinger – tracking Soundcloud users (Soundclouders?) in Beijing. Quick glance at the first post rounds up some Radar pals including Live Beijing Music. Nice going by Jerry Chan, True Run media editorial director and old Beijing music hand.
We imagine the upcoming entries will be more inspiring than the 5000 accounts of Shanghai’s ur-Euro DJs.
Actually, peep some great Shanghai-based Soundclouds:
Two weeks out from the May Festival (Labour Day) holidays and most of the major players have (finally) released their lineups and schedules. Hat tip to Beijing Daze for the Beijing events and dates.
With the absence of China Music Valley Festival (MIDI is taking over the space this year) and postponement and relocation of Dong Party aka Ditan Folk Festival to Beijing’s 2 Kolegas this year there is precious little innovation in the rest of the festivals’ lineups. Nonetheless, if the weather is nice the events are a good place to relax and catch up on the bands you always try to see, but it somehow never ends up working out during the year.
Split Works Operations Director & co-founder Nathaniel Davis
A little interview about JUE | Music + Art and the business (and passion) of music promotion in China by Split Works co-founder and occasional Radar contributor Nathaniel Davis. Thanks to China Radio International for this one.
May is one of the two main seasons for outdoor festivals, and as such, we are expecting imminent announcements for Midi and Strawberry Fests. Apparently Deerhoof will be back for Strawberry, playing alongside 90′s Scottish “post britpop” (according to their Wiki ) band, plus Lenka, Immanu El and the usual slew of domestic headliners (Xie Tian Xiao, Omnipotent Youth Hotel). Nothing from Midi yet, but that’s as to be expected. They rarely announce anything before mid April. There is also the heavily rumored return of the Great Wall Music Festival, but we’ve been here before, so let’s wait a while before we get too excited about seeing David Guetta and Andy C hit the Wall.
One festival that we haven’t heard much about is the big joint venture between LiveNation and Pinggu local government, China Music Valley. Timeout Beijing report that it’s been postponed until the autumn this year, and we tend to believe them. The festival that gave us Friendly Fires, Jesus and Mary Chain and Joss Stone in 2012 will be “back shortly”.
March is a massive month for music in China. If this month is anything to go by, then 2013 is gonna be off the hook, as JUE | Music + Art ups the ante in year 5, Shelter throws down with a huge lineup, Arkham, 390 and other new venues all adding to the mix. One booking that crept under the Radar (:-) is the booking of a small piece of the most seminal of seminal bands, the Beach Boys. Sadly without Brian Wilson, it will still be nice to nod heads to Good Vibrations and God Only Knows (do they have permission to sing those songs?).
Music + Art e-zine Shanghai 24/7, an English language website that has been covering Shanghai’s burgeoning arts scene for the last 2 years has decided to take on the raft of expat rags at their own game, morphing from online only to print as of this month of March. S24/7 has been doing a great job going a little deeper into the artists and musicians that make this city tick, and we wish them the best of luck in this new venture, named Pulp.
About a year ago, reports surfaced that the organizer of one of the UK’s biggest festivals, T in the Park, had visited China:
…Mr Ellis said he had already toured potential sites and spoken to the governor of a province on the east coast of the country with hopes of staging an event in 2013. He claimed he had received “encouraging noises” from officials….
We didn’t think any more about this until Cool DJ Agency sent a newsletter around advertising the warm up to their “Great Wall Music Festival“. It contained this image:
If you look very carefully, you can see that the main stage already has T in the Park branding, and Radio 1 // NME sponsorship of the second stage.
Expect a dance heavy lineup, with a certain French electronic superstar rumored to headline.
Fatboy Slim headlined the first edition of the GWMF in 2011 with mixed results and it was put on hiatus last year. Video here of what to expect (Vimeo only)
Dear Friends, once more into the breech, once more.
It is that time of the year again, the time when dragons turn to snakes. We apologize profusely for our inconsistency over the last 6 weeks, but Christmas and Chinese New Year in quick succession always make for posting light. January is also the month of finalizing everything for our JUE | Music + Art festival, which is going into year 5 in March 2013. And it’s looking like a bit of a monster, even if we do say so ourselves. Come and join the party:
Gang of Four playing with AV Okubo? Grimes bringing her Pitchfork endorsed weirdness to the Mao’s? Frank Turner, How to Dress Well or Marshall Allen of Sun Ra Arkestra playing in China for the first time aged 89? Or wanna watch a world premiere of a documentary about UK bands going to the furthest reaches of China, or an expose of Mongolian hip hop, or a cookery class with a dyed in the wool Beijing oi-punk? Markets, workshops, readings, improv. JUE has the lot.
We’re back on the 15th February. Until then, we love you all very much!
If you haunt live shows in the Northern Capital like our Beijing editor does, you’d be sure to recognize an American guy sporting varying degrees of scruff and extraordinarily ugly sandals holding a small video camera unobtrusively near the side of the stage. That gentleman (whose identity we shall not reveal) is the brains and editing suite behind Live Beijing Music, a site for his live videos of what seems to be every gig in Beijing. In the past year, he’s built up quite a following especially amongst the local musicians, who rarely film themselves and regular concert goers, who enjoy reliving the memories. He’s just posted his top tracks of 2012 – parts one and two – and it includes such Radar favourites such as Snapline, Dear Eloise and Residence A. Hilariously, the songs come in all forms: Soundcloud, Youku, Xiami, Bandcamp, the list goes on. But what the layout lacks in aesthetic value it makes up more than exponentially in the quality and scope of music released in Beijing over the past 12 months.
Perhaps fittingly, seeing as Xiami was founded by former Alibaba systems engineers, Chinese online giant Alibaba announced on January 11 that it had acquired streaming music juggernaut Xiami. Xiami, known colloquially as the “Spotify of China” is a grey-market service hosting millions of songs and albums, all available for free streaming over the Chinese Internet. The service is available worldwide but from our personal experience, it is much faster in China (off VPN). It is also one of the more problematic services floating around, having never fully verified how all the songs in its service are licensed and how artists and labels are compensated. Writing in China tech blog Technode, Ben Chiang puts forth the theory that the acquisition by Alibaba is Xiami’s tacit acknowledgement of the Chinese online music sphere’s move towards copywritten content and need for a company with Alibaba’s coffers to aid them in the royalty payments. We’re inclined to agree with this sentiment, though as with everything, the proof is in the pudding.
For news of other developments in the China online streaming music sphere, be sure to subscribe to Radar posts and follow us @chinamusicradar on Twitter.